Florida's white-hot start to the 2015 season, and the night-and-day difference of its first offense under Jim McElwain, had yet to translate into success on the recruiting trail, even as recently as last week. With the addition of a commitment from highly-touted wide receiver Freddie Swain on Friday in a ceremony at his high school, that has changed.
Swain, a consensus four-star receiver from the same North Marion High School in Citra that produced current Gator Latroy Pittman, is the 21st commitment for Florida's 2016 class. He's just outside the top 200 prospects in the 2016 class, according to the 247Sports Composite, checking in at No. 203 in that ranking.
That's partly because he has essentially every attribute necessary to be a complete wide receiver in the SEC.
While Swain lacks truly blazing speed, blink-and-you'll-miss-it acceleration, or glue-like hands, he's well above average in most respects, and certainly doesn't seem to have any glaring flaws. That set of skills, and a demonstrated ability to get open, helped him turn heads at The Opening earlier this year by arguably performing better against elite competition than any other wide receiver in attendance.
And Florida reeling Swain in is also a victory for the Gators in the zero-sum game that is recruiting. He had been hotly pursued by Tennessee, and the Vols were considered a favorite to land his commitment as late as this summer, but increased pressure by Florida and the Gators' improvement on the field led most analysts to believe in recent weeks that Swain was bound for Gainesville; all but one prediction logged for Swain in the 247Sports Crystal Ball at the time of his commitment was for Florida.
Florida adds Swain to a list of commitments at wide receiver that already had Joshua Hammond and Rick Wells, and likely college tight end Isaiah Johnson. The Gators also remain very much in contention to add the uncommitted Nate Craig-Myers and Miami commit Sam Bruce.
Despite an offense that had been punchless for several years prior to 2015, it looks quite likely that Florida will not be lacking for firepower at skill positions in 2016 and beyond.