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Florida football recruiting: Gators land commit from big, fleet JUCO RB Mark Thompson

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Every team can use a big, fast running back. Mark Thompson might be one for Florida.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Florida's almost certainly going to revamp its running game under Jim McElwain, whose offenses have been tethered to marquee running backs for the better part of a decade.

Mark Thompson, a running back at Dodge City (Kansas) Community College who committed to Florida on Wednesday, as first reported by 247Sports, could be another such marquee guy for the Gators.

Thompson — originally from Wyncote, Pennsylvania, just north of Philadelphia — doesn't have a rating from a recruiting service other than Scout, which awards him four stars. (JUCO players aren't evaluated or rated as deeply as high school recruits.) But 247Sports, Rivals, and Scout are in agreement that he's 6'2" and 230 pounds.

That size makes the alarming speed and quickness he displays in this highlight tape even more impressive than it would be from a smaller back.

Thompson runs a bit upright for my taste, but has superb drive and burst, and surprising agility. On tape, he looks faster than he is powerful — at his size, though, he certainly has the frame to drive back tacklers, so it's almost more intriguing to see evidence that he can make them miss.

And Thompson would also seem to be a fine complement to Florida's backfield stable. Kelvin Taylor and Adam Lane are likely to be the Gators' bellcow backs for as long as they remain in Gainesville, with Jordan Scarlett possessing the explosiveness to be a change-of-pace back. Taylor could well depart for the NFL after the 2015 season (yes, really), and so Thompson would slot into that role.

Thompson spent time at Nassau Community College before he played for Dodge City in 2014, and will receive his associate degree this summer, he told 247Sports' Luke Stampini ($), which could have allowed him to play FBS football this fall. But because of an SEC rule requiring him to spend three semesters at a junior college before being eligible, Thompson will apparently delay and play for Dodge City again in 2015, likely getting him to Florida in January 2016 with two years of collegiate eligibility remaining.

If McElwain and offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier can get a revamped Florida offense ready to showcase him and others that quickly, Thompson may not need both years to prove he's got NFL-caliber skills.

Thompson, who sounds like he's all Gator in that 247Sports piece, his interview with Scout, and his interview with Gator Country, is Florida's 11th commitment for the 2016 recruiting cycle. 247Sports currently ranks Florida's class No. 18 nationally, despite not having a rating for Thompson.