The Florida Gators needed to continue a rebuild at linebacker in the 2017 recruiting class, with Jarrad Davis and Alex Anzalone heading to the NFL. With Lacedrick Brunson committing to Florida on National Signing Day, the Gators have a quartet of linebackers in the fold.
Brunson’s commitment is unusual in that it was announced by Florida — meaning that it is actually a signing, given that Florida cannot comment on Brunson until he turns in a confirmed National Letter of Intent.
From Miami Jackson High School, I'm excited to welcome Lacedrick Brunson to the @GatorsFB family!! #Swamp17 #GoGators pic.twitter.com/IIAbLhvbEy— Jim McElwain (@CoachMcElwain) February 1, 2017
Brunson, just a two-star player, is from Miami Jackson High, and is about as much of a sleeper as a player can be on National Signing Day. But he is a fourth body at linebacker behind early enrollee James Houston and commits-turning-signees Ventrell Miller and Nick Smith, and Florida had space to grab him in this class.
And on film, Brunson looks to be a perfectly serviceable linebacker, if not a spectacular one.
That’s been true of Florida’s linebacker recruiting under Randy Shannon to date, too, as the Gators have gotten a lot out of Kylan Johnson, Vosean Joseph, and David Reese — none rated as four- or five-star players in high school.
If the Gators can continue their trend of developing linebacker recruits beyond their star ratings in Gainesville under Shannon, Brunson may turn out to be more diamond in the rough than head-scratcher. And if they can’t? He’s still vital depth at a position where injuries forced a walk-on to play in Florida’s bowl game.
Brunson is Florida’s 20th commitment for the 2017 recruiting class.