Thursday, February 4, 2010
Recruiting rewind: Florida
By Chris Low
Recruits: 28 (27 high school seniors, 11 enrolled early, and one prep school player).
Top prospects: The Gators led the country with 17 ESPNU 150 prospects, including the No. 1 and No. 3 overall players in defensive end Ronald Powell and defensive tackle Dominique Easley. Jonathan Dowling is the No. 1 safety prospect in the country, while Mack Brown is the No. 4 running back prospect nationally.
Sleepers: Linebacker Darrin Kitchens has great speed and is certainly one to watch at a couple of different positions. Michael McFarland played quarterback in high school, but is ticketed as a tight end at Florida.
Needs met: You name it, and the Gators got it. This has to be one of the best defensive line classes in the country when consider that Leon Orr, Sharrif Floyd, Easley and Powell were all ranked in the top 10 at their positions. The Gators needed a running back and got one of the best ones in the country in Brown. They lost Joe Haden and Major Wright early to the NFL, but added the likes of Matt Elam, Joshua Shaw, Jaylen Watkins and Dowling in this class.
Analysis: In short, the rich get richer. Moreover, maybe Urban Meyer should take a leave of absence every year. This is one of the most talented signing classes that anybody can remember going all the way back to the time they started ranking players. Already, the Gators have 11 players enrolled in school, which means they get to go through spring practice and should be more prepared to play in the fall. The Gators have lost some great players in recent years (Tim Tebow, Percy Harvin, Carlos Dunlap and Haden), but Florida fans can rest assured that a new shipment of great players is on the way.
Scouts Inc. grade: A+
What Urban Meyer said:
"I’ve gotten myself in trouble in the past by hyping up players who were not yet deserving of it. But I’m not sure I’ve seen a defensive front as good as this one. When you look at Ronald Powell, Sharrif Floyd, Leon Orr, Dominique Easley and Lynden Trail, those are some serious guys. I just think in certain areas, it’s the best we’ve ever done."
"We lost five juniors to the draft and obviously lost some talented players on offense and defense. I don’t know if there’s ever a rebuilding year, but if there was, this would be one for us. If you look at the receivers we have had here in the last few years starting with Dallas Baker, Bubba Caldwell, Chad Jackson and then you go to Louis Murphy and Percy Harvin and then this year we lost Riley Cooper, David Nelson and Brandon James. We have to start replacing them with real guys."