- Derek Tyson, RecruitingNation
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Florida might not have had much success on the field last year finishing with a 7-6 record, but head coach Will Muschamp is certainly finding success on the recruiting trail. With all 16 Florida commits ranked as four-star players, the Florida Gators debuted at No. 2 in the ESPN team recruiting rankings on Thursday.
Eleven of Florida's 16 verbal commitments landed on the ESPN 300 list. If the trend continues, the Gators will be in position to put together a special 2013 recruiting class.
Headlining the Gators' class is the state of Florida's all-time leading rusher and the No. 21-ranked player in the country, Kelvin Taylor (Belle Glades, Fla./Glades Day). Taylor thinks Florida is putting together a championship caliber class.
"I think we can win some championships with this class," Taylor said. "We just have to work hard when get there next spring."
The Gators are not just getting highly-ranked players, they are getting players at need positions. Last year, Florida struck out on some top wide receiver targets Stefon Diggs and Nelson Agholor. This year is a different story. The Gators have a trio of four-star wide receiver commits in Ahmad Fulwood (Jacksonville, Fla./Bishop Kenny), Rodney Adams (St. Petersburg, Fla./Lakewood) and Marqui Hawkins (Columbus, Ga./Carver).
Fulwood (Jacksonville, Fla./Bishop Kenny) echoed Taylor's sentiments about Florida's recruiting efforts. Fulwood believes Florida's recruiting class will only get stronger as the recruiting process continues.
"All of us being four-star recruits is kind of crazy," Fulwood said. "It's like a dream class. We are all solid kids at the positions we play, and our class is going to be one of a kind -- especially later on in the recruiting days."
Caleb Brantley (Crescent City, Fla./Crescent City), the No. 4-ranked defensive tackle in the country, believes the Gators are filling important needs in this class.
"I think we're putting together an extraordinary class," Brantley said. "Not only because we have talent, but we also have depth and we are filling needs."
The Gators have landed three four-star offensive linemen as well as four four-star linebackers, led by the No. 41 player in the country, Daniel McMillian (Jacksonville, Fla./First Coast). All four linebacker commits are ranked in the ESPN 300. Florida also has two safety commits -- Keanu Neal (Bushnell, Fla./South Sumter) and Nick Washington (Jacksonville, Fla./Trinity Christian) -- who are ranked in the ESPN 150.
With several top-rated prospects left on Florida's board, the class is likely to get stronger. The Gators are near the top for three of the five remaining undecided five-star prospects -- offensive lineman Laremy Tunsil (Lake City, Fla./Columbia) and cornerbacks Vernon Hargreaves III (Tampa, Fla./Wharton) and Mackensie Alexander (Immakolee, Fla./Immakolee).
Florida might not have had much success on the field last year, but the Gators debuted at No. 2 in the ESPN recruiting class rankings Thursday.