Erique Florence tops available safeties

With national signing day (Feb. 2) around the corner, here is a look at the top uncommitted safeties.


Erique Florence (Valley, Ala./Valley)

Player rank: 52 | Position rank: 4 | Grade: 81 | Stars: 4
Height: 6-foot-2 | Weight: 185 pounds | Evaluation
Alabama Auburn USC

Why they want him: Florence has prototypical strong safety measurables as well as demeanor. He is a hitter and one of the more tough and physical safeties in 2011. He's tall, high-cut with great length and a well-built frame that still has the room to add considerable bulk. He also flashes great range and closing burst tracking down ball carriers and is very stout at the point of attack.

Recruiting update: Auburn looks like the front-runner for Florence, but Alabama and USC are also in the mix. Florence visited USC last week and will trip to Alabama this coming weekend. Florence visited Auburn last month.

Larry Franklin (Vero Beach, Fla./Vero Beach)

Player rank: NR | Position rank: 35 | Grade: 78 | Stars: 3
Height: 6-0 | Weight: 183 pounds | Evaluation
Michigan State Northern Illinois Western Michigan Vanderbilt Miami

Why they want him: Franklin is a physical, instinctive, well-rounded safety and a productive ball hawk in the secondary with good physical tools and instincts to match. He has more than adequate height, length and overall size. However, he does need to fill out and build more power through his hips and lower body.

Recruiting update: Franklin has already visited Michigan State and Northern Illinois. He visits Western Michigan this weekend and Vanderbilt on Jan. 28. Miami is also showing interest.

Jamie Newberg has been covering recruiting both in the Southeast and nationally for 19 years. He can be reached at jamienewbergbw@yahoo.com.