After what most would call a disappointing season, HC Will Muschamp and friends have an opportunity for redemption with a stellar recruiting effort; they definitely have their work cut out for them though. The Gators finished the season unranked with some, need I say it, pretty pathetic performances … not the best way to get 5-star recruits lining up in front of Ben Hill Griffin Stadium & the 125% life sized Tebow statue. But remember Gator fans, Mr. Muschamp was thrown into a cauldron of political/sport’s mire that was so thick, even Michael Phelps would drown. Coach Urban Meyer’s decision to retire, then come back, and then retire again, would put any coach in a pretty awkward situation, especially in the realm of recruiting top athletes.
UF currently has 67 Scholarship holding football players, 10 of which are seniors leaving at the end of the season. This doesn’t include any of the players that will end up transferring or becoming ineligible for various reasons. The NCAA currently allows a maximum of 85 scholarship athletes on a team. Therefore, the new Gator football roster could potentially incorporate in excess of 28 freshmen recruits. Currently, the Gators are sitting at 17 verbal commits, just under Alabama who have 20 verbal commits so far, and just above FSU who have 15.
Size matters… if no one noticed; Florida’s team wasn’t very big this season, especially compared to LSU and Alabama. This was made resoundingly obvious when FSU’s defense was slicing through our line like a knife through a warm Krispy Kreme doughnut. In summary, it was kind of like watching a big kid on the playground hold a little kid’s forehead while the little kid can’t land a punch. Gator fans can get fired up at the fact that some of our verbal commits definitely seem to have meat on their bones. Especially 5-Star recruit D.J. Humphries, 6’5, 265 lbs. and 4 – Star recruit Jessamen Dunker, 6’6”, 315 lbs, both are offensive linemen. Our running game seems to be getting a “bigger” boost. Verbal commits and 4-Star recruits Mike Davis, 5’10”, 200lbs. and Matt Jones, 6’2”, 200lbs. are both running backs.
Some 5-Star prospects that are up-for grabs are Offensive Tackle Kyle Murphy out of San Clemente, CA (He visited UF on Nov. 14th, hopefully good impressions were made.) and Offensive Tackle Andreas Peat, 6’7, 305 lbs. out of Tempe, AZ. Currently, UF seems to have made no attempt to secure Peat as a recruit. But having a 305 lb Tackle ready for grooming will certainly put some of the “size” issue at bay.
Securing some top young talent is precisely what the Gators need. Not only to ensure top performance in the coming years, and to show that UF’s new coaching regime is capable of doing so, but to show the Gator Nation that the University of Florida is still a destination for some of the country’s top athletic talent.