Gators Addressing Areas of Need
By Jenna Sweeney
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Florida already has 15 commitments for their 2013 recruiting class, with seven of those coming on the offensive side of the ball.
Although the Florida Gators finished with the No. 3 recruiting class in 2012 according to Rivals.com, they were not able to fill all of their needs. Most importantly, Florida was unable to add depth at several key positions on offense. Fortunately enough, they have gotten off to a fast start on the recruiting trail for 2013. Right now, Florida has 15 commitments for their 2013 recruiting class, with seven of those coming on the offensive side of the ball.
After graduating their two speedsters, Chris Rainey and Jeff Demps, the Gators are looking to add depth at the running back position in 2013. So far, it appears that Florida will be able to fulfill their need. Their two running back commits, Kelvin Taylor and Adam Lane, will help the Gators transition to the power running attack that head coach Will Muschamp wants to run.
Lane, a 5-foot-8, 215-pound running back prospect out of Winter Haven, is a workhorse in the weight room, bench pressing 410-pounds. The Florida coaches hope that his strength and powerful running style will allow him to excel at the next level.
Kelvin Taylor, son of former Gator Fred Taylor, will add another aspect to the physical running attack that the Gators are trying to implement. As a junior, Taylor rushed for 2,884 yards and 40 touchdowns on 292 attempts. During the season Taylor broke former Gator Emmitt Smith’s high school rushing record. The young running back hopes that he will be able to break more of Smith’s records during his time at Florida.
With these two talented running backs committed, the Gators may still take one more running back. It appears that the coaches would like to add a change-of-pace back if they have room in the class. Even without another back, signing Lane and Taylor would help Florida significantly in the future.
Another area of need for the Gators is at wide receiver. Their lack of a big time wide receiver for the past few years has been extremely evident. It is because of this that they are looking to find a playmaking receiver or two for their next recruiting class.
After missing on Stefon Diggs and Nelson Agholor in the last cycle, the Gators have already been able to add Ahmad Fulwood and Rodney Adams to their 2013 class. Although these are two highly sought after prospects, the Gators will definitely try to add a few more receivers to the class.
According to Rivals, Fulwood is ranked as the eighth-best receiver in the country, while Adams is ranked as the 31st. Both of them are tall, physical and capable of getting down the field. Thus, they will be a big help at Florida as the Gators continue to move toward a pro-style scheme on offense.
As has been evidenced by the past few seasons, Florida needs help on the offensive line. Signing top ranked offensive linemen DJ Humphries and Jessamen Dunker last year was very positive for the Gators. Unfortunately, they still lack depth on the line.
With three offensive linemen already committed, the Gators are off to a great start. Cameron Dillard, Roderick Johnson and Joshua Outlaw will all provide Florida with size and strength at the line of scrimmage. Florida’s head coach, Will Muschamp, is adamant that the game is won and lost in the trenches, which means that the offensive line class is a huge priority for the Gators.
Despite already having three players committed on the offensive line, the Gators will look to add a few more during this recruiting cycle. Their top target is Lake City (Fla.) offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil. Many of the players already committed to Florida have stressed the importance of recruiting Tunsil. Florida’s coaches and their commits will do whatever they can to gain the signature of this year’s top ranked offensive tackle. Other targets include, Brandon Kublanow, Joe Fennell and Marcell Lazard, amongst many others.
Clearly, Florida’s fast start in recruiting has allowed them to gain pledges from prospects at many of their positions of need. It is worth nothing that 12 of Florida’s 15 committed prospects are from the state of Florida. Recently, the trend has been for the Gators to recruit more out-of-state players. The change appears to be a positive one. If the momentum continues, Florida will most likely finish with a top five recruiting class.