Meet the new Gators


Marcus Maye, right, is officially a Florida Gator. (Florida Today)

Published: Wednesday, February 1, 2012 at 11:29 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, February 1, 2012 at 11:29 a.m.

Florida received letters-of-intent from the following players as of 1:30 p.m. Wednesday.

A closer look:

Raphael Andrades

Position: WR

Height: 6-0

Weight: 190

High School: Tallahassee, Fla./Lincoln

Ranking: No. 99 wide receiver on Rivals; No. 159 wide receiver on Scout

How he fits in: Florida offered Andrades the night before Signing Day and he committed on the spot. He attended Friday Night Lights and performed well in front of UF receivers coach Aubrey Hill. He isn't an explosive wideout, but he has great size and hands.

Chances of playing early: Andrades provides some much depth to the receiving corps, but he isn't expected to make an immediate impact. He will likely redshirt unless injuries force him into action. Lincoln receivers coach Jacquez Green said Andrades had 41 receptions for over 800 yards and a school record 13 TDs this past season.

Willie Bailey

Position: Defensive back

Height: 6-1

Weight: 167

High School: Hallandale, Fla./Hallandale

Ranking: No. 38 cornerback on Rivals, No. 33 safety on Scout

How he fits in: Bailey is the type of corner who Muschamp likes. He is taller than most of the defensive backs on the roster and can win jump-ball battles with receivers. He could play multiple positions in the secondary.

Chances of playing early: He still needs to add weight and work on his cover skills. If there isn't a need for him on special teams, he will redshirt.

Jonathan Bullard

Position: DE

Height: 6-3

Weight: 263

High School: Shelby, N.C./Crest

Ranking: No. 1 strongside defensive end on Rivals; No. 4 defensive end on Scout

How he fits in: What makes Bullard so highly touted is his combination of size, strength and speed. He runs the 40-yard dash in 4.6 seconds and makes plays that guys with his measurables rarely do. His hand-eye coordination gives him exceptional disengaging skills and he can contain the edge with great body control. He will be a balanced defensive end for Florida.

Chances of playing early: Bullard will get into the rotation right away, and don't be shocked if he is a starter by season's end.

Bryan Cox Jr.

Position: DE/LB

Height: 6-3

Weight: 247

High School: Fort Lauderdale, Fla./St. Thomas Aquinas

Ranking: No. 37 strongside defensive end; No. 79 defensive end

How he fits in: Cox plays with a motor and football is in his blood. His father, Bryan Sr., played in the NFL for 12 seasons. The younger Cox still has a long way to go before he reaches his dad's potential, but his work ethic could take him there.

Chances of playing early: Cox could play end or buck linebacker for the Gators, and he'll likely spend his first year trying to settle in at one of those positions.

Jessamen Dunker

Position: OG

Height: 6-4

Weight: 320

High School: Boynton Beach, Fla./Boynton Beach

Ranking: No. 5 offensive guard on Rivals; No. 12 offensive tackle on Scout

How he fits in: Dunker is another huge addition to the offensive line. He already has the size and strength to hold his own against defensive linemen in the SEC. He will come to UF as a guard, where he excelled in the Under Armour All-American Game.

Chances of playing early: Dunker enrolled early and getting that head start is a big plus for him. If he can grasp the offense and its blocking schemes, he could get into the rotation.

Dante Fowler Jr.

Position: DE/LB

Height: 6-3

Weight: 261

High School: St. Petersburg, Fla./Lakewood

Ranking: No. 3 weakside defensive end on Rivals; No. 10 defensive end on Scout

How he fits in: Fowler is a huge get for the Gators, who missed on a few buck linebackers and needed someone who could step in and play right away. He dominated during Under Armour week and has the talent to be a special defender for Muschamp.

Chances of playing early: Fowler is going to be behind Ronald Powell on the depth chart, but he will get a ton of reps as his backup. There's no way he sits on the sidelines next year.

Austin Hardin

Position: K

Height: 5-10

Weight: 204

High School: Atlanta, Ga./Marist

Ranking: No. 11 kicker on Rivals; No. 5 kicker on Scout

How he fits in: Hardin has a cannon for a leg and could be the second coming of Caleb Sturgis. He kicked a 59-yard game-winning field goal as a junior and videos on YouTube have him nailing 60-yard attempts with ease. The Under Armour All-American needs to become a bit more accurate, but he can really boom it.

Chances of playing early: Hardin will take over once Sturgis graduates, but he could receive kickoff duties before then.

D.J. Humphries

Position: OT

Height: 6-6

Weight: 271

High School: Charlotte, N.C./Mallard Creek

Ranking: No. 1 offensive tackle on Rivals; No. 3 offensive tackle on Scout

How he fits in: Humphries is the nation's No. 2 overall prospect according to Rivals.com, and for good reason. He has great feet and flexibility for a big man and can both pass and run block. Florida has a roster full of athletic linemen that were recruited for the spread system, but Humphries is perfect for a pro-style offense because he can consistently move the pile and protect the quarterback's blindside.

Chances of playing early: The only knock on Humphries is his weight. But he is already enrolled and will participate in spring and summer workouts, so putting on more pounds won't be an issue for him. He's just too explosive off the ball to not play as a freshman.

Damien Jacobs

Position: DT

Height: 6-3

Weight: 310

High School: Houma, Fla./H. L. Bourgeois

Ranking: No. 3 JUCO defensive tackle on Rivals; NR on Scout

How he fits in: Florida needs to get more pressure on opposing quarterbacks next year, and Jacobs can fill the void. He has a quick first step and is very good at jumping the snap count. If he improves his technique and learns some more moves from defensive coordinator Dan Quinn and defensive line coach Bryant Young, he could be a good one for the Gators.

Chances of playing early: Jacobs signed in December and will compete this spring for the starting job vacated by Jaye Howard.

Matt Jones

Position: RB

Height: 6-3

Weight: 213

High School: Seffner, Fla./Armwood

Ranking: No. 15 running back on Rivals; No. 16 running back on Scout

How he fits in: Former UF coach Urban Meyer always wanted that big, bruising back, but with the spread offense, it was always tough to lure one to Gainesville. Only a few months on the job, and equipped with a pro-style plan, Muschamp has one of the top prospects in the southeast. There are questions about his technique and whether he runs too upright, but he is very athletic for his size and can hit the hole quickly. He's already taller than any of last year's top SEC rushers and is close to most of them in weight.

Chances of playing early: Jones should have no trouble earning some carries in the fall because the Gators only have two tailbacks in Mike Gillislee and Mack Brown. And while it's unlikely that he'll start, he should be the go-to-guy in short-yardage situations.

Rhaheim Ledbetter

Position: S

Height: 5-11

Weight: 195

High School: Shelby, N.C./Crest

Ranking: No. 25 safety on Rivals; No. 12 safety on Scout

How he fits in: Ledbetter is rated a three-star prospect, but he doesn't look like one when you turn on his tape. He plays with a head-hunting mentality and can really lay the blow from his strong safety spot. Ledbetter is the cousin of former UF linebacker Brandon Spikes, so his hitting capability shouldn't come as a surprise.

Chances of playing early: The Gators are loaded at his position, so it will be difficult for him to see the field. His best shot will be on kickoff coverage.

Jafar Mann

Position: DT

Height: 6-3

Weight: 293

High School: Stone Mountain, Ga./Stephenson

Ranking: No. 48 defensive tackle on Rivals; No. 39 defensive tackle on Scout

How he fits in: Mann plays just like a man inside. He's a run stopper and can clog up holes with his big frame. He also plays with a lot of energy and adrenaline, but he needs to gain more speed and quickness.

Chances of playing early: With Sharrif Floyd moving back to an already crowded group of defensive tackles, Mann will likely redshirt next year.

Marcus Maye

Position: S

Height: 5-11

Weight: 195

High School: Melbourne, Fla./Holy Trinity Episcopal

Ranking: No. 5 safety on Rivals; No. 7 safety on Scout

How he fits in: Maye has all the characteristics to be the next Reggie Nelson. He hails from the same city as the NFL starter and has the coverage skills of a cornerback in the body of a safety. His footwork is fantastic and his speed enables him to stick with most wideouts.

Chances of playing early: Maye won't be a starter, but he could have a role similar to Pop Saunders' last season. Look for him to make a mark on special teams as well.

Alex McCalister

Position: DE/LB

Height: 6-6

Weight: 223

High School: Clemmons, N.C./West Forsyth

Ranking: No. 26 weakside defensive end, No. 55 defensive end

How he fits in: McCalister has a ton of talent, but he will be a project for Muschamp. He's only played football for two years and has a lot to learn, especially if he's going to play buck linebacker. But with a 7-foot, 3-inch wingspan, a 10-foot standing broad jump and a 35-inch vertical leap, McCalister has some freakish potential.

Chances of playing early: McCalister said he will redshirt next season to bulk up and learn the buck position from Ronald Powell.

Skyler Mornhinweg

Position: QB

Height: 6-3

Weight: 190

High School: Philadelphia, Pa./St. Joesph's

Ranking: NR on Rivals; No. 61 quarterback on Scout

How he fits in: Brent Pease made Mornhinweg the top priority on Florida's quarterback board and he was able to flip the former Penn State commit. Mornhingweg has an accurate arm and the pocket presence that is required in UF's new pass-friendly offense. He is the son of Philadelphia Eagles offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg, so he already possesses some valuable football knowledge. With his background and skill-set, he has the potential to be a productive player under Pease.

Chances of playing early: Barring injuries at the position, Mornhinweg is headed for a redshirt season in 2012. Jacoby Brissett and Jeff Driskel received limited reps and game experience last year, so they will be seeing all the action once fall practice begins.

Antonio Morrison

Position: LB

Height: 6-1

Weight: 209

High School: Bolingbrook, Ill./Bolingbrook

Ranking: No. 10 inside linebacker on Rivals; No. 20 inside linebacker on Scout

How he fits in: With a bench press of 335 pounds and a squat of 630, Morrison is a monster in the weight room. The early enrollee is already one the strongest players on the team and carries it over to the football field with some big-time hits. In addition to his strength, Morrison's size was a big selling point for Muschamp.

Chances of playing early: Morrison won't jump Jon Bostic and Michael Taylor on the depth chart, but he will surely be a special teams player next season.

Omari Phillips

Position: DT

Height: 6-6

Weight: 315

High School: Venice, Fla./Venice

Ranking: No. 9 defensive tackle on Rivals; No. 19 defensive tackle on Scout

How he fits in: Phillips could play on the offensive or defensive line, but the coaching staff wants him at defensive tackle when he arrives. He put on about 30 pounds over the course of his senior year and dominated during the U.S. Army All-American practices. Despite the extra weight, Phillips still has the athleticism to play well in Florida's multiple defense.

Chances of playing early: The Gators have good depth at defensive tackle, so it will hard for Phillips to get much playing time. But he's been told that he will have an opportunity to earn some.

Latroy Pittman

Position: WR

Height: 6-0

Weight: 195

High School: Citra, Fla./North Marion

Ranking: No. 32 wide receiver on Rivals; No. 47 wide receiver on Scout

How he fits in: Pittman was the first commitment of the 2012 class, and he could be one of the first to see the field. His hands and playmaking ability are in high demand at Florida, and he also has the size to be a serviceable blocker. The Under Armour All-American was a standout in all the combines he participated in and should be a great asset to Pease once he learns the playbook.

Chances of playing early: With only seven scholarship receivers on the roster, Pittman is already second team by default. Being an early enrollee will help him work his way up the depth chart.

Brian Poole

Position: CB

Height: 5-10

Weight: 202

High School: Bradenton, Fla./Southeast

Ranking: No. 5 cornerback on Rivals; No. 2 cornerback on Scout

How he fits in: Poole had a impressive performance in the Under Armour All-American Game, returning an interception 93 yards for a touchdown and forcing another pick. He is a physical corner that plays tough and can jam receivers at the line of scrimmage. Poole and Marcus Roberson will allow UF to play press coverage and blitz more often.

Chances of playing early: Florida has a nice stable of cornerbacks, but none of them are built like Poole and that will result in early playing time for him.

Jeremi Powell

Position: LB

Height: 6-1

Weight: 193

High School: Largo, Fla./Pinellas Park

Ranking: No. 17 outside linebacker on Rivals, No. 26 outside linebacker on Scout

How he fits in: Powell doesn't have ideal size, but he's got great speed off the edge and is a two-way player. Most of the film on Powell shows him playing linebacker, defensive end and some tight end/receiver. He truly is a pure athlete.

Chances of playing early: He needs to gain 25-30 pounds before he can make an impact on defense, but he may see some action on kickoff coverage.

Kent Taylor

Position: TE

Height: 6-5

Weight: 225

High School: Land O'Lakes, Fla./Land O'Lakes

Ranking: No. 1 tight end on Rivals and Scout

How he fits in: Taylor is the pass-catching tight end that Florida has been lacking. Jordan Reed is a former quarterback and A.C. Leonard was brought in for Meyer's spread offense, but Taylor is the right fit for Pease's system. His route-running skills rival those of a receiver and allow him to get open against linebackers. The U.S. Army All-American is a natural at the position and could be a serious threat for UF down the road.

Chances of playing early: Taylor won't make the first-team next year, but the coaches expect him to contribute in some capacity. He'll need to get bigger before he can be a full-time tight end for Florida.

Colin Thompson

Position: TE

Height: 6-4

Weight: 252

High School: Warminster, Pa./Archbishop Wood

Ranking: No. 6 tight end on Rivals; No. 2 tight end on Scout

How he fits in: Like Taylor, Thompson also gives the Gators something they don't have — a blocking tight end. His ability to match up against defensive ends and rushing linebackers will allow UF to effectively execute its power running attack. The Under Armour All-American can also get down the field and do some damage in the passing game.

Chances of playing early: With Florida's struggles on the line of scrimmage, he should have a quicker impact than the more-talented Taylor. Thompson will be used from the moment he steps on campus.

Quinteze Williams

Position: DE

Height: 6-5

Weight: 255

High School: Tyrone, Ga./Sandy Creek

Ranking: No. 22 strongside defensive end on Rivals; No. 40 defensive end on Scout

How he fits in: Williams was originally pegged as an offensive lineman by scouts, but Florida recruited him to play on the defensive line. He will start out at end, but has the frame to grow into a tackle. Wherever he winds up, Williams' athleticism should make him another great pass rusher for UF.

Chances of playing early: He wasn't able to enroll early as planned, so that hurts his chances. But if he develops good technique early on, he will get some reps simply because of his size.

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