Early playing time likely in cards for UF freshmen


Florida freshman wide receiver Latroy Pittman pulls in the pass during the first half of the Orange and Blue Debut at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, Fla., Saturday, April 7, 2012.

Doug Finger/Staff photographer
Published: Wednesday, July 4, 2012 at 7:00 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, July 3, 2012 at 3:14 p.m.

There was another signal this week that the college football season is just around the corner — the start of the Summer B semester at Florida and the arrival of the true freshmen who did not enroll early.

The Gators' 2012 recruiting class is now together, residing in Gainesville and preparing to make an impact on the upcoming season.




This is a consensus top-five class that should make an immediate impact on the offensive and defensive lines, at linebacker, wide receiver and tight end, in the secondary and on special teams.

Here is a player-by-player look at the 2012 signing class and how many of its members could end up playing this season:

THE EARLY ENROLLEES

Willie Bailey, Cornerback

6-foot-1, 167 pounds

Rivals rating: Three stars.

The skinny: He needs time to gain weight and strength, but his excellent speed might get him some early playing time on special teams.

Chances he plays in 2012: 30 percent.

Jessamen Dunker, Offensive guard

6-foot-4, 320 pounds

Rivals rating: Four stars.

The skinny: Dunker impressed the coaches in the spring with his size, strength and athletic ability. He provides depth on the OL interior and should see considerable playing time.

Chances he plays in 2012: 100 percent.

D.J. Humphries, Offensive tackle

6-foot-6, 280 pounds

Rivals rating: Five stars.

The skinny: He showed in the spring why he was the No. 1 OT prospect in the nation coming out of high school. With the lack of depth at OT, he has a chance to work his way into the playing rotation.

Chances he plays in 2012: 100 percent.

Damien Jacobs, Defensive tackle

6-foot-3, 310 pounds

Rivals rating: Four stars.

The skinny: Battled with consistency early in the spring, but then came on strong in the second half and showed he's ready for possible significant playing time in the fall.

Chances he plays in 2012: 100 percent.

Antonio Morrison, Linebacker

6-foot-1, 209 pounds

Rivals rating: Four stars.

The skinny: He may have been the most impressive true freshman in the spring, with his speed, aggressiveness and striking ability, and UF lacks depth at LB.

Chances he plays in 2012: 100 percent.

Latroy Pittman, Wide receiver

6-foot, 195 pounds

Rivals rating: Four stars.

The skinny: Pittman emerged as UF's biggest potential playmaker at WR in the spring. He has a chance to be a starter this season, and a key contributor.

Chances he plays in 2012: 100 percent.

THE SUMMER B ENROLLEES

Raphael Andrades, Wide receiver

6-foot-1, 190 pounds

Rivals rating: Three stars.

The skinny: A late addition to the recruiting class, Andrades likely will need time to develop before he sees the field.

Chances he plays in 2012: Five percent.

Jonathan Bullard, Defensive end

6-foot-3, 265 pounds

Rivals rating: Five stars.

The skinny: He was a dominant defender in the Army All-American game and will have a chance to contend for significant playing time at the depth-shy defensive end positions.

Chances he plays in 2012: 100 percent.

Bryan Cox Jr., Defensive end

6-foot-3, 247 pounds

Rivals rating: Three stars.

The skinny: The Gators are looking for depth at defensive end, so Cox will have a chance to show what he's got in camp.

Chances he plays in 2012: 30 percent.

Dante Fowler Jr., Defensive end/linebacker

6-foot-3, 260 pounds

Rivals rating: Five stars.

The skinny: With Ronald Powell out for the first part of the season recovering from knee surgery, Fowler figures to be the backup at the Buck linebacker position, with a chance to earn considerable playing time.

Chances he plays in 2012: 100 percent.

Austin Hardin, Kicker

5-foot-10, 204 pounds

Rivals rating: Two stars.

The skinny: Hardin likely will be spending his first year at UF learning from senior Caleb Sturgis, one of the nation's best place-kickers.

Chances he plays in 2012: Five percent.

Matt Jones, Running back

6-foot-2, 213 pounds

Rivals rating: Four stars.

The skinny: With a lack of proven depth at tailback, Jones could be an immediate factor in the Gators' downhill running game. He could be the big back that's been missing in the offense in recent years.

Chances he plays in 2012: 100 percent.

Rhaheim Ledbetter, Safety

5-foot-11, 195 pounds

Rivals rating: Three stars.

The skinny: He may be the biggest hitter in the class, a distinction that may lead to a starting role on special teams.

Chances he plays in 2012: 60 percent.

Jafar Mann, Defensive tackle

6-foot-3, 293 pounds

Rivals rating: Three stars.

The skinny: The Gators aren't real deep at DT, so Mann is going to get plenty of reps in preseason camp.

Chances he plays in 2012: 50 percent.

Marcus Maye, Safety

5-foot-11, 203 pounds

Rivals rating: Four stars.

The skinny: Even though the Gators are fairly deep at the safety positions, Maye has a chance to be an immediate impact player on special teams.

Chances he plays in 2012: 80 percent.

Alex McCalister, Defensive end

6-foot-6, 223 pounds

Rivals rating: Three stars.

The skinny: McCalister has a big upside, but he may need a redshirt year to get bigger and stronger.

Chances he plays in 2012: Five percent.

Skyler Mornhinweg, Quarterback

6-foot-3, 190 pounds

Rivals rating: Three stars.

The skinny: The Gators are three-deep at QB. Unless there are injuries, Mornhinweg figures to redshirt his first year.

Chances he plays in 2012: Five percent.

Brian Poole, Cornerback

5-foot-10, 202 pounds

Rivals rating: Four stars.

The skinny: The Gators are pretty comfortable with their depth at CB, but Poole has the chance to be a starter on special teams.

Chances he plays in 2012: 80 percent.

Jeremi Powell, Linebacker

6-foot-1, 193 pounds

Rivals rating: Four stars.

The skinny: He's fast and athletic and has a chance to contribute immediately on special teams, but he needs to mature physically.

Chances he plays in 2012: 50 percent.

Kent Taylor, Tight end

6-foot-5, 230 pounds

Rivals rating: Four stars.

The skinny: He has the chance to be a big-time receiving tight end, and seems to fit the mold the Gators are looking for at the position.

Chances he plays in 2012: 80 percent.

Colin Thompson, Tight end

6-foot-4, 252 pounds

Rivals rating: Four stars.

The skinny: He's the potential blocking presence the Gators are looking for at tight end.

Chances he plays in 2012: 90 percent.

Quinteze Williams, Defensive end

6-foot-5, 255 pounds

Rivals rating: Three stars.

The skinny: With the lack of depth at defensive end, Williams should have a chance to grab the coaches' attention early in preseason camp. He's physically mature.

Chances he plays in 2012: 60 percent.

Contact Robbie Andreu at 352-374-5022 or andreur@gvillesun.com. Also check out Andreu's blog at Gatorsports.com.

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