The position with some of the best depth for Florida will become a top priority in recruiting this year. UF is set to lose seven linebackers in the next two years, leaving just four (after 2009 commit Jelani Jenkins gets on campus) on UF’s active roster.
UF only signed two last year – Jenkins and Jon Bostic – and has yet to get any this year. But it’s still early and plenty of top linebackers are highly interested in the Gators.
Gerald Christian – West Palm Beach, Dwyer – 6-foot-3, 220 pounds – Christian has told me numerous times that it’s just a matter of time before he commits to UF. The thing is that he’s a tight end/linebacker prospect. He said he’s being recruited by UF as a tight end, but you never really know what will happen until these kids get on campus. At either position, Christian is a beast. He’s got great speed and athleticism and will fit in well no matter where he plays at UF.
Gideon Ajagbe – Coconut Grove, Ransom Everglades – 6-foot-2, 197 pounds – Ajagbe is one of the most athletic pure linebackers in this class. He’s fast like a safety but is still strong like a linebacker should be. He’s a little light in the weight department, but that all changes when you get in a college workout plan. UF has been the leader for some time and I don’t see that changing, though North Carolina is a close second. He fits the mold of the prototypical Gator linebacker.
Jeff Luc – Port St. Lucie, Treasure Coast – 6-foot-1, 230 pounds – Luc is a special prospect on name alone, but he’s also got the game to go along with it. He’s the No. 10 prospect in the country, according to Rivals.com, and he certainly backs it up. He’s the best pure linebacker in the country and he hits harder than anyone I’ve seen at the high school level in a while. He can play inside and outside. He drops into coverage well and has the speed to get in the backfield consistently or chase down opponents from behind. He’s visited UF this spring, but has been down to Miami a bunch. He says he’s open at this point and it’ll be a while before he really does anything.
Khairi Fortt – Stamford, Conn. – 6-foot-3, 220 pounds – Fortt is one of the top prospects in the country this year and he’s one of the faster linebackers in 2010. He plays a lot of inside, but with his speed, and body type he’ll probably move over to outside in college. Fortt is from the Northeast and UF has had some success there lately, but it’ll still be a battle to get him away from the likes of Penn State and Notre Dame. He’s pretty open at the moment and if he makes a trip down to Gainesville, I expect the Gators to fly up his list.
Jordan Hicks – West Chester, Ohio, Lakota West – 6-foot-2, 210 pounds – Hicks is another outside linebacker who can drop back into the secondary with ease. He’s fast off the line and hits with some nice force. He’s a top-20 player according to Rivals and would fit nicely in Florida’s scheme. He’s got the Gators on his list of favorites and has talked about making it down to Gainesville at some point. He has no leaders right now.