I said it on National Signing Day and I’ll say it again: Florida is going to have the greatest recruiting class of all-time in 2010. I haven’t seen a year this loaded with talent in a while and Florida is snatching up some of the best athletes out there.
Of Florida’s 12 commitments so far, one is rated a five-star prospect (Matt Elam) and nine are four-star recruits, according to Rivals.com. Scout.com has Elam again being the only five-star and rates five of Florida’s other commits as four-star prospects. It’s not even May, so these rankings are sure to rise as the year goes on.
With all the talent in hand, one has to wonder how Florida will finish its class. There’s no doubt more top players are jockeying for positions in this class. Not to mention the lesser-known talents (like athlete Marcus Smith of Columbus, Ga., Hardaway) who are trying to earn a committable offer from the Gators.
Basically, it’s a good situation to be in if you’re one of Florida’s coaches. The only potential (and I stress potential) problem is that with so many more months to go until National Signing Day in 2010, there’s bound to be attrition in this class and there are bound to be players who are hot for the Gators now but might not be so willing to take that offer later. It’s just how recruiting goes.
Urban Meyer has never been into taking guys this early, but with a dozen players verbally committed before summer workouts begin, he’s starting to soften up to the thought of having an early signing period.
“We’ve kind of taken the bait and we’ve got some commitments now,” Meyer said earlier this spring. “I’m not a big fan of it, but I understand we’ve got a job to do and the good thing is, at Florida we get to meet all these guys and spend time with them before they commit.”
That’s precisely why guys like Smith, Douglas, Ga., Coffee County cornerback Pernell Williams and Jacksonville, First Coast defensive end Tavaris Barnes have had to wait. They’ve all tried to commit to Florida in the last month, but have been told by the staff to chill out and take some time. They want to be Gators – and already consider themselves Gators – but Meyer’s philosophy is that he wants to see these guys in action first. So it’s spring games and summer camps for the guys he’s unsure of.
It will be interesting to see how the staff goes about accepting commitments this summer. There are going to be about 1,000 kids on campus this summer “trying out” for a spot on this team at summer camps. And of course, expect to see one of the finest Friday Night Lights ever in late July. Quarterbacks, running backs, receivers, linebackers, linemen – you name it, they’ll be here.
Florida’s class will probably end at about 24 or 25 recruits, so there figures to be even more excitement and drama in the next 10 months.
Players are going to look elsewhere. Players are going to jump up Florida’s board. Players are going to plummet. The fact of the matter is that Meyer and his staff can do whatever they please this year as far as who they want to woo the most and who they want to keep in their back pockets.
For all the players who decide Gainesville isn’t the right spot for them, Meyer will just scroll through his BlackBerry and hit up someone else just dying to get a text, instant message or email from the top program going right now. Everyone wants to be a Florida Gator in 2010.