The latest recruiting rankings

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The new Rivals.com team recruiting rankings came out Monday and yet again Florida fell in the rankings. After having one of the top classes in the country a few months ago, Florida fell to No. 5 and is now sitting behind dreaded TENNESSEE at No. 7. Looks like Lane Kiffin is getting the best of the Gators after all.

According to Rivals, of the 17 Gator commits thus far, one is a five-star (Matt Elam), 11 are four-stars and five are three-stars. Florida fell because of some questionable ratings for three of their former four-star prospects. Linebacker Gideon Ajagbe, receiver Solomon Patton and safety Jonathan Dowling were four-star players and now have dropped into the three-star range. None are in the Rivals250.

I’ll start by saying that ratings are sometimes overrated, but I by no means call myself an expert of talent, so I’m in no position to rate players myself. These Rivals guys get paid to break down everything about players and they should know more than I. With that said, I have to respectfully disagree with dropping both Patton and Dowling. Ajagbe is an athletic beast, but he could be a “tweener” on defense, so I can see why you would feel shaky about making him a four-star prospect. He might also be a coach’s dream because he could play both linebacker or safety.

But Patton is one of the fastest receivers I’ve seen. In a world where the spread is dominating college football, he’s the perfect slot guy. Through eight games this season, Patton has 46 catches for 563 yards and five touchdowns. He’s run the ball 17 times for 287 yards with an 86-yard score. I don’t know what the talent level is like in southern Alabama, but this kid can play. He’s not the biggest guy (he’s a very generous 5-foot-10), but he plays big and has good hands. Maybe it’s his route running. I don’t know.

Dowling … it’s hard for me to know what this is all about. ESPN has him ranked as the No. 7 player in the country and Scout.com ranks him the fifth-best safety. Rivals says he’s the 42nd-best athlete in the nation. I’m sorry, but after seeing him dominate on both offense and defense over the summer, he’s far from being No. 42 anything in the country. He’s primarily playing defense this year and has just seven catches for 126 yards, but four of those catches have been touchdowns. I couldn’t find any defensive stats for him, but I find it hard to believe his skill has suffered dramatically since July.

Here’s how the top-10 rankings look from Rivals, Scout and ESPN:

Rivals
1 Texas (19 commits)
2 Penn State (20)
3 LSU (22)
4 Oklahoma (24)
5 Alabama (21)
6 Tennessee (20)
7 Florida (17)
8 Georgia (18)
9 USC (14)
10 Texas A&M (20)

Scout
1. Oklahoma (24)
2. Penn State (20)
3. Texas (19)
4. Alabama (21)
5. LSU (22)
6. Georgia (18)
7. Tennessee (20)
8. Florida (17)
9. Oklahoma State (23)
10. Texas A&M (20)

ESPN
1. Florida (17)
2. Texas (19)
3. Georgia (18)
4. Alabama (21)
5. Tennessee (20)
6. LSU (22)
7. Penn State (20)
8. Oklahoma (24)
9. USC (14)
10. Ohio State (13)

14 COMMENTS

  1. When it all shakes out,i can promise you that urban meyer and his staff will have a top three class. Being honest with a prospective student athlete will definitely help you in the long run. Telling a youngster he can play immediately when you have 6 upperclassmen ahead of him will hurt you especially when you try to recruit future kids from his high school. The kid becomes disenchanted from his lack of playing time,etc. The GATOR coaching staff does give freshmen the opportunity to compete right away if you are good enough. Whether you are a 10 star recruit or a 2 star recruit,HONESTY is the BEST POLICY and the potential signee will remember what you told them during the recruiting process. Other schools might promise TRUE FRESHMEN that they will play right away but HOW MANY TRUE FRESHMEN actually make an immediate impact in the SEC !!!

  2. Some of this is about readership and subscriptions for these “recruiting sources.” If all the player rating stayed about the same, why would anyone really pay much attention? since they add stars and drop stars from kids’ ratings, it makes for good conversation, debate and interest. When all is said and done, Urban Meyer’s class will rank right about where danny jack forecast: top three.

  3. Edward: how about providing us a “revised 2009 recruiting rating” that takes into account the guys who never were admitted to their schools of choice from February? I’ve heard someone does a September list basedf on which recruits actually got into their schools. It might be fun to see how F$U, Tennessee et al compare with our Gators. Thanks for your good reporting, too!

  4. Hey ED, I heard that there were some Seminole commits that have begun to look elsewhere. matter of fact, gator Country is reporting that some of them are showwing the gators some interest, Whats up with that?

  5. Getting the position players that we need ( esp wide receiver, D line, LB) that fit our system is far more important than subjective ratings that vary from service to service. I can assure you, that when all is said and done, we will all like this class.

  6. Rivals primarily does there rankings by who is recruiting a player. Want proof? Look at FSU’s rankings this decade as compared to their on the field performance. Although entertaining, those rankings are bogus and meaningless in the long run.

  7. I’ve watched Dowling, the kid is a beast – a terrifically gifted athlete that the coaches will drool over once he’s in Gainesville.

    I’m with you, I can’t imagine that there are a handful of players that match his skill set, much less surpass it.

  8. I don’t pay much attention to Rivals anymore. They have really slipped in the last year or so in my opinion. I know a couple of people that work for them and they don’t know anymore about recruting or rating a prospect than I do. As a matter of fact, I have been following recruting since the 70’s and at least played high school football, which is more than I can say about some of Rivals so called experts. I thinlk ESPN has not only passed them, but has left them in the dust in terms of recruiting knowledge and expertise. At least ESPN recruiting analysts like Luginbill played football at the collegiate level and therefore have some first hand knowledge of what they are talking about.

  9. Confused? ESPN has UF ranked 1st. Remember how many players are 4 and 5 star turn out to be busts in college. What the recruiting services do NOT measure is heart. Look how many Division 1A and Division 2 players there are starting in the NFL. Why weren’t they on Division 1 radar screens? And Appalachian State can beat all those top star players at Michigan, and Florida State lost to “inferior” teams.
    Look in a players eyes when you are recruiting him, talk to his parnts and teachers. Then you maybe, can get an idea of his HEART for football!

  10. Snooze………snore………zzzzzzz- Talk to me when after signing day… better yet, talk to me when these guys get on the field. …. You might as well call Beano Cook and see what he thinks of these ratings. Check the NFL guys and see how many stars they had. I trust the coaching staff’s evaluation of talent, and even then I trust they will coach inferior or equal talent to victory.

    Can anyone say BRANDON JAMES?

  11. Ive got a bit of the recruiting bug too.This year will workout.I have a good fealing we will get Dunkley hopefully 6`9 270 pound TE from palatka,Jeff Luc,Jordan Hicks,a couple more guys.The SS position is full of hybrid guys that can play O or D we need that O though.look at it we probley will loose 85% of our starters on both sides of the ball.we will have Knew QB,TE hernandez has NFL written all over him,3 out of 5 OL NFL,DE both starters NFL,DT seniors,LB need I say anything,CB (Whow)FS,SS,These recruits se whats up we are the champs.We will win if we are 1,6,10 having the best coach in the NCAA gets the job done with plenty of talent to spare.Next year will be tough with the head superhero on our side we will pull through Thaks !(Urbin)and as for the recruits that choose some other team good luck we dont need you anyway hope you like watching UF run the NCAA .I admit I thought we had a good staff,but they just keep grinding and seem to always get the job done.So let the insiders talk at the end of the day we still are the CHAMPS!Look at the media now always trying to put Florida down wile building up the dreamers like NDame,BYU,Ohio state ,MIAMI still pretenders,it is what it is,we will have the #1 class.so just sit back and watch our staff,the best staff go on and get it done.IF you aint a gater your gator baite.