ESPN unveils top 150


The state of Florida dominates ESPN’s top 150 high school football prospect list. The University of Florida? Not quite as much.

The Gators have four verbal commitments on the list, released Wednesday afternoon. Texas leads the way with eight verbals. FSU is next with seven, and Alabama has six. Florida is tied with Southern California and Miami with four apiece.

In a breakdown by state, Florida has 28 players, ahead of Texas (20), California (17), Georgia (13) and Alabama (10) at the top.

As with the recent release of the Rivals 100, the top Gator commit is offensive lineman Jessamen Dunker, ranked 14th overall by ESPN. He is followed by tight end Colin Thompson (No. 83), wide receiver LaTroy Pittman (No. 106) and defensive lineman Omari Phillips (No. 113).

Another Florida verbal, running back Matt Jones, was rated among a handful of players just outside the top 150 who could push their way onto the list.

There are 82 players on the list who have yet to announce their college choice. Here are several who are considering UF …

2. DT Eddie Goldman

3. WR Dorial Green-Beckham

4. DE Noah Spence

7. OT D.J. Humphries

9. WR Stefon Diggs

11. S Travis Blanks

12. QB Gunner Kiel

15. QB Jameis Winston

16. LB Kwon Alexander

19. CB Tracy Howard

22. OT Andrus Peat

24. WR/LB Josh Harvey-Clemons

27. OT John Theus

29. WR Chris Black

30. OT Kyle Murphy

41. WR/S Nelson Agholor

44. DT Jonathan Taylor

46. WR Shaq Roland

51. S Landon Collins

53. DT Ellis McCarthy

63. DE Jordan Jenkins

66. S Deon Bush

67. DE Darius Hamilton

81. DE Jonathan Bullard

91. OT Vadal Alexander

100. DE/LB Tyriq McCord

107. DE Leonard Williams

110. WR Marvin Bracy

119. OT Avery Young

121. ATH T.J. Yeldon

124. DT John Atkins

127. LB Beniquez Brown

130. DE/LB Eli Harold

136. CB Brian Poole

141. DT Carlos Watkins

142. LB Lorenzo Phillips

143. WR Malcolm Lewis

147. TE Kent Taylor


  1. And you wonder why we are having a problem with collegiate athletes and their sense of entitlement. Organizations like ESPN , Gatorsports and various other media organizations waste no time putting these kids on pedestals and then they act shocked and amazed when scandals like the one at Ohio State arise

  2. Hey Jeff,

    Do you have any ideas as to who the Gators have a realistic shot at landing off of that list? Just your gut feeling since that’s probably as accurate as anything else at this point.

  3. Nice article Jeff. Just the facts. I’m still struggling to accept the fact that UF may not dominate recruiting for another year or two.

    Maybe you could write an article about why the recruits are choosing the schools they do. Is it facilities, coaching, NFL chances, location, playing time, academics, chance to win a title….? Because I honestly don’t see how this is happening. How can the top kids in the state choose Stanford, Notre Dame, Auburn, Alabama, or Miami over UF?

  4. JD- Why do kids come to Florida from other states? In my opinion, there are two fundamental reasons and that is either they appreciate what is best for them close to home or they want to spread their wings and get as far away from home as possible. To me, it is simply a mindset because nowadays every coach and every facility is always puting it’s best foot forward to sell recruits. I also believe today that playing time and “me” time (playing at the next level) is more important for some recruits to standout and make a name for themselves over the possibility of being mediocre on continual championship caliber program.

  5. Come on Barlis admit it, you know its guys like you and how you all “bow down” to high school kids who have never taken a snap of college football. It’ definitely PART of the problem we have today. Failure to take partial responsibility just shows your and the media’s hypocrisy.

  6. Don – but, yet the first thing you do when the story is posted is click on it and read then make a comment. Talk about hypocrisy……… So lets just keep the whole recruiting biz top secret until each team announces its opening day roster. Stupid. I, along with most college football nuts enjoy the recruiting season – if you don’t go watch Utube or something else.

  7. Just a reminder that none of these kids has signed anything yet. Do you think the kids that had OSU in their top schools list are now having to rethink the situation? It’s a long time till next February so relax and enjoy the circus(no fsu pun intended)! BTW, Don, if the recriting process bothers you so much, why do you follow it? Get a life!

  8. I agree with Don. The media makes these kids the egotistical monsters they are. Does anyone realize how much attention Terrelle Pryor was getting from the media when he was holding out after signing day to make his decision? And then the media are the ones who bash him for being a jerk. He wouldnt have been so self indulged if the media hadnt made an unproven HS football player a national celebrity before he ever played a down of cfb. I dont have much problems with this specific article but the media does overhype some of these players. Bryce Brown ring a bell? Again, the media was all over this guy when he held out until after signing day. how has his career turned out? So in the end, it shouldnt have even been a story where he ended up signing. I really dont think lists like this should be put out until about half way through the next football season. These kids havent even started their senior year yet. How the heck can anyone accurately rank them right now? Do you know how much a HS age kid can change in a year? Both physically and mentally.

  9. Don & Jonathon,
    Ease up, pump the brakes, you guys are blaming the media for Terrel Pryor taking benefits because he was the big story three years ago. I’m sure it is hard to be given all these perks and props (illegally)as a teen and not get a big ego, but to blame the media is not quite right either. Put the blame where it belongs on programs and coaches that will do anything when they think no one is looking. Look at Truessels past and you see it was lined with wrong doing. Notice they are only singling out Pryor, they know he will get a shot at some team in the bigs but how many other players on that team and the ones before them were given perks and NOT BY THE MEDIA.

  10. The media didn’t make Terrelle Pryor, he made himself. Tebow got even more attention from the media and he is the complete opposite of Terrel. Think Dr. Jekel and Mr. Hyde. Tebow is a respectable man who puts the team first, Terrelle is selfish and ghetto.
    My brother is on full scholarship and is thankful for the education and doesn’t need to hustle on the side. If Terrelle needs more money maybe he can wait tables for $7 an hour like I did in college.

  11. @ Creekgator
    I never said the media caused Terrelle Pryor to take benefits. I said the media makes these guys jerks. Im talking about the sense of entitlement these guys have. That may have played in to Pryor doing what he did but other things do too. So many of these high profile athletes are just self absorbed jack@#$%#. Do you really think being a star before you ever do anything to really be a star doesnt play the most significant factor in that? Sure, a player could be a good person and a star but who really thinks Pryor would have been such a jerk if he had shown up on campus, as he should have, as an unknown who needed to prove himself? To say media exposure doesnt play a significant factor is insane.

  12. @JD

    No, Tebow wasnt as big of a star coming out of HS as Pryor was. Tebow became a big star once he got to college and earned it. Tebow was a high profile recruit but not nearly as high as Pryor. Tebow wasnt even in Scouts or Rivals top 20. Pryor held out for weeks after signing day with the media just showering him with undivided attention the whole time. To think that doesnt warp a HS kids self image is not being realistic.

  13. Jonathon get a grip, that is the world we live in partner….BTW I agree that sometimes these kids are over-sensationalized but that is just part of the process…they have got to learn to deal with it. The media does not make anybody a jerk, if anything the media helps define an individual…Tebow would have not gotten the attention if this were not true. Everybody wants to feel good about the recruits coming to our own schools and the media does a fantastic job reporting it…if they didn’t we wouldn’t be glued to it.

  14. @Jonathon
    Umm…Yes Tebow was just as big of star as Pryor was. You want proof? Look up Tebow high school. You’ll find that Tebow was well documented by ESPN before he even step foot on UF campus as a recruit. So much so that they titled the documentary of Tebow “Chosen One” before he did anything in college. If that’s not as big of a star or bigger than Pryor before college, i dont know what is.

  15. @JMD
    Get a grip yourself. if you are so blind that you cant see that media sensationalism effects these kids then you are too blind and ignorant for me to help. Many, many times former athletes and their families and their coaches have said that media over exposure has effected the kids self image. It gives them a sense of entitlement. If you want to stick your head in the sand and ignore that, be my guest but dont tell me to “get a grip”. A person doesnt have to be too intelligent to understand that immature kids dont handle media exposure the way grown adults can. But heck, even grown adults get effected by it quite often. So how do you think it effects kids.

  16. @ Gatorseverywhere

    Ummmm No, Tebow wasnt as big of a star. As I said before, Tebow wasnt even considered a top 20 recruit. Tebow also didnt have the stage all to himself the way Pryor did. Pryor was the only kid left on the board for weeks and the media ate it up. But believe what you want. The bottom line is, most kids arent like Tebow. Most kids wont handle the media frenzy the way Tebow did. You are using the exception to try and disprove the rule. If everyone was like Tebow, the Tebow would be special now would he? I guess if one person gives up cigarettes with ease, then they arent addictive, right? Since one person did it with no problem, everyone should be able to? Its not a logical line of thinking to say that just because Tebow did it, everyone else should be able to also. Im not saying these kids dont have character flaws to begin with. Just that the media makes the problem much worse. Worse than some kids can overcome.

    • Tebow was rated a five-star QB by Rivals and Scout. The difference in the amount of hype faced by he and Terrelle Pryor was negligible. Tebow’s class also included Matt Stafford and Mitch Mustain, while Pryor was alone as the No. 1 QB. But also, I didn’t see a one-hour documentary on national TV about Pryor or anyone in many, many years of following high school sports. You could easily argue that Tim Tebow was one of the most-hyped athletes in the history of high school sports. The reality is that Tebow and Pryor fall on different ends of the character spectrum, while the vast majority of kids are in between. … I think blaming the media for today’s problems in college football is convenient and lazy, but of course I am biased. The case has to go deeper than simply shooting the messenger, or else it would be easy to point out that the media wouldn’t give these kids attention unless you, the audience, demanded it by making recruiting THE MOST POPULAR SUBJECT in all of sports media (and that is a fact). … I wouldn’t blame college football fans, either. It’s just more complicated than that.

  17. You bring up good points, some of which I hit upon myself. Im not blaming the media alone. But they are huge enablers and they create an atmosphere that a lot of HS kids dont know how to handle. How do you really expect most HS kids to handle constant attention by the media and national media hanging on their every word? Nobody seems to want to address that issue. How exactly do you expect the AVERAGE kid, NOT a kid like Tebow, to handle such fame? They handle it in the same way kids like Pryor and Bryce Brown did. They become arrogant, self absorbed jerks. Sure, coaches can add to the problems, fans can certainly add to the problem, that doesnt mean that the media isnt still the biggest problem. Do you really think its just a coincidence that these kids that are very highly rated and are getting a ton of attention are the ones holding out until after signing day to soak up even more media attention and that they are just absolute jerks?? IE Pryor, B Brown, Seantrel Henderson, J. Clowney?? All rated by major recruiting services as the #1 player, all held out until after signing day and got huge amounts of media attention because of it and all are jerks. Sorry, I dont but thats a coincidence. That is FOUR straight years that Scouts #1 player has held out until after National Signing Day. And they were just coincidentally jerks while 99.9% of all the other kids were able to make their decisions just fine by signing day? And the media attention has nothing to do with it? Come on! The media is the #1 reason this crap happens.

    As far as what people read, sure people will read stuff about recruiting. But as it was said earlier there are other things to write about in concerns to recruiting that ranking kids before they are even seniors. The reason I clicked on this article is simply because its the Gainesville Sun and there wasnt much else to read. Like today, I could come here and respond to a post or read about some dude who gave some kids a few beers or how two guys got in to a fight on a dirt road. Huge competition for attention there! People will read anything about football this time of year. That doesnt mean the media is doing a good job.

  18. This recruiting junk has gotten out of hand and it is definitely fueled by the media and usually immature fans. Most older fans have seen just how many of these players bust when they get to school and could care less about some teenage moron who is holding a news conference to tell everyone where he is going to sign.