This is the second in a 10-part series looking at the positional needs and early targets for Florida football in the 2015 recruiting class.
The Gators currently have 19 scholarships available excluding walk-ons. With potential juniors leaving early and inevitable attrition, UF will likely sign 28-30 prospects next year.
Here’s a breakdown of the running back position:
Returning players: Mark Herndon, Matt Jones, Adam Lane, Brandon Powell, Valdez Showers, Kelvin Taylor
Verbal commits: None
Top targets: Chandler Cox, Ray-Ray McCloud III, Jacques Patrick, T.J. Simmons, Dexter Williams
Others offered: Jordan Cronkrite, Taj Griffin, Damien Harris, Tim Irvin, Bryce Love, Eric Swinney
The skinny: Although six backs return in 2015 and only senior Mack Brown will be gone, Florida is looking to sign a pair of prospects at this position in addition to Cox, who is being recruited as a fullback and has the Gators in the lead. They were the early favorite for Patrick, their No. 1 priority, but Florida State has the upper hand right now. However, UF is considered the frontrunner for Williams, another Orlando product who has gained offers from Florida, Georgia, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Tennessee, South Carolina and Southern Cal over the past month.
FSU offered McCloud last week and currently has the edge for the Tampa Sickles standout. The Gators are the team to beat for Simmons of Lakeland Christian, but he has several out-of-state schools pursuing such as Auburn, Clemson, Notre Dame and Ohio State. UF appears to be on the outside looking in for the other running backs with offers.
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