I asked Florida fans if they would consider him Will Muschamp’s biggest commitment should he choose the Gators. This also begs the question — who have been the biggest commits to this point?
Muschamp has signed a consensus top-10 class in the past three recruiting cycles, and there were elite players in each one.
Here are The Sun’s five best based on rankings, the importance of the pledges, how the recruitments played out and the production/potential of the prospects.
1. Vernon Hargreaves III, Tampa Wharton
Highest ranking: No. 1 CB and No. 2 nationally by Rivals
The skinny: Just one year into his collegiate career, it’s clear that Hargreaves is the best overall player Muschamp has signed since becoming Florida’s coach. He committed to UF the day before Friday Night Lights after visiting more than a dozen schools that summer. The consensus five-star recruit was the 2012 Class 8A Player of the Year, among other honors, and he continued accumulating accolades last season as a true freshman.
2. Dante Fowler Jr., St. Petersburg Lakewood
Highest ranking: No. 2 DE and No. 16 nationally by 247Sports
The skinny: Jonathan Bullard and D.J. Humphries were higher ranked recruits in Florida’s 2012 class, but Fowler has proved to be the best of the bunch. He also went through a dramatic recruitment, flipping from Florida State to UF on signing day after months of flirting with the Gators. Fowler was named to the All-SEC second team in 2013, and ESPN’s Todd McShay currently projects him to go fourth overall in his 2015 mock draft.
3. Kelvin Taylor, Belle Glade Glades Day
Highest ranking: No. 1 RB and No. 8 nationally by ESPN
The skinny: His commitment was a big moment for Muschamp. It had been years since the Gators signed a true tailback with both talent and notoriety, and they got that in Taylor. He had a record-setting high school football career and planned to attend Alabama at one point in his recruitment. The Florida legacy showed his worth in the second half of last season, finishing the year with 508 rushing yards and on the freshmen All-SEC team.
4. Demarcus Robinson, Fort Valley (Ga.) Peach County
Highest ranking: No. 5 WR and No. 52 nationally by Rivals
The skinny: Like Taylor, Robinson was a huge get because he brought a skill set to UF that hadn’t been seen at the receiver position in some time. His crazy recruitment was one for the ages, as he flip-flopped several times between Clemson and Florida before ultimately deciding on the Gators. After playing sparingly in 2013 and missing a total of three games due to suspension, Robinson is expected to break out in his sophomore season following a strong showing in the spring.
5. Treon Harris, Miami Booker T. Washington
Highest ranking: No. 3 dual-threat QB and No. 69 nationally by Rivals
The skinny: You could argue for Harris or Will Grier at this spot, but it has to go to a quarterback. It’s the most important position in football. Muschamp had to sign his QB of the future in this past class, and he inked two All-Americans. Who will win the job down the road is anyone’s guess, but getting Harris was a bigger deal. Landing Grier early and keeping him committed was impressive, no doubt. Harris, however, helped soften the blow of Tyler Murphy transferring and gave the Gators some momentum again in South Florida after losing Dalvin Cook. Also, they stole Harris from the national champions after going 4-8 and switching offensive coordinators.
Honorable mention: Jonathan Bullard, Will Grier, D.J. Humphries, Jalen Tabor, Gerald Willis III