Gator Football National Signing Day Recap
For the second year in row head coach Will Muschamp and his staff flexed their muscle in the state of Florida and around the nation. The Gators are building on the momentum from the 2012 campaign by locking in the number two (ESPN) recruiting class in the nation.
Florida signed 28 young men to this highly touted class that included two 5 star, twenty 4 star, and five 3 star recruits according to espn.com. The stand outs are:
- Kelvin Taylor (5* RB[a]) Glades Day High School, Belle Glade, Fl. #1 running back out of Florida. Look for Taylor to get touches early in the season. He could very well find himself being the premier back by the end of the year. Kelvin Taylor is the son of Florida great Fred Taylor.
- Vernon Hargreaves III ( 5* CB) Wharton High School, Tampa, Fl. #2 prospect in the nation and #1 defensive back in the nation. Hargreaves will certainly see playing time in the Fall whether he is used on defense or special teams. Vernon Hargreaves played lights out during the Under Armor All-American game and was named MVP.
- Daniel McMillian (4* OLB) First Coast High School, Jacksonville, Fl. #16 overall prospect in the nation. Florida will be very young at linebacker next season, so there is a very good chance that McMillian will see playing time during the 2013 season.
- Caleb Brantley (4* DT) Crescent City High School, Crescent City, Fl. #6 defensive tackle in the country. One of four tackles signed by the Gators. Look for Brantly to see action, but don’t expect huge numbers right away.
- Jay-Nard Bostwick (4* DT) West Centennial High School, Port Saint Lucie, Fl. #27 defensive tackle in the country. like Brantley he will see minimal time. Bostwick surprised some analysts by not signing a LOI with childhood favorite Miami.
- Alex Anzalone (4* LB) Wyomissing High School, Wyomissing, Pa. #11 Athlete in the Country. Anzalone will play linebacker for the Gators and will definitely see action this upcoming season. Once a Notre Dame verbal commit, Anzalone was flipped by coach Muschamp and will be sporting the orange and blue in the Fall.
The Gators did lose out on big time defensive end Tashawn Bower who had verbally committed to Florida but flipped to the LSU Tigers at the last minute. Originally Bower was verbally committed to Auburn before opening back up his recruitment. The young defensive player would have been a great piece in the rotation for the Gators defensive line, but Coach Boom has a solid group of young and talented defensive lineman arriving on campus in the fall.
On a happier note the Gators were able to flip star linebacker Alex Anzalone away from Notre Dame just a few weeks before National Signing Day. Anzalone will be a name to look for on the playing field come Saturdays in the fall.
The five wideouts the Gators are bringing into Gainesville should send a message to the core group that is already on the roster. The incoming freshman will definitely be given a chance to compete for playing time during Spring practice, and Fall camp. Florida struggled mightily in the passing game during 2012. Jeff Driskel’s best receiving target, Jordan Reed, is heading for bigger and better things by taking his talents to the NFL. Offensive coordinator Brent Pease would like to shore up the receiving corps and give junior quarterback Jeff Driskel some weapons in the passing game. Among the incoming wide receivers is Chris Thompson from Gainesville High. I think it is great that a local kid gets a chance to play for the team he grew up watching and idolizing.
This appears to be a very special class of talented athletes. Coach Muschamp is doing an excellent job changing the culture of the University of Florida football program. The future looks very bright for the Gator Nation.