Gators' Top Recruiting Priorities for National Signing Day
With national signing day rapidly approaching, coaches all over the country are trying to put the finishing touches on their 2013 recruiting classes.
Will Muschamp and his coaching staff have put together the No. 1-ranked recruiting class according to ESPN and are still in a position to add to their current 26-man recruiting class. Florida's recruiting class is not only filled with blue-chip prospects but has also addressed depth concerns on both sides of the ball.
While Florida's class is just about full, recruiting is a full-time job and Muschamp still has some work to do. Let's take a look at the Florida Gators top five priorities for national signing day on February 6.
ADD A SURPRISE COMMITMENT
Last year it was Dante Fowler's flip that sent shockwaves through the recruiting world. Will Muschamp has shown a knack for being able to flip recruits (Fowler, Demarcus Robinson, Alex Anzalone, Matt Rolin), and this season Gator fans could be in for another national signing day surprise.
Florida has received interest from the No. 1 overall player in the country, Robert Nkemdiche, and has pulled even with LSU and Ole Miss for Nkemdiche's services (via Kipp Adams)
Really all schools are even for me right now. No school has been kicked down or anything, but I just have to see the other schools and compare them. Florida, Ole Miss and LSU are all battling for that top spot.
Florida is also in the running for 5-star cornerback (according to 247Sports composite rankings) Jalen Ramsey. Ramsey is currently committed to USC, but the Trojans lost their defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach this offseason. The coaching changes have caused Ramsey to re-think his commitment, and he is now considering Florida and FSU. Playing in Florida's favor is Ramsey's teammate Max Staver, who is committed to the Gators.
Muschamp has proven to be a relentless recruiter and will not stop recruiting either player until he officially signs a letter of intent. The Gators have a great recruiting class this year, but adding either of these players would put Florida's class over the top.
HOLD ON TO CURRENT COMMITS
As stated before, the Gators have put together one of the best recruiting classes in the country. As important as it is to continue recruiting other players, it is just as important to hold on to the recruits you have.
Of Florida's 26 commitments, eight have enrolled early. That leaves 18 players who could change their mind between now and national signing day. Holding onto players like Cameron Dillard, Caleb Brantley, Antonio Riles, Vernon Hargreaves III and Rod Johnson should be near the top of Will Muschamp's to-do list.
ADD ANOTHER DEFENSIVE LINEMAN
The Gators are losing a ton of talent on the defensive side of the football, and while they have done a good job recruiting thus far, adding another defensive lineman to fill the void that Sharrif Floyd, Omar Hunter and Lerentee McCray are leaving is paramount.
Currently the Gators have five defensive linemen committed to the class of 2013, but adding one more would give Florida much-needed depth in 2013.
Florida is in the running for Jay-nard Bostwick, Montravius Adams and Jarran Reed and could land one of those prospects on national signing day. Of those three, Bostwick is most likely to end up in orange and blue.
ADD ANOTHER LINEBACKER TO THIS CLASS
The recent decommitment from inside linebacker James Hearns leaves the Gators without a true inside linebacker to replace Jon Bostic.
Florida has four linebackers already committed, including two (Alex Anzalone, Matt Rolin) who are already on campus. Both Anzalone and Rolin are big enough to make the move inside at some point during their careers. If either, or both, end up making the move inside that could open up a spot at outside linebacker.
Quinton Powell committed to the Gators over the summer but decommitted in December. According to Derek Tyson of ESPN, Powell recently narrowed his list down to just Florida and USC.
Powell hosted Will Muschamp at his house on Tuesday night and the visit left Powell with a lot to think about.
@qpowe17: "Coach Muschamp just left my house, man o man this is a hard decision" 1/29/2013 2:45 A.M.
Last year, the Gators struck out on signing day with Nelson Agholor, Stefon Diggs and Josh Harvey-Clemons. With six spots left in the 2013 class, the Gators have room to add some highly-rated recruits and could make a statement with a couple more commitments.
As always, a commitment is never official until a player faxes in his letter of intent and a lot could change between now and national signing day. The Gators are poised to finish with one of the most talented classes in the country, and Gator fans can rest easy knowing that Will Muschamp will be recruiting all the way up to February 6.
Nick De La Torre is a Featured Columnist on Bleacher Report. Click here to read more of his work.