Latest Updates on Top Gators Targets as We Close on National Signing Day
With National Signing Day just two weeks away, most coaches around the nation are scrambling to fill recruiting classes and fulfill promises of grandeur to fan bases across the country.For the Gators, Coach Will Muschamp is simply looking for the icing on the cake.
With news of Robert Nkemdiche's recent visit, the Gators can potentially reel in the No. 1 player in the country according to Rivals.com, but Nkemdiche isn't the only big name left on Florida's big board.Read on for updates on six of the top recruiting targets for the Florida Gators in 2013.
ROBERT NKEMDICHE, DE
As published by Bleacher Report, as well as various other sources including Nkemdiche's Twitter account, the No. 1 player in the nation according to Rivals.comvisited the University of Florida this past weekend, and came away impressed.He was so impressed, in fact, that he was quoted by Kipp Adams of ESPN as saying:
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.
Then again, he also stated that he wanted to see if he would bond with Ole Miss coaches and players as well as he did with the boys in blue, which is a bit odd considering that he has visited the Ole Miss campus unofficially at least four times since decommitting from Clemson last summer.
There has even been speculation that he only visited Florida in hopes of convincing the top-rated cornerback in the nation, Vernon Hargreaves III, to visit Ole Miss. While that speculation is doubtful, so is the likelihood of Florida landing Nkemdiche.
JALEN RAMSEY, CB
Five-star cornerback, Jalen Ramsey, a long-time University of Southern California commit, seems to be wavering despite reports (via Rivals.com Southeast Recruiting Analyst Woody Wommack's Twitter account) that he is still solidly committed to USC. Wommack's tweet comes in response to this bit of speculation from Ramsey's Brentwood Academy teammate and Florida commitment, Max Staver:
@maxstaver: GatorNation gonna be getting some good news real soon from my boy. #teamBA
The "real soon" timeframe seems to have passed, however, as it's been over a week since Staver's prediction, and Ramsey has since opened the door to FSU after taking an official visit to Tallahassee last weekend. While the Gators still appear to be in the mix, flipping Ramsey's commitment doesn't seem as cut and dry as it did just seven days ago.Ramsey is expected to take in-home visits from Florida, Florida State, and USC over the next two weeks, according to The Tennessean.
MONTRAVIOUS ADAMS, DL
Adams, another five-star recruit with his eye on Florida, recently took an official visit to Gainesville, marking the second time that the 6'3," 300-pounder has visited Muschamp and company. Like Nkemdiche, Adams left feeling the love, remarking to GatorSports.com, "I think it's a great place and I could see myself going there."
It was reported in October that his mother also thought highly of Florida, making a commitment from Adams' more plausible. But, despite his high praise, it seems like a long shot that Adams will end up in this class.If he does, it will likely be due to his relationship with Florida's Hall of Fame defensive line coach, Bryant Young.
According to Blake Alderman of InsidetheGators.com:
One thing is for sure the Gators will still be in good graces for other targets like Montravius Adams with defensive line back Bryant Young as their main recruiter. Adams has been incredibly complimentary of Young during this recruiting cycle.
While we'll know much more after Adams completes his official visits, but we won't know for sure until February 6.
JAYNARD BOSTWICK, DE
While not as highly-touted as the first three commits on this list, Bostwick is probably the most likely to end up in the Gators' class. Despite his "low" ranking, his offer list is as impressive as anyone in the country, boasting scholarship offers from Alabama, Miami, Florida, and Notre Dame, among others.
It could be said that Bostwick is a backup plan for Adams, Nkemdiche, and even recent FSU-commit Demarcus Walker, but he is an impressive recruit in his own right, one which the Gators would be lucky to land.According to Corey Long of ESPN.com, Bostwick has narrowed his choices down to Miami, Florida, and Alabama. He will make his selection at his high school on National Signing Day.After visiting Miami this past weekend, expect Bostwick to be in Gainesville either next weekend, or the final weekend before signing day.
TASHAWN BOWER, DE
It's being reported that Bower's commitment to the Auburn Tigers is wavering, opening the door for the Gators, amongst others, to make a run at the 6'5", 241-pound defensive end. Though he remains committed, he told Adam Friedman of Rivals.com: "Me flipping really depends on how the visits go. I'll put the positives and negatives together and kind of go from there."
As with Bostwick, it could be said that Bower is a backup plan for other, more highly-touted recruits, but the reality is that guys like Robert Nkemdiche and Montravius Adams are likely long-shots, at this point. This makes landing recruits like Bower and Bostwick a priority for Muschamp and company.
Bower seemed to enjoy his trip to Florida, but he still has visits to Auburn and LSU remaining before he makes his decision on National Signing Day.
QUINTON POWELL, LB
Former Gator commit, Quinton Powell, has narrowed has list possible destinations down to two: Florida and USC. (h/t SB Nation)Considering his de-commitment came as somewhat of a surprise, the fact that he has re-entered the fold isn't a shocking development. In fact, there has been speculation that Powell doesn't even hold a committable offer from Lane Kiffin and the Trojans.
Rated as the 190th prospect in the Rivals250, Powell appears a bit undersized for his projected position of linebacker, as well as a bit afraid of competition. But from all accounts, his play speaks for itself.Despite having four linebackers already committed to this year's class, I expect Powell to end up back in the Gators' 2013 class as well.
Reece Brassler is a Contributor for the Bleacher Report. Click here to read more of his work.