With exactly two weeks left to signing day for the 2014 recruiting cycle the Gator staff is working hard to close out a top ten class. They also have their eye on the 2015 class as well.
With recruiting starting earlier and earlier, the Gators already have a commitment for the 2016 class, it’s very important the staff get on recruits early and continue to build the relationship as the recruits approach their senior season. Here are some top targets for the 2015 recruiting cycle.
With quarterback depth taking a hit after this past season with Tyler Murphy and redshirt freshman Max Staver transferring out, one of the top positions of need will be at quarterback. With the Gators switching to a spread offense for the upcoming season the staff is looking for a solid dual threat quarterback. The guy at the top of their board is Plantation, Florida American Heritage qb Torrance Gibson. Gibson, 6’4 190, is a big strong guy who has a decent arm and great pocket presence. He’s athletic enough to escape the pocket, he can throw on the run, and he has great speed. As a junior, Gibson passed for 1864 yards and 19 td’s and rushed for 1032 yards and 10 td’s while leading American Heritage to the Florida class 5a state championship.
He is a teammate of receiver/athlete Isaiah McKenzie one of the top targets left for the Gators in the 2014 class. Coach Muschamp visited with both McKenzie, who had his official visit to Florida this past weekend, and Gibson yesterday.
Another top target on offense will be wide receiver George Campbell from Tarpon Springs, Florida East Lake high. Campbell, 6’5 200, and Under Armour All American, is the top wide receiver and number two rated player overall nationally according to ESPN. He is a tall receiver with good hands and great speed (4.36 40). Suffice it to say every school in the country is recruiting Campbell, he was previously committed to Michigan, but it is important for the staff to lock down this top in-state talent.
American Heritage high school is loaded with talent and another top 2015 recruit the Gators are after is Rivals five star cornerback Tarvarus McFadden. At 6’3 195, he’s tall and rangy which fits the mold Muschamp likes at the position. He has great speed and is electric with the ball in his hands on special teams. As a corner, he’s fearless in press coverage and a head hunter in run support. Rivals has him ranked as the third best corner and the #15 player overall.Considering how well Muschamp has recruited defensive backs, he’s one to keep a close eye on. McFadden also received a visit from Muschamp on Tuesday along with Gibson and McKenzie.
With the Gators missing on their top targets at linebacker in this cycle they will put a premium on bringing a good group next season. The top guy on their board is Jeffrey Holland from Jacksonville, Florida Trinity Christian. Holland, 6’3 232 is the top linebacker and number eight overall recruit in the nation according to ESPN. He’s a very active and disruptive player who is unblockable as a pass rusher and equally strong against the run. Holland is a versatile player who has lined up at linebacker, running back and even split out at receiver at times. Right now he’s the staff’s top defensive target for 2015. As expected, Holland is being recruited by everybody but Alabama and FSU are the Gators top competitors for his signature.
Another linebacker to keep an eye on is Ricky DeBerry, 6’2 240, out of Richmond, Virginia St. Christopher’s. Deberry is a hard hitting speedster who has good size and a nose for the football. As a pass rusher, he has a quick first move and is very athletic for his size. He recently tweeted good things about UF after getting a visit from the staff.
Man I love Florida!!!! I can’t wait to get back #gatornation 🐊”
Defensive end CeCe Jefferson, 6’3 248, from Baker County high in Glen St. Mary’s, Florida is the Gators top target at the position. They have been recruiting him for some time now and he and Holland are certainly their top two defensive targets for the 2015 recruiting cycle. He’s another top talent and ESPN top 100 member that is being recruiting by every major university. Bama and FSU are both ones to watch here in addition to the Gators.
With the Gators lack of production offensively the last few season, they are definitely in the hunt for playmakers. They’re looking for home run threats. Guys they can get the ball to in space who can take it to the house. A 2015 guy that definitely fits that bill is Tyrone, Georgia Sandy Creek high running back Eric Swinney, 5’11 190. He has the size to run over people, the athleticism to juke people and make them miss with hip steps and side steps, and outstanding speed to flat out run people or run by them. He runs with authority between the tackles and has the speed and vision to bounce outside as well. He reminds me of a faster Kelvin Taylor.
Another quarterback the Gators just offered this week is Deondre Francois, 6’1 180, from Olympia high school in Orlando, Florida. He’s also a duel threat quarterback with good size and a quick release. He’s a somewhat raw talent but did pass for over 1300 yards this past season. Clemson and Louisville could be the teams to beat here.
At tight end, the Gators top target is Miami West Minister Christian’s Devonaire Clarington, 6’6 222. He is the nation’s number two rated tight end in the nation according to 247sports and ESPN. He reminds a lot of people of the Noles Kelvin Benjamin with his height and ability to go up and get the ball over smaller db’s but likely will put on some weight at Florida and be utilized more as a tight end.
Stay tuned to Swamp Music for the latest FREE information regarding Gator recruiting and athletics.