With less than two weeks remaining until signing day 2014, the Florida Gators are sitting on 21 commitments with only four slots remaining. With a number of recruits left on the board the Gators appear to be in a numbers crunch. However, the situation should begin to clear up moving forward.
After hosting nine official visitors last weekend, the staff has a much smaller group this weekend with three, two prospective recruits and one committed recruit. The commit is superstar corner and leading recruiter Quincy Wilson.
Every class has that one guy that takes it upon himself to help the staff recruit guys to come to Florida. This year that guy has been Quincy. A highly confident guy, well known and well liked among South Florida recruits, Quincy worked hard to secure commitments from Ermon Lane and Dalvin Cook. When it appeared that those two were slipping in their commitments, Wilson continued to work them hard in hopes of keeping them in the class but to no avail. Nonetheless, Quincy continued to sing the praises of the Gators at every opportunity especially at the Under Armour All American game hamming it up with Gator chomps for the cameras.
Quincy is a social media star and famously battled with good buddy Lane after he decommitted from the Gators tweeting:
“@dc_wilson954: @_MoneyLane lol.. Well I’ll have fun locking you down for the next 3-4 years like I did in high school”
He’s continued to recruit other guys including Brandon Powell who flipped to the Gators from Miami days before enrolling there. He also is working hard on some 2015 recruits as well.
At 6’1 196, Wilson has the prototypical size that head coach Will Muschamp likes at cornerback. He has all the necessary tools to be a great one in college with good speed, quick hips, and outstanding ball skills. However, if he never a does anything significant on the ball field he will have already succeeded with his hard work talking to recruits and certainly has a future as a recruiter once his playing days are over.
Likely the top target coming in this weekend is FSU wide receiver commit C.J. Worton, 6’1 175, from Homestead, Florida. With the loss of Lane and the Gators in need of playmakers, the staff has been scrambling to find a replacement. Worton could be that guy. He was one of the top players in South Florida this year helping lead his South Dade team to a class 8A state championship. He had six catches for 159 yards and three td’s including the game winner.
While he’s been committed to FSU the better part of a year and a half, his commitment has been up in the air for a month or so and the Gators look to be the favorite to flip him. Reportedly his parents are high on UF where his older brother Cody was a walk on and if all goes well there’s a chance he could flip as early as this weekend.
The final recruit coming in this weekend is offensive tackle Andrew Mike, 6’7 270, from Tucson, Arizona. Mike is a recruit the Gators got in on late, likely one that new offensive line coach Mike Summers suggested, but is seriously considering the Gators along with Arkansas, Washington, and the hometown Arizona Wildcats. While there’s some reports that he’s high on the Gators it’s not clear what the staff’s intent is with top target Damien Prince still on the board and coming in to visit next weekend. This one will be a wait and see situation.
Moving forward the picture begins to clear a little but for the Gators. The situation at receiver, while not a huge need in this cycle, becomes a little more dire. With top target Lane off the board and the staff still wanting two more receivers to pair with Ryan Sousa, the next target on their board JUCO receiver Eric Lauderdale appears be drifting away as well.
Long thought to be a Gator lean and admittedly having the Gators as his leader just over one week ago, it now appears as if he’s headed to Arizona State. Originally, he was to take his final two visits to ASU last weekend then Oregon this weekend then make his decision. Coming out of last weekends trip to Tempe, however, Lauderdale announced he would not be tripping to Oregon and would make his decision known this Saturday.
Anytime a commit shuts things down coming off a visit that bodes well for the team he just visited. Reports out of ASU recruiting sites are that he was blown away on his official visit and he has decided in ASU. That’s a huge blow to the Gators who were extremely high on this kid as they felt he could come in and start right away giving them another big, strong downfield target. The fact that the Gators led for much of the process makes the sting all the much worse.
Expect the staff to put the pressure on Worton and Isaiah McKenzie who visited last week and whom the staff thinks they stand a good chance with. Speaking of McKenzie, the staff visited with him in Tuesday just a few days after his official which shows the importance the staff has put on bringing him in. For what it’s worth, it’s likely a Notre Dame/Florida battle here and both sides feel good about their chances. He does, however, visit Notre Dame this weekend.
The staff has been hard at it on the road trying to close out this cycle strong as well getting the jump on some 2015 prospects. One 2014 guy they visited this past week was top offensive tackle target Damien Pribce, 6’5 205 from a District Heights Maryland. Long thought to be a Maryland lock due to proximity to home, the staff appears to have made up a lot of ground and reportedly has sold his mom on him going to UF. If true that bodes well for the Gators as mom often tends to be quite influential. This will he a signing day decision but the feeling here is the Gators are in a good spot.
Another of last weekend’s visitors that the Gators feel good about is FSU commit Treon Harris. The staff conducted an in-home visit this past week after his official visit and, while the family has been somewhat non-committal in terms of tipping his hand, reports are that they stand a great chance at flipping Harris by signing day.
One commit that the staff appeared to lock up last weekend was cornerback J.C. Jackson who had been trending away from his commitment to the Gators. FSU head coach Jimbo Fisher conducted an in-home with Jackson this past week to see if they could flip him back to the Noles the team he originally committed to. One thing in the Gators favor is Jackson’s family reportedly are Gator fans and want him at UF.
As usual, stay tuned to Swamp Music for the latest in FREE Gator recruiting and athletic news, analysis, and opinion.