At 7 am eastern time the first moment high school recruits can officially fax in letters of intent (LOI’s) to the prospective school of their choice, the Florida Gators fax machine cranked out the first LOI of the day from cornerback and class recruiter Quincy Wilson. It’s only fitting that the face of this recruiting class and self appointed lead recruiter would be the first to fax in his LOI. Shortly thereafter receiver Ryan Sousa faxed his in. Sousa has been a quiet member of this recruiting class after flipping to the Gators from his original commitment to FSU. He was, however, solid throughout and never wavered. He’ll have plenty of opportunity for early playing time as the Gators seek production from a position that has lagged for four years.
One of the most drama filled recruitments in this class for the Gators was cornerback J.C. Jackson who had also flipped from a prior commitment to the Noles. Almost from the moment he committed to the Gators many felt he ultimately would not stick. The Seminoles tried their best to get him to flip back and he was courted very hard towards the end of his recruitment by the Miami Hurricanes. After taking multiple trips to Miami following his official visit to Florida and subsequently spurning the Seminoles by refusing to take an official there, many had thought he may end up in Miami. However, after taking a surprise unofficial to Florida this past weekend it appeared he was solid to the Gators and this morning he faxed in his paperwork and is now a Florida Gator. This ended one of the more interesting recruitments of this cycle.
Next up for the Gators was ESPN top 100 defensive tackle Khairi Clark another solid member of this class who was very vocal in his recruitment of other players. Clark’s presence will be necessary as the Gators seek to find players to fill the shoes of Dominique Easley next season.
Athlete Deiondre Porter who himself had flipped late to the Gators from South Florida and defensive end Justus Reed have both faxed in their LOI’s as well bringing the number to signed Gator players to 15 including the nine early enrollees.
Tight end is a position of high need in this cycle with the total lack of production from the spot last season after Jordan Reed left for the NFL and Kent Taylor transferring out. Two of the three tight end commits are in, Moral Stephens and Cyontai Lewis and both will have the opportunity for early playing time as they seek playmakers at the position.
It appears that the Gators have flipped quarterback Treon Harris from the Seminoles predicted here. This is very important for the Gators after losing their two main backup quarterbacks to transfer after the season, Tyler Murphy and Max Staver. The staff made it obvious they were seeking a second qb in this class after Will Grier and wanted a dual threat qb. Harris was the only guy they targeted from the moment Kurt Roper was announced as the new offensive coordinator and kudos to the staff as they did what they had to do to get their guy. Harris was adamant that he wanted to play qb in college and FSU and Auburn the other two schools he considered both offered him as an athlete. The Gators made it clear they wanted him as a qb and would give him every opportunity to compete for the starting job alongside incumbent Jeff Driskel and Will Grier.
ESPN top 100 offensive tackle who the Gator staff targeted early on as their top offensive line recruit has faxed in his LOI and is now a Gator. Despite flirting with Georgia through much of his recruitment he eventually committed to the Gators and remained solid throughout. He’ll be counted upon to lead a large offensive line class which will be rebuilt this season with a new offense being installed by Kurt Roper.
After missing out on top receiver recruits Ermon Lane, Eric Lauderdale, and Isaiah McKenzie, the Gators finally were able to get their second receiver for the class flipping another FSU commit, C.J. Worton, who announced his commitment to the Gators this morning. That makes four players that Muschamp and his staff have flipped from rival FSU in this cycle and 9th recruit the Gators have flipped overall. Worton was the top receiver in Dade county this year and led his team to the class 8a state title. He’ll be an important part of the regenerated Gator offense as they switch to a spread attack this season.
Gerald Willis has officially faxed in his LOI to Florida. The ESPN top 100 and #2 positionally defensive tackle had made a huge surprise splash choosing the Gators during the Army All American game over the home state LSU Tigers. Willis’ mom April Justin is famous for her rather sour reaction to another son Landon Collins commitment to the Crimson Tide over LSU. Justin has made it clear she is a huge Tiger fan but this time there was no sour reaction only support for her son’s decision to attend Florida. Willis is a top flight talent and headlines a top rated defensive line class along with tackle Khairi Clark. Both will be counted upon to come in and provide depth and possibly compete for starting jobs on the interior of the defensive line which lost both Dominique Easley and Damien Jacobs after last season.
On Monday, the Gator staff was informed that top offensive tackle recruit Damien Prince would not be coming to Gainesville but would stay close to home at Maryland. The staff immediately went to work contacting Tucson, Arizona Sabino high school offensive tackle Andrew Mike who had committed to Vanderbilt on Monday. He had taken an official to Florida three weekends ago and appeared to be strongly considering the Gators but when it appeared the staff may land top choice Prince, Mike went with a fallback choice in Vanderbilt. When the staff contacted him he quickly flipped his commitment to the Gators. He has now faxed in his LOI and is officially a Gator.
The final LOI is in and its offensive guard Travaris Dorsey. A long time commit, he will compete for playing time right away as the Gators lost the interior of their offensive line to graduation.
Everyone who was committed or expected are signed, sealed, and delivered. The only remaining recruit on the Gators board that may announce for Florida is cornerback Adoree Jackson.
So with Adoree Jackson signed with USC and Lorenzo Carter expected to sign with Georgia, the Gators 2014 signing class is complete. Once again they went o-fer on ESPN signing day announcements. Not to despair, however, as the Gators signed another top ten class nationally and met their needs positionally and depth-wise with loads of great talent. Will Muschamp continues to build a solid foundation for the Gator program with this class following on the heels of a top five class last year. With the 2015 class in Florida looking like one of the deepest and most talented in recent memory and the staff setting itself up nicely to reel in a nice haul, the Gators could very well be building the foundation of another championship run.