- Derek Tyson, RecruitingNation
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- With Florida's 2013 class starting to wind down, it's time to start spotlighting the 2014 recruiting class. In the second of a two-part series, GatorNation gives you a list of 14 players, seven on offense and seven on defense to keep an eye on for next year. Yesterday we did the offensive side of the ball. Today it's on to the defensive side of the all where the Gators have already handed out multiple offers and have one commitment from defensive tackle Travonte Valentine (Palm Bay, Fla./Bayside).
Gerald Willis III, DT, (New Orleans, La./Edna Karr)
Willis, the brother of Alabama freshman safety Landon Collins, camped at Florida in June and came away very impressed with the Gators. In fact, Willis called it the best visit he had been on. Florida tight ends coach, Derek Lewis, is a New Orleans native and the primary recruiter for Willis. The Gators will have their work cut out to beat out Alabama and LSU, but they have certainly laid the groundwork to do so.
Quin Blanding, S, (Virginia Beach, Va./Bayside)
Blanding was one of only two 2014 prospects to compete in the Champions Gridiron Kings tournament in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. The 6-foot-2, 196-pound safety more than held his own. Blanding might be the top-rated safety in the country for 2014. Though Blanding is not ready to name any favorites, the Gators have been recruiting him from the beginning.
Quincy Wilson, CB, (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla./Univ. School of Nova Southeast)
The talented safety earned a Florida offer after camping in June. He has also earned offers from schools such as Ohio State, Clemson, LSU and Auburn. Wilson's father, Chad, played for Miami in the early 90s, and the Canes will be hard to beat. But Wilson insists he is open and has no early plans to narrow down his list of schools.
Duke Dawson, S, (Cross City, Fla./Dixie County)
The versatile athlete from nearby Cross City earned his Florida offer at camp this summer. Dawson, who plays quarterback for his high school team, also earned an offer from FSU after camping in Tallahassee this summer. Dawson admittedly grew up rooting for the Seminoles, but the Gators have made quite an impression and it appears that Florida will be the team to beat early in the process.
Da'Shawn Hand, DE, (Woodbridge, Va./Woodbridge)
Hand will be one of the most highly recruited prospects in the country for 2014. The 6-4, 245 defensive end already has offers from Florida, Alabama, Clemson, FSU, Nebraska, Michigan, Ohio State, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Virginia Tech.
Bryson Allen-Williams, DE, (Ellenwood, Ga./Cedar Grove)
Allen-Williams, son of former NFL player George Williams, received his first offers from Florida and South Carolina on Thursday. The Gators have had success recruiting in Georgia and being the first school to offer carries a lot of weight with some recruits. Allen-Williams is also hearing from Georgia, Auburn, Alabama and Wisconsin.
Andrew Williams, DE, (McDonough, Ga./Eagle's Landing)
The athletic defensive end attended Florida's Friday Night Lights and came away impressed with the Gators. Williams is sure to be one of the top defenders in the South in 2014. Though it's till early in the process, Williams has garnered offers from schools such as Florida, Florida State, Virginia Tech, Texas and Missouri.
3dGreg Ostendorf and Alex Scarborough