<
>
Insider

UF's big junior day: What does it mean?

2/20/2012

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Florida's recruiting coordinator and wide receivers coach Aubrey Hill had a pretty memorable birthday on Saturday.

The Gators landed six verbal commitments including five-star running back Kelvin Taylor (Belle Glades, Fla./Glades Day), for whom Hill was the primary recruiter. Hill also helped Florida land talented St. Petersburg (Fla.) Lakewood wide receiver Rodney Adams.

Taylor was a big pick-up for the Gators. Florida has struggled to land top backs over the last six years due in large part to running the spread offense. With the addition of Taylor and Adam Lane (Winter Haven, Fla./Winter Haven) the Gators have two running back commitments who are ranked with five- and four-stars, respectively, by ESNPU.

Taylor suggested Florida could be finished at the running back position for the 2013 class. But later on Saturday, Florida offered four-star running back Alvin Kamara from Norcross (Ga.) Norcross HS. Kamara is also a dangerous receiving threat out of the backfield, which means UF could look to add another hybrid-type who could play the slot and/or running back positions. St. Petersburg (Fla.) St. Pete Catholic back Ryan Green is another speedy back whom Florida is considering.

The Gators also gave out new offers to Miami commit Keith Bryant and Madison (Fla.) Madison County cornerback prospect Shedrick Williams.

In addition to the two offensive prospects landed on Saturday, Florida added key players at the safety and linebacker positions. Both are positions of need.

Five-star Nick Washington and ESPNU Watch Lister Keanu Neal give Florida a combination of athletic ability and physicality at the safety position. Marcell Harris (Orlando, Fla./Dr. Phillips), another safety, also enjoyed his visit. Despite the two safety commits on Saturday, Florida is still working hard to get pledges from Harris and Seffner (Fla.) Armwood safety Leon McQuay III.

Florida head coach Will Muschamp has made it a priority to get bigger defensively, particularly in Florida's linebacker corp. Linebackers Quinton Powell (Daytona Beach, Fla./Mainland) and Dillan Lawson (Crestview, Fla./Crestview) on Saturday joined James Hearns (Tallahassee, Fla./Lincoln) and Daniel McMillian (Jacksonville, Fla./First Coast) as Florida linebacker commits.

The four linebacker commits average 6-foot-2.5, 218-pounds. That may not seem that big, but considering the players are juniors in high school, they will be bigger by the time they arrive on campus.

Tennessee cornerback commit Mackensie Alexander was a popular guy on his visit to Florida. Alexander spent most of his time with the Florida coaches, and was the last player to leave his visit. Though he remains committed to Tennessee, Florida and Miami are strong contenders for his services. Alexander and Tampa (Fla.) Wharton corner Vernon Hargreaves III might be the top two corner prospects on Florida's board.

The addition of Adams is just the start of things for the Gators wide receiver class. Florida will take a minimum of four receivers but more likely five. Reggie Davis (Tallahassee, Fla./Lincoln) visited, but UF's coaches are still waiting to see him play this year before extending an offer. The Gators are going all out for five-star receivers Ahmad Fulwood (Jacksonville, Fla./Bishop Kenny) and Stacy Coley (Oakland Park, Fla./Northeast). Coley visited Florida this weekend, and the Gators remain Coley's top school, but he is not ready to make a decision yet.

Florida also offered Marqui Hawkins (Columbus, Ga./Carver) on Saturday, though Hawkins wasn't on a visit to Gainesville.

Though this junior day was a rousing success for Florida, things won't be slowing down anytime soon. The Gators will host another junior day on March 3.

ESPN.com recruiting reporter Derek Tyson can be reached by email at DerekTysonESPN@gmail.com or you can follow him on Twitter at DerekTysonESPN.