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Insider

Florida loaded with talented safeties

3/8/2012
Tom Hauck for ESPN.com

GAINESVILLE, Fla. --With two early safety commits from Watch List players Nick Washington and Keanu Neal, Florida could realistically be done recruiting the position. But with so many talented safeties on Florida's board, the Gators are almost certain to take one or two more.

Florida junior Matt Elam had a solid season in 2011, and with another strong year he could potentially leave early for the NFL draft. Josh Evans, who saw extensive action in 2011, will be a senior. The Gators are looking to add playmakers and depth to the safety position.

Committed: Nick Washington (Jacksonville, Fla./Trinity Christian) and Keanu Neal (Bushnell, Fla./South Sumter)

Targets: Jamal Carter (Miami, Fla./Southridge), Leon McQuay III (Seffner, Fla./Armwood), Marcell Harris (Orlando, Fla./Dr. Phillips), Leroy Clark (Miami, Fla./Archbishop Carroll), Su'a Cravens (Murietta, Calif./Vista Murietta), Vonn Bell (Rossville, Ga./Ridgeland)

Overview: Florida added two excellent players with Washington and Neal. Washington has the versatility to play either cornerback or safety but will start off as a safety. He is also an excellent baseball prospect and could potentially be an early-round draft pick. Neal is a very physical safety who plays a lot in the box in his high school scheme. At 6-foot-1, 205 pounds, Neal could potentially grow in to an outside linebacker on the next level.

Harris recently visited Florida for its junior day and is planning to visit again over the spring along with several visits to other schools. Harris, a Florida legacy, has not named a favorite, but the Gators are certain to be near the top of his list when he does. McQuay has taken some recent visits, but the Gators still lead for the talented prospect from Seffner, Fla. McQuay, a five-star free safety, is expected to make a decision sometime over the summer. Bell was recently offered a scholarship by the Gators and he could potentially visit Gainesville over the spring. Florida was the first major school to offer Clark, and he remains high on the Gators. The question now becomes, will Florida end up turning some of these prospects away? Only time will tell, but the safety position certainly looks like it will be a position of strength for the Gators.