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Thursday, January 10, 2013
GatorNation recruiting mailbag

By Derek Tyson

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- It’s time to dip into the GatorNation recruiting mailbag and answer your questions. Because of the amount of questions we’ve received, we won’t be able to get to all of them today -- but we encourage you to post your questions on our Insider fan forum, The Chompions Club.

idontcareaboutthename: There seems to be a lot of excitement surrounding Duke Dawson's commitment to UF, but I haven't been able to find out much about him (or any highlight videos even) except that he's on the ESPN Watch List. How good is this kid exactly? Who might you compare him to in this year's class?

A: Here are some 1-on-1 highlights of Dawson from the Under Armour National Combine. There is definitely reason Florida fans to be excited. The 5-foot-11, 188-pound athlete camped at Florida and Florida State this summer and immediately earned offers from both schools. He played several positions on offense and defense in high school, but it appears he will be best suited to play safety on the next level. I'd compare him probably to Nick Washington of Florida's current class because of his versatility.

rgterrell: Are we done at DT?

A: In my opinion, Florida would like to sign one more defensive tackle. But with Dominique Easley announcing he will return for his senior season, there isn't a desperate need for another tackle. Junior college DT Jarran Reed will officially visit Florida this weekend. Reed is friends with Darious Cummings, who just enrolled at Florida. Jay-nard Bostwick and Montravius Adams are also solid options. Adams just visited Florida this past weekend, but with several visits remaining for him, Florida has a long way to go.

cliffcraig777: With signing day quickly approaching, which recruits are left on Florida's board in 2013?

A: Well, there are the defensive tackles I mentioned above. Defensive ends Elijah Daniel, Jason Hatcher and Chris Jones are still in the picture. Florida recently offered Jones, so it's hard to gauge just how much interest he has in the Gators. Wide receiver James Clark, running back Alex Collins, cornerback Jalen Ramsey, fullback Kennard Swanson and linebacker Quinton Powell appear to be the top remaining targets. With a month to go until signing day, don't be surprised to see a new name or two pop up on Florida's radar.

kendallland1: with 2013 class coming to a close, should we expect a class of 28 or will the coaches turn more of their focus to 2014?

A: With the transfers and players leaving for the NFL draft, I would expect to see Florida try to sign at least 28. However, if Florida misses out on some of their top targets, I don't believe they will reach on any guys just to hit 28. Florida has already starting working on the 2014 as evidenced by the Gators landing commitments that are on the 2014 ESPN Watch List.

impulse36: With the current rash of transfers and players declaring for the draft, did that create additional holes that need to be filled?

A: I wouldn't necessarily say it left holes, but rather it created depth concerns at certain positions. With Jelani Jenkins deciding to turn pro, Florida could certainly turn the heat back up on Powell. Florida does have four other linebacker commitments though. With De'Ante Saunders leaving the program, Josh Evans graduating and Matt Elam going pro, the Gators are short on experience at the safety position. With commitments from Keanu Neal, Marcell Harris and Washington, the Gators are still in pretty good shape. Adding a versatile defensive back like Ramsey, a USC commit, would be an added bonus.