Tuesday, June 25, 2013
Florida: Instant impact recruits
By Derek Tyson
GAINESVILLE, Fla.-- The Gators are ranked No. 9 in the latest ESPN team recruiting rankings. With the recruiting board they have remaining, it could turn in to a top-three class when all is said and done.
Here is a look at 10 recruits, either committed or that the Gators have a realistic shot at landing, that could make an instant impact at Florida.
1. LB Raekwon McMillan (Hinesville, Ga./Liberty Co.)
ESPN 300 rank: 13
Florida doesn't have much depth behind starter Antonio Morrison, and McMillan has the size, instincts and athleticism to work his way into Florida's rotation early on in his career if he were to choose the Gators. McMillan visited Florida with his parents this past weekend, and the Gators are in his top five.
2. RB Dalvin Cook (Miami/Central)
ESPN 300 rank: 22
Though the Gators have Matt Jones and Kelvin Taylor on the roster, Cook brings something that neither of those players do: Speed -- game-changing speed. Cook would help on special teams from Day 1 and also contribute as a runner and pass-catcher early in his career. Cook is a threat to take it the distance every time he touches the ball.
3. DE Lorenzo Carter (Norcross, Ga./Norcross)
ESPN 300 rank: 10
Florida has shown the ability to rotate several defensive ends during the course of the game. With not a whole lot of depth at end, Carter would have every opportunity to get on the field early. He's talented enough to make an impact similar to what Jonathan Bullard and Dante Fowler Jr. had as freshmen.
4. CB Adoree' Jackson (Gardena, Calif./Junipero Serra)
ESPN 300 rank: 5
There is a possibility Florida will lose returning starters Marcus Roberson and Louchiez Purifoy to the NFL draft after next season, and there will not be much depth at corner. Jackson, an Under Armour All-American, would have every opportunity to see action early on in his career. Jackson, opposite incoming freshman Vernon Hargreaves III, would make for a dangerous secondary in the SEC.
5. S Jamal Adams (Lewisville, Texas/Hebron)
ESPN 300 rank: 24
Lewis visited Florida for camp and came away with rave reviews of the Gators. Florida head coach Will Muschamp loves to use big safeties, and Adams has all the tools necessary to be a top safety at the next level. The Gators are brining in three top safeties this year, but none of them have proven anything in the SEC.
6. CB Jalen Tabor (Washington, D.C./Friendship)
ESPN 300 rank: 16
Like Jackson, Tabor would have an opportunity to start early on in his career because of a lack of depth at the cornerback position. The Gators use a lot of nickel defense, and Tabor is too athletic to keep off the field early on in his career. If Florida can land Jackson or Tabor, their defensive secondary would be set for the next few years.
7. DT Khairi Clark (Hollywood, Fla./Chaminade-Madonna)
ESPN 300 rank: 147
Florida's most recent commit certainly will have a chance to play early on. He has the size Florida is looking for up the middle, especially when it's in a 3-4 defense. Clark is athletic and disruptive and certainly would have the opportunity to work his way in to the defensive line rotation early on in his career.
8. LB Clifton Garrett (Plainfield, Ill./Plainfield)
ESPN 300 rank: 59
The Gators don't have a lot of proven depth at linebacker, and Garrett has the size and natural ability to work his way into the rotation. Florida has had some success in Illinois. Most notably, current middle linebacker Antonio Morrison received considerable playing time as a freshman and made his mark in several games.
9. WR Ermon Lane (Homestead, Fla./Homestead)
ESPN 300 rank: 25
The Gators are bringing in five wide receivers, but non of them have proven anything on the SEC level. Ahmad Fulwood has similar size as Lane, but Lane has a much bigger build and could be a mismatch in the passing game early on in his career. Lane has excelled at every event on the camp circuit and will have a chance to play early no matter where he goes.
10. CB J.C. Jackson (Immokalee, Fla./Immokalee)
ESPN 300 rank: 72
Jackson, a recent Florida commit, has the size and speed Florida is looking for at defensive back. Jackson will have a chance to contribute immediately on special teams and work his way into the defensive backfield rotation. He was once committed to Florida State as a wide receiver, so he has the athleticism to play a few different positions. Wherever he ends up, he's too talented to keep off the field.