In doing research for the start of spring football in just a few weeks, it becomes quite obvious just how exceptional the 2013 recruiting class is for the Gators. At least six members of the class figure to have an immediate impact. And by immediate, I mean right now, this spring. Others, of course, will do the same in the fall.
Four true freshmen and two transfers will be competing for serious playing time this spring, some even for possible starting positions.
In terms of getting the right freshmen on campus early, Will Muschamp and his staff could not have done a better job.
The Gators desperately need a dynamic wide receiver in their pro-style offense — and the highest-rated receiver in the class, Demarcus Robinson, is already working out with the other receivers, catching passes from the quarterbacks and learning the playbook. He has a chance to compete for a starting role this spring.
At tailback, leading rusher Mike Gillislee is gone and the Gators are down in numbers at the position. So, getting Kelvin Taylor, the state’s all-time leading high school rusher, on campus this spring is huge. By all accounts, he’s been tearing it up in workouts and is getting himself ready to make a serious run at the starting position along with Matt Jones and Mack Brown. It’s conceivable that Taylor could be the No. 1 tailback in the fall.
At linebacker, starters Jon Bostic and Jelani Jenkins are gone and depth is an issue. But potential help has already arrived with early enrollees Alex Anzalone, Daniel McMillian and Matt Rolin. Anzalone, a five-star prospect, has the size and speed to play all three linebacker positions. He is expected to challenge for significant playing time. The same goes for McMillian, a very aggressive and mature player who could be this year’s Antonio Morrison. Rolin is still recovering from knee surgery and won’t participate in the spring, but he’s already in the weight room and in the playbook preparing himself for the start of fall camp.
With the departure of Sharrif Floyd, Omar Hunter and Earl Okine, the defensive tackle positions are wide open this spring, and a member of the recruiting class, junior college transfer Darious Cummings, is expected to be in the mix for one of those starting roles this spring. Another early enrollee, Joey Ivie, adds depth at defensive end, another position of need.
The Gators also needed immediate help on the offensive line, and that is expected to come from Nebraska transfer Tyler Moore, a member of the recruiting class, and Maryland transfer Max Garcia, who impressed the coaches with his work on the UF scout team last fall.
The 2013 recruiting class is considered excellent for a lot of reasons. Perhaps the biggest reason of all is the fact the early enrollees have a chance to make an immediate impact at critical positions of need. And by immediate, I mean right now.