Ten recruits to watch on National Signing Day

By Adam Silverstein
January 29, 2010

National Signing Day is approaching on Feb. 3, and the Florida Gators are looking to add to their consensus No. 1-ranked 2010 recruiting class. Seeing as high school football players across the country will begin making declarations as early as Friday afternoon, OGGOA has put together a comprehensive preview of the recruits the Gators are still attempting to gain commitments from. The top 10 players who Florida is after are listed below along with a short prediction at the end.

OT Seantrel Henderson (St. Paul, MN)
Rivals: No. 2 – ESPNU: No. 8
Also considering: Ohio State, Southern California, Notre Dame, Minnesota, Miami (FL)

His high school is a pipeline to Notre Dame, his last visit is to Miami, he’s been (reportedly) favoring Ohio State for quite some time, he’s from Minnesota and USC has been in his ear lately making a big push. Florida is considered a long-shot to land Henderson, one of the top overall recruits in the country and the consensus No. 1 offensive lineman.

Learn about the other nine recruits who you should keep an eye on after the jump!

LB Jordan Hicks (West Chester, OH)
Rivals: No. 16 – ESPNU: No. 4
Committed to: Texas

Most believe that Hicks is between the Gators and Longhorns and are discounting the Buckeyes’ chances of landing one of the best defensive players in the country. In fact, separate reports have come out that he is leaning toward Texas and Florida (so, the way recruiting works, he will probably just go to Ohio State). The Gators were thought to be his leader until they first lost defensive coordinator Charlie Strong and then had head coach Urban Meyer resign from his position (only to retract that a day later). Were Meyer and Co. able to regain that status in Hicks’ mind? In any event, he is not waiting until National Signing Day and will instead declare at 12:30 p.m. (EST) on Friday. In any event, he did not wait until National Signing Day and committed to Texas on Friday.

LB Christian Jones (Winter Park, FL)
Rivals: No. 20 – ESPNU: No. 27
Also considering: Florida State, Southern California, Alabama, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, etc.

Though the Seminoles were considered Jones’ long-time leader, especially seeing as both his father and brother played in Tallahassee, recent reports have him favoring the Gators. Florida desperately wants to add another linebacker to this class and nabbing a stud like Jones (especially if they lose out on Hicks) would make Meyer very happy. The FSU connection should not be much of an issue; UF took OL Matt Patchan away from Miami a few years ago under similar circumstances (Patchan’s father played for UM). Jones will announce his commitment live on Feb. 3 at Disney’s ESPN Club.

WR Da’Rick Rogers (Calhoun, GA) /
Rivals: No. 9 – ESPNU: No. 30
Also considering: Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi State, West Virginia, Southern Cal

It appears to be a two-horse race for Rogers between his hometown Bulldogs and the Volunteers. Tennessee is making a late push for his services, but Georgia has been his leader throughout the entire process hope to keep his mind on playing in Athens.

OT Chaz Green (Tampa, FL)
Rivals: No. 43 – ESPNU: No. 52
Also considering: Southern California, Tennessee, Florida State

Green’s parents both went to Tennessee, but after the coaching staff left for USC, the Volunteers appear to have completely dropped out of the running. It now looks like a two-way contest between Florida and USC with the Gators likely holding the advantage due to proximity. In fact, on two different occasions throughout the recruiting process, Florida led for Green and was on the cusp of receiving a verbal commitment from him. However, Green was a big fan of the Kiffin regime at Tennessee and may end up following it West to USC; he will be taking an official visit there this weekend.

WR Ivan McCartney (Miramar, FL)
Rivals: No. 37 – ESPNU: No. 109
Also considering: Miami (FL), West Virginia

Widely considered one of – if not the single – best receiver in Florida this year, McCartney has long been desired by Meyer. As much as the coaching staff and even the current recruiting class has tried to bring him into the fold, he has not budged. It looks like McCartney will drop the Gators’ hat first and select between the Hurricanes and Mountaineers…but anything can happen. Plenty of people are in his ear about UF.

WR Adrian Coxson (Baltimore, MD)
Rivals: N/A – ESPNU: No. 101
Also considering: West Virginia, Georgia

A former Penn State commit, Coxson dropped the Nittany Lions earlier this month and has switched his focus to West Virginia and two SEC schools – Florida and Georgia. Should the Gators not pull in McCartney, expect Coxson to be donning the Orange and Blue before 5 p.m. on Wednesday.

DB Jeremy Deering (Tampa, FL)
Rivals: N/A – ESPNU: N/A
Also considering: Florida State, Illinois, Rutgers, Purdue, South Carolina

Florida offered Deering a scholarship after five-star safety Matt Elam decommitted on Dec. 31, and it looked like he was going to accept and head to Gainesville. Elam came back into the fold, leaving Deering’s offer hanging in the breeze. Now that the Gators stopped pursuing four-star Demar Dorsey and no longer consider him a commit, Deering is likely the No. 1 secondary target left on their board. A heavy push should land him, though he may have fallen for another program while looking elsewhere.

LB Darrin Kitchens (Homestead, FL)
Rivals: N/A – ESPNU: N/A
Also considering: Florida State, Syracuse, Kansas, Texas Tech

Kitchens appears to be the Gators’ fallback option should they miss out on Hicks and Jones or even just have an open scholarship on Feb. 3. A strong push, whenever that occurs, would likely land him in Gainesville. However, he is taking his final official visit to Texas Tech and said he may be ready to declare as early as Sunday.

OL Morgan Moses (Fork Union, VA)
Rivals: N/A – ESPNU: N/A
Committed to: Virginia

Moses has been solid to Virginia for a while, but he may receive some phone calls before the dark period if the Gators think they are out of the running for Henderson and Green. Florida very much wants to add another offensive lineman to this class and Moses is likely third at his position on their board.

Other names to keep in mind: WR Markeith Ambles, LB Telvin Smith, WR Kardon Boone, DB Dietrich Riley

OGGOA PREDICTIONS: The Gators only have three scholarships to hand out as long as there are no more decommitments (there likely won’t be). Expect a linebacker, offensive lineman and wide receiver to be the three positions filled with a safety (Deering) falling in should Florida not receive the commitments they expect. OGGOA prognosticates commitments from LB Jones (or Kitchens), OT Green and WR Coxson.

8 Comments

  1. Daniel M. says:

    Outstanding work young man.

  2. Thanks. Pretty sure I’m older than you, kid. 😀

  3. Daniel M. says:

    Is the Hicks announcement broadcast somewhere?

    I was ruining diapers in 1965….lad.

    Put that in your emoticon pipe and smoke it.

  4. Oh, there must be a different Daniel I am thinking of then that was emailing me. Nevermind, sir. haha.

  5. Mel Kiper, Jr. says:

    You’re not older than me kid… As always, great work Adam.

  6. Have to be honest…I’m hoping fake Mel Kiper, Jr. sticks around at least through the draft.

  7. Mel Kiper, Jr. says:

    Fake? Fake? Trust me, I’m all Kiper baby, the man with the luxurious locks and always infallible draft boards. I know what I’m talking about, these coaches just aren’t doing their jobs. Mike Williams should be in the hall of fame.

  8. Gatorfan33 says:

    If Green wants to follow that piece of crap head coach to USC then he is too dumb to be a Gator and deserves to play for such a joke as Little Lanie.

    This is a great list of players that we have a chance of pulling from and I can’t wait to see how things fall into place.

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