Gators’ 2010 recruiting class not unanimous No. 1

By Adam Silverstein
February 4, 2010

Florida Gators fans were hearing for weeks that their team would lock up one of (if not the single) greatest recruiting class ever by the end of National Signing Day on Feb. 3. They were told that this distinction would be unanimous due to the Gators’ head-scratching number of five- and four-star commitments and the top-to-bottom quality of their class.

While ESPNU and Scout both hailed Florida’s 2010 recruiting class as tops in the country, Rivals turned its collective cheek on the Gators and awarded their best class distinction to the USC Trojans on the heels of two big-time commitments.

Find out what each recruiting service said about the Florida Gators’ 2010 class and why five-star OL Seantrel Henderson has not signed his LOI…after the jump!

“Here’s one way to ease the pressure of being a coach: sign one of the best recruiting classes in recent memory,” ESPNU begins. “Urban Meyer and Florida signed a recruiting class for the ages, with 17 players from the ESPNU 150, including 11 in the top 50. The Gators snagged four five-star players — including the nation’s top player, Ronald Powell — and 15 four-star players.”

“Each of Florida’s five five-star players for the Class of 2010 committed to Florida after Meyer first announced his leave of absence and the Gators lost several coaches to promotions outside the program,” writes Scout’s director of scouting Scott Kennedy. “Florida flexed its national recruiting muscle by signing the No. 1 player out of several of the biggest talent-producing states in the country, including California (Powell) and Pennsylvania (Floyd). […] Florida’s No. 1 recruiting class is deep at more positions than just the defensive line. Florida is bringing in five defensive backs ranked in the top 10 nationally at their respective positions.”

Rivals, however, did not see it that way. “Florida was No. 1 in the rankings all Wednesday until late when Southern Cal picked up two commits, moving the Trojans to the top spot,” explains Adam Gorney. “Ending near the top doesn’t mean much until these top prospects produce on the field but Meyer said competitive nature certainly takes over.”

Many fans both with and without Florida bias have taken to criticizing Rivals for its grading system and lack of perspective in juding the 2010 classes. A Notre Dame Fighting Irish supporter summed up what a lot of college football fans may very well believe on Rivals’ message board. “Sorry, anybody with a brain can see Florida’s class is way better in quality and quantity,” Gaborik10 wrote.

USC, Rivals’ No. 1, was ranked No. 7 by both ESPNU and Scout. In the end, recruiting rankings have more promotional value than they do as prognosticators of future success. Nevertheless, Gators fans are understandably upset that an undisputed recruiting title has been taken from them.

NOTE: The Trojans may not hold Rivals‘ top spot for long if a report from the New York Times holds true. According to the paper, Sean Henderson, the father of USC’s five-star offensive lineman commit Seantrel Henderson, said his son would not sign his letter of intent until after the Trojans face the NCAA infractions committee Feb. 19-21. The school is facing potential sanctions for recruiting violations and a wide variety of other rule-breaking practices.

9 Comments

  1. Matt Burris says:

    That is very weird with Rivals and also that kid not signing his LOI until after the infractions is laid down. Lane must’ve done some major promising to get him to be in limbo like that for that long.

    In any case, this 2010 class looks very promising. If they work hard, buy into the Gators system, and the coaches do a good job with them, we may very well see the best defense the Gators have ever had, and we’ve seen some dandies over the years.

    It truly is great to be a Gator!

  2. Gatorfan33 says:

    On the Rivals site they have both Henderson and Jackson as commits but no signed LOI and the potential of snagging both of those players is what pushed USC to #1 in their eyes. Just more Gator hating IMO. I was on their site yesterday watching their live blog and they said on more than one occasion that there was no way any team could knock UF out of the #1 spot but now USC has. Also the entire country (even rival fans) are recognizing UF as having the best class hands down but Rivals jumps up and kisses Lane and USC’s butt like this. Rivals just lost a lot of respect in my eyes and I have always thought of them as one of the best in this business. It is all good because NCAA sanctions are coming and unless the NCAA takes it easy on them or sweeps past violations under the rug, USC is about to get spanked.

  3. Drew 4 Orange and Blue says:

    If the other two had USC in the top 3 or 4 then maybe you could buy the other site ranking them #1 but this reeks of corruptness….that all being said on paper this is clearly the best class we have ever signed but only time will tell…still very exciting to be a Gator and there is so much to love about these guys coming in….Kudos to Urban and his entire staff…now he needs to turn off his phone and get away completely and re-charge!!!!

  4. MattJ says:

    I really would not put too much effort into hating over recruitment rankings because it does not matter until the players hit the field. I recall Notre Dame having top 10 recruiting classes over the past few years, yet the team has not finished top 10. Let’s wait until the season starts and we can see who’s class is really better; this will result of the better coaching. Us Gator fans know that Kiffin has no shot when put up against Coach Meyer.

  5. ReptilesRule says:

    Who cares?? Just look at our class!! I SURE wouldn’t trade it for USC’s or anyone elses. And we not only got thru NSD with absolutely NO DRAMA (Nukeese Richardson), but we ended up with Kitchens, Coxson and Chaz Green!! I couldn’t be more pleased!!

  6. ReptilesRule says:

    Oh BTW Adam, did I mention the superlative job done by OGGOA on signing day? We really appreciate what you do out here in gatorland!

  7. O-town Gator says:

    Based on an article published by the NY Times about Henderson delaying signing his LOI until he hears the outcome of the NCAA investigation involving USC, Kiffykins better not count his chickens before they’re hatched. He’s gloating over having picked up Henderson and other commits, but if the ruling turns out to have an adverse effect all this could come right back to smack him in the face.

    I agree with what Drew said; Kiffin reeks of sleaze and those around him, especially Ed Orgeron, seem to have questionable ethics when it comes to recruiting.

  8. Drew 4 Orange and Blue says:

    RR is right that Adam and OGGOA did a great job on NSD and it was nice to have all positives on NSD and I am thrilled with this class…it’s hard not to think we should have the best D-line in college the next few years and with such versatile athletes we are going to have all over the field it should allow the coaches to be very creative!!!!

  9. Not sure how signing 17 of 28 players in the ESPN150 doesn’t get you the #1 recruiting class, but I suppose this is somewhat of a statement by Rivals to separate itself apart…Whatever the reason, it’s foolish to put USC’s class above ours.

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