Four-star 2015 G KeVaughn Allen commits to UF

Set to enroll an extremely talented 2014 recruiting class, Florida Gators basketball is also off to a hot start for the 2015 recruiting cycle after receiving a commitment from four-star guard KeVaughn Allen (Little Rock, Arkansas).

Allen chose Florida primarily over Arkansas though he also had heavy interest from Baylor, Memphis and Nebraska, according to CBSSports.com’s Jeff Borzello, who first reported the commitment.

At 6-foot-2 and 165 pounds, Allen needs to build strength over the next year in order to deal with the physicality of college basketball. He also needs to drastically improve his ball handling and jump shot.

However, Allen is considered a talented scorer with impressive slashing ability and athleticism who should be a positive contributor for the Gators if he remains committed. He averaged 21.3 points, 6.4 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 3.7 steals as a junior who this season led North Little Rock High School to its second of back-to-back state titles.

“He’s led us in scoring both years and he is the most complete, most coachable, most consistent kid that I’ve ever been around,” North Little Rock head coach Johnny Rice told the Orlando Sentinel‘s Chris Hays of Allen. “He’s the same every single day. He’s never had a bad day in practice, or has something bother him or anything like that. To be such an elite player, it’s unbelievable how coachable he is. He wants to be coached. He wants to get better. He’s really just a dream for any coach to be around.”

The 2014 Gatorade Player of the Year in Arkansas, Allen is ranked No. 82 overall by Rivals and 27th nationally by ESPN, which lists him as a five-star prospect.

Allen joins three-star power forward Kevarrius Hayes (Live Oak, Florida), a June 2013 commitment ranked No. 117 overall by Rivals, in UF’s growing 2015 class.

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Florida adds four-star CB Marcus Lewis

The Florida Gators have landed yet another highly-touted recruit to their extremely talented secondary, gaining a verbal commitment Thursday from four-star 2015 cornerback Marcus Lewis (Washington, D.C.).

Ranked No. 76 nationally and rated as the second-best player in his area by Rivals, Lewis (6-foot-1, 180 pounds) had committed to Virginia Tech in November 2013 but decommitted days later after initially making the decision without enough research or knowledge of his potential opportunities.

Lewis, who will be transferring from Gonzaga High School to IMG Sports Academy (Bradenton, FL) in June, boasts an impressive offer list with Clemson, Miami, Notre Dame and Ohio State, among others, showing considerable interest in his services.

Florida came on strong for Lewis in April and did not take long to land the top-tier prospect. The Gators – specifically head coach Will Muschamp and defensive backs coach Travaris Robinson, the team’s top recruiters – used playing time, opportunity and talent development as their pitch.

“IM 100 %COMMITTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA!!!!!!!!!!!!! #GatorNation!!!! #FloridaFamily!!!!” he tweeted.

Lewis’s commitment was first reported by Rivals.com‘s Adam Friedman.

UF may start a freshman cornerback for its second-straight season and has a history of developing talent in the defensive backfield. Three Florida cornerbacks will be selected in the 2014 NFL Draft, likely within the first two days of the event.

Lewis joins three-star safety Deontai Williams (Jacksonville, FL), the Gators’ other secondary commitment, as part of the 2015 class. He is the sixth overall pledge.

If he follows through with his commitment, Lewis will be the 19th Rivals 250 defensive back to join Florida over the last six recruiting cycles.

The Gators added four-star CB Jalen Tabor out of the nation’s capital in 2014.

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Gators add pledge from 2015 TE Camrin Knight

The recruiting hot streak the Florida Gators are on coming out of Junior Day continued on Wednesday with tight end/linebacker Camrin Knight (Tallahassee, FL) choosing to continue his career two hours south of his hometown in Gainesville, FL.

“Committed to the University of Florida Proud to be part of the #GatorNation #Blessed #CHOMPCHOMP,” he wrote on his Twitter account Wednesday night.

A dual-sport athlete who is also a star on the Lincoln High School basketball team, Knight (6-foot-4, 220 lbs.) received a flurry of offers this month with interest coming in from Georgia Tech, Eastern Carolina, Cincinnati and Maryland. He visited Florida for Junior Day last weekend.

Knight, who was recruited by tight ends coach Derek Lewis and offensive coordinator Kurt Roper, has spent most of his high school career playing linebacker but played some tight end as a junior and projects better as a high-upside offensive playmaker.

He is the Gators’ fifth 2015 commitment, all five of which are from the state of Florida. UF has received four of those pledges in the last six days.

Three of Florida’s five commitments – defensive back Deontai Williams (Jacksonville, FL), offensive lineman Tyler Jordan and wide receiver Deondre Farrier (Orlando, FL) – are rated as three-star recruits by Rivals.com. The other two, Knight and WR Tristan Payton (Jacksonville, FL), are unranked as of press time.

As a result, the Gators’ recruiting class is currently ranked 28th by Rivals.com. Florida and Miami are the only two of 15 programs with five or more commitments to have none of those five players ranked higher than a three-star prospect by the recruiting service.

Analysts with a number of recruiting services tell OnlyGators.com that many 2015 prospects are still awaiting evaluation.

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2015 WR prospect Tristan Payton picks Florida

For the third time in the last four days, the Florida Gators have added a prospect to their 2015 recruiting class as unranked wide receiver Tristan Payton (Jacksonville, FL) committed to join the program on Monday.

Payton received his Florida offer when he attended Junior Day in Gainesville, FL on Saturday and made his mind up soon afterwards.

The Jacksonville product from First Coast High School is the third player from his city to commit to the Gators this cycle. He joins three-stars defensive back Deontai Williams (Trinity Christian High School) and offensive lineman Tyler Jordan (Bishop Kenny High School) as Florida pledges.

Payton (6-foot-1, 180 pounds), who was recruited by wide receivers coach Joker Phillips, also had offers from Kentucky and UCF with Auburn, Louisville and Ohio State all reportedly showing interest as well.

Aside from Jordan, who committed on Saturday, the Gators also picked up a pledge from three-star WR Deondre Farrier (Orlando, FL) on Friday. Florida’s 2015 class is now at four players, all local in-state prospects.

Payton’s commitment was first reported by InsidetheGators.com‘s Blake Alderman.

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2015 OL Tyler Jordan commits to the Gators

For the second time in as many days, the Florida Gators have increased the size of their 2015 recruiting class as three-star offensive tackle Tyler Jordan (Jacksonville, FL) committed to the program.

The third member of Florida’s slowly but surely growing class, Jordan was offered by the Gators on Feb. 10 and visited Gainesville, FL the very next weekend. When he returned on Saturday for Junior Day, his mind was made up.

Jordan (6-foot-5, 270 pounds) has been racking up offers as of late, fielding calls from Miami, South Carolina, Georgia, Ohio State, Stanford and others over the last 30 days.

He is expected to be elevated to a four-star rating when Rivals releases its new rankings.

All three of UF’s 2015 pledges are from the state of Florida. Three-star defensive back Deontai Williams (Jacksonville, FL) committed on Jan. 9, and three-star wide receiver Deondre Farrier (Orlando, FL) came to his decision on Feb. 21.

Jordan’s commitment was first reported by 247Sports.com’s Luke Stampini.

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2015 WR Deondre Farrier commits to Florida

The Florida Gators have a ways to go to catch up with the 2015 recruiting class numbers of some of their rivals and took a step in that direction Friday by gaining a commitment form three-star wide receiver Deondre Farrier (Orlando, FL).

Farrier (6-foot-3, 195 pounds), an incoming senior who hauled in 55 receptions for 909 yards and seven touchdowns last season for Lake Nona High School, picked Florida over Miami, according to InsidetheGators.com recruiting analyst Blake Alderman.

He is the second pass catcher from his school to commit to the Gators in as many recruiting cycles, following in the footsteps of three-star WR Ryan Sousa (Orlando, FL), Lake Nona’s No. 1 receiver in 2013 and an incoming freshman at UF this fall.

Farrier is only the Gators’ second pledge this cycle, joining three-star defensive back Deontai Williams (Jacksonville, FL), who committed to UF on Jan. 9.

Florida’s first 2015 commitment, dynamic four-star wide receiver Da’Vante Phillilps (Miami, FL), gave a verbal pledge to the Gators at Friday Night Lights on July 27, 2013 but backed off from his decision on Dec. 25, 2013 after learning that high school teammate and 2014 four-star running back Dalvin Cook would be switching his commitment to Florida State.

Farrier was offered by Florida on Jan. 3, immediately severed his commitment to South Florida and attended Junior Day in Gainesville, FL on Feb. 1 with wide receivers coach Joker Phillips serving as his primary recruiter. UM offered him Feb. 8 and became the fifth major program to do so along with Cincinnati and Kentucky.

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Gators add second preferred walk-on K Powell

For the second time in less than full two months, the Florida Gators have added a well-regarded kicker by offering him a preferred walk-on spot, according to multiple reports, with Jorge Powell (Miami, FL) committing to play in Gainesville, FL.

Originally committed to Penn State, Powell had a change of heart and has decided to stay in-state. His about-face was first reported by BlueWhiteOnline.com‘s Tim Owen.

The Gators’ kicking game was awful in 2013 with Florida finishing the season tied for 116th nationally with its kickers connecting on just 12-of-22 attempts (.545).

Redshirt sophomore kicker Austin Hardin won the starting job out of fall camp but was so inconsistent that coaches could not trust him to keep the position. Brad Phillips and redshirt senior walk-on Frankie Velez both kicked at points in 2013.

Hardin and Velez will now be tested both by Powell and junior Brooks Abbott, a two-year Virginia Tech player who decided on Dec. 18, 2013 to transfer to Florida.

Powell went 12-for-15 on field goals and 25-for-27 on extra points during his senior season of high school, according to the Miami Herald’s Safid Deen. Abbot served as a kickoff specialist at VT in 2012 and did not play in 2013 but connected on 11-of-15 field goals during his final year of high school.

According to KornblueKicking.com, Powell is the second-ranked incoming freshman kicker and is talented enough to start as a freshman for a FBS program.

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Will Muschamp, coaches discuss Florida Gators 2014 signees, recruiting process

National Signing Day LIVE COVERAGE page
2014 Florida signee bios | Gators flip four-star QB Treon Harris from Seminoles, add WR C.J. Worton | Three-star OT Andrew Mike flips to Florida

Florida Gators head coach Will Muschamp held a press conference after his coaching staff finished inking its 24-member 2014 recruiting class on National Signing Day. Below are the most notable quotes from that session as well as player evaluations made by other members of the coaching staff.

OPENING STATEMENT

”It’s a great day here at the University of Florida, a lot of hard work put in by our staff. I don’t think people realize the contribution it takes from everybody. It’s a total team effort on campus, professors, our administration, our academic people do a fantastic job. When a young man comes on campus for an official visit, all of the people that have to contribute to make that a special experience, and our people do it the best. Our travel people do an amazing job. All of our pilots, [the media seems] to track pretty well, but they do a phenomenal job. It takes all these moving parts to make things work the right way. So we got a great staff. Our staff did an outstanding job.

“We had a miserable fall, and to have the staff come together – three new coaches in Kurt Roper, Mike Summers and Coleman Hutzler come together and change a little bit, not philosophically, but schematically offensively, adjust some things that we need to do in midstream as far as some of the guys we were recruiting and to put together this class – I’m really proud of that. I don’t know where we ended up as far as any rankings and all. You all know me, I don’t get overly concerned with that.”

Continue Reading » Will Muschamp, coaches discuss Florida Gators 2014 signees, recruiting process

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