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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Florida Gators 2014 National Signing Day bios

National Signing Day LIVE COVERAGE page
Will Muschamp breaks down Gators recruiting class | Florida flips four-star QB Treon Harris from FSU, adds WR C.J. Worton | Three-star OT Andrew Mike flips to Gators

Courtesy of the University of Florida‘s University Athletic Association:

EARLY ENROLLEES (9)

Taven Bryan • Defensive lineman
6’5″ • 257 • Casper, WY
PRIOR TO FLORIDA: Unanimously selected as the 2013 Conference Defensive Player of the Year…Named to the All-State First Team on both the defensive line and the offensive line and to the All-Conference First Team on the offensive line as a high school senior…Honored with the 2013 Natrona County Iron Man award…Helped lead Natrona County to a 41-6 record in his final three seasons, including back-to-back state titles in 2012 and 2013…Chose Florida over Colorado, Colorado State, Nebraska, Oregon, Tennessee, Washington, Washington State and Wyoming…Coached by Steve Harshman.

Duke Dawson • Cornerback
5’10” • 191 • Cross City, FL
PRIOR TO FLORIDA: Named to the Florida Class 1A First-Team All-State defense…Helped Dixie County to a 10-1 record during his senior season…Nominated to play in the 2014 Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl…Finished his high school career with 122 total tackles, 99 solo, and seven interceptions…Made 43 tackles, two interceptions and two forced fumbles as a junior…Chose Florida over Alabama, Florida State, Iowa and Wisconsin.

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Gators flip four-star QB Treon Harris from Noles, add ex-FSU WR commit C.J. Worton, too

National Signing Day LIVE COVERAGE page
Will Muschamp breaks down Gators recruiting class | 2014 Florida signee bios
Three-star OT Andrew Mike flips from Vanderbilt to Florida

When offensive coordinator Kurt Roper accepted the open job with the Florida Gators, four-star quarterback Treon Harris (Miami, FL) immediately became his top recruiting target. On Wednesday, Roper got his man as Harris flipped from Florida State and has decided to play college football at Florida.

Harris (5-foot-11, 180 pounds) is a dual-threat signal caller and unanimous four-star talent. He is ranked No. 69 overall by Rivals.com and No. 163 overall by ESPN.

Committed to the Seminoles since July 8, 2013, Harris was swayed by Roper’s pitch that the Gators’ new up-tempo spread offense will be a better fit for his talents.

He joins four-star Will Grier (Davidson, NC) as the second quarterback to make a pledge for Florida this recruiting cycle.

Grier, an early enrollee, is widely considered the Gators’ next starter behind redshirt junior QB Jeff Driskel. However, no one should discount Harris’s talent and peg him simply as a back-up for the next few seasons.

Continue Reading » Gators flip four-star QB Treon Harris from Noles, add ex-FSU WR commit C.J. Worton, too

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Three-star OT Andrew Mike flips to Florida

National Signing Day LIVE COVERAGE page
Will Muschamp breaks down Gators recruiting class | 2014 Florida signee bios
Gators flip four-star QB Treon Harris from Seminoles, add WR C.J. Worton

On the eve of National Signing Day, the Florida Gators landed a commitment from three-star offensive tackle Andrew Mike (Tucson, AZ), who just one day earlier made a pledge to play college football at Vanderbilt.

Mike (6-foot-7, 280 pounds) pulled the trigger for VU on Monday; however, a late push from UF resulted in a quick flip Tuesday night.

He officially visited the Gators on Jan. 24, but Florida held off on making a run at locking up his commitment as it was waiting for a decision from five-star OT Damian Prince (Forestville, MD). Prince flirted with UF and was once believed to be leaning towards playing in Gainesville, FL but is expected to commit to Maryland late Wednesday.

The end result is a positive one for Florida, which also snagged Mike over Arkansas, Arizona and Washington, among others.

Mike spoke to Rivals.com’s Rob Cassidy ($) about his “recruiting tornado,” which included late offers and obviously a last-minute decision.

Continue Reading » Three-star OT Andrew Mike flips to Florida

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Florida Gators recruits and targets to watch through 2014 National Signing Day

Updated on Tuesday at 6:15 p.m.

Already 21 members strong, the Florida Gators’ 2014 recruiting class has space to expand and head coach Will Muschamp is looking to do just that over the next few days leading up to and on National Signing Day when the vast majority of uncommitted high school football players across the country announce their decisions.

Be sure to visit OnlyGators.com’s live coverage of National Signing Day beginning Wednesday morning at 7 a.m. It will feature a live chat and be constantly updated throughout the day with every signed National Letter of Intent (NLI) and new commitment.

For now, OnlyGators.com breaks down which players the Gators are still waiting to hear from and when they may learn of their respective decisions while providing some of the latest information and insights on each player.

Special thanks to InsidetheGators.com recruiting analyst Blake Alderman for his assistance with some of the finer details below.

Offensive tackle Damian Prince (Forestville, MD)
Accolades: Rivals – No. 20 overall (No. 2 OT) | ESPN – No. 26 overall (No. 3 OT)
Leaders: Florida, Maryland
Skinny: Prince’s recruitment has heated up as of late. He cut his top three to a final two (removing Penn State) and moved up his announcement date nine days to Feb. 5. Though staying home is a strong consideration in his mind, three big factors have Prince seriously considering – and possibly leaning towards – committing to Florida. His good friend, five-star cornerback Jalen Tabor (Washington, DC), enrolled early at UF; Prince is a fan of new Gators offensive line coach Mike Summers; and he used his final official visit to travel to Gainesville, FL over the weekend, reportedly coming away impressed. Nevertheless, home is often where the heart is…and Prince may not be leaving.
Announcement: National Signing Day – 10:00 a.m. on ESPNU
Prediction: Maryland | Confidence: 70%

Continue Reading » Florida Gators recruits and targets to watch through 2014 National Signing Day

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Nine Gators commits in final Rivals250 for 2014

Released Tuesday, the final edition of the Rivals250 for the class of 2014 is filled with players verbally committed to play for the Florida Gators next season. Though four Florida commits are part of the top 100 players in the group (list released Monday), five more are ranked among the top 250 recruits in the nation.

Below is a breakdown of where the Gators’ commits are ranked:

10 14 – CB Jalen Tabor (Washington, DC)
46 14 – QB Will Grier (Davidson, NC)
56 7 – DT Thomas Holley (Brooklyn, NY)
83 34 – DE Gerald Willis III (New Orleans, LA)
148 10 – DB Duke Dawson (Cross City, FL)
172 25 – CB Quincy Wilson^ (Fort Lauderdale, FL)
199 8 – WR/TE Moral Stephens (Perry, FL)
200 11 – RB Brandon Powell (Deerfield Beach, FL)
243 118 – CB J.C. Jackson (Immokalee, FL)

NOTES

» Two Gators commits – four-star OT David Sharpe (Jacksonville, FL) and four-star OT Khairi Clark (Hollywood, FL) fell out of the Rivals250. Sharpe was ranked No. 215, while Clark was all the way up at No. 137.
» Adjustments to non-Rivals250 players’ star ratings will be released Wednesday.
» The highest-rated uncommitted player on UF’s radar is five-star athlete Adoree’ Jackson (Gardena, CA), who is listed as the No. 6 overall player in the nation.
» Two former Florida commits – running back Dalvin Cook (Miami, FL) and wide receiver Ermon Lane (Homestead, FL) – became five-star recruits in the latest update. They are ranked 18th and 28th, respectively.

* Early Enrollee
Roll over player names for additional information.

CommitmentPos.RivalsESPNOverall
» Washington, D.C. | Story
» Height: 6'1" | Weight: 186 lbs.
» Commitment Date: 1/9/2013
CB*10|11
» Davidson, NC | Story
» Height: 6'3" | Weight: 171 lbs.
» Commitment Date: 12/19/2012
QB*46|44
» Brooklyn, NY | Story
» Height: 6'4" | Weight: 299 lbs.
» Commitment Date: 1/15/2014
DT56|51
» New Orleans, LA | Story
» Height: 6'4" | Weight: 247 lbs.
» Commitment Date: 1/2/2014
DE83|42
» Cross City, FL | Story
» Height: 5'11" | Weight: 195 lbs.
» Commitment Date: 1/8/2013
CB*148|207
» Fort Lauderdale, FL | Story
» Height: 6'2" | Weight: 195 lbs.
» Commitment Date: 8/12/2013
CB172|292
» Perry, FL | Story
» Height: 6'3" | Weight: 205 lbs.
» Commitment Date: 12/12/2013
TE199|201
» Deerfield Beach, FL | Story
» Height: 5'9" | Weight: 167 lbs.
» Commitment Date: 1/10/2014
RB*200|267
» Immokalee, FL | Story
» Height: 5'10" | Weight: 175 lbs.
» Commitment Date: 6/8/2013
CB243|79
» Jacksonville, FL | Story
» Height: 6'8" | Weight: 295 lbs.
» Commitment Date: 12/12/2013
OLNR|20
» Hollywood, FL | Story
» Height: 6'2" | Weight: 325 lbs.
» Commitment Date: 6/22/2013
DTNR|211
» Clearwater, FL | Story
» Height: 6'5" | Weight: 235 lbs.
» Commitment Date: 7/25/2013
DENR|285
» Mount Pleasant, SC | Story
» Height: 6'6" | Weight: 303 lbs.
» Commitment Date: 8/10/2013
OL*NR
» Orlando, FL | Story
» Height: 6'0" | Weight: 180 lbs.
» Commitment Date: 12/2/2013
WRNR
» Jacksonville, FL | Story
» Height: 6'5" | Weight: 269 lbs.
» Commitment Date: 1/5/2014
OL*NR
» Casper, WY | Story
» Height: 6'5" | Weight: 275 lbs.
» Commitment Date: 6/10/2013
DE*NR
» Derby, KS | Story
» Height: 6'4" | Weight: 225 lbs.
» Commitment Date: 11/8/2013
TE*NR
» Jacksonville, FL | Story
» Height: 6'3" | Weight: 314 lbs.
» Commitment Date: 2/16/2013
OLNR
» Tampa, FL | Story
» Height: 6'0" | Weight: 163 lbs.
» Commitment Date: 1/20/2014
ATHNR
» Tuscaloosa, AL | Story
» Height: 6'5" | Weight: 212 lbs.
» Commitment Date: 5/23/2013
TENR
» Tallahassee, FL | Story
» Height: 6'6" | Weight: 310 lbs.
» Commitment Date: 12/18/2013
OL*JUCO

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Gators add three-star athlete Deiondre Porter

Just one week after extending a scholarship offer to the three-star prospect, the Florida Gators received a commitment from athlete Deiondre Porter (Tampa, FL).

Porter, who was committed to South Florida when offered by UF but immediately decommitted and officially visited the Gators over the weekend, played quarterback for Jefferson High School last season.

He will join Florida as an athlete without a position. The Gators are also expected to work the 6-foot, 163-pounder out at wide receiver, cornerback and kick returner.

“I feel I can play anywhere. Whatever the team needs, I’m there. I’m not a selfish player,” Porter said when making his announcement live on television. “For Florida, if they want me to play corner, I’m here. They want me to play receiver, I’m here. If they want me to play quarterback, I’m also here.”

Interest in Porter has been widespread recently with Georgia, Miami and Wisconsin all trying to get him to visit. In the end, a trip to Florida was all he needed to seal the deal and officially put an end to his recruitment.

According to InsidetheGators.com’s Robert Lopez, sophomore cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III was instrumental in helping Porter feel comfortable while on campus.

“They just said that I have an opportunity here at Florida. They stressed that,” he said.

Porter is the Gators’ 22nd overall commitment and 12th from the state of Florida.

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