Will Muschamp discusses Florida Gators’ 2013 recruiting class; coaches evaluate new signees

P Johnny Townsend: commit No. 30 | OL/TE Trevon Young: commit No. 29 | JUCO DT Jarran Reed: commit No. 28 | DT Jay-nard Bostwick: commit No. 27 | 30 new player bios | Video interviews with coaches | “Closing”, quarterback situation

Florida Gators head coach Will Muschamp held a press conference after his coaching staff completed its 28-member 2013 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:

“I’m really proud of our staff. Today is a culmination of a lot of hard work, effort, sometimes two-and-a-half, three years put together on a young man and you come down to signing day and you sit at the fax machine and hope that thing comes through. I hope it’s signed right and it’s dated and all that kind of good stuff. Recruiting is all about building relationships. We’ll know about this class in two or three years. It’s a developmental game. …

“We had a deep signing class this year, which means you’ve got to a have a larger board as far as the numbers are concerned at each position, which also to me was very appealing. At some positions we signed five wide receivers [for example]. Those are five guys that want to come in here and compete. Sometimes when you get some numbers you start getting guys looking at that depth chart and numbers and they’re not real sure about coming in and competing for the Gators. We want guys that got a lot of confidence that they can come in the SEC and play in The Swamp and play for the University of Florida.

“This class is very balanced. It’s a high-character class with toughness, all the position criteria we look for as far as size and speed and then all of the off-the-field things we’re looking for. It’s a very committed class. A lot of these guys are guys that have been committed to us for a long time and never took other visits; there was not a lot of flash in their recruiting process. That’s the kind of guys you want; you want guys that are like that. …

“The coaching process is really about four things – evaluation, recruiting, developing and coaching. I think in our two years, you’ve seen on the recruiting trail – from an evaluation standpoint and a recruiting standpoint – that we’ve got a staff that can do it at a high level. I’m very proud of the staff and the job that they’ve [done] and all of our support staff on campus. … There’s a true commitment level at this place for excellence, and I appreciate their support.”

» On commitments being the best recruiters: “They understand the importance of having good players around them. This coaching stuff is way overrated. It’s about players at the end of the day, and they want to play with other good players.”

» On if he looks at player star ratings from recruiting services: “Absolutely no consideration at all. We commit most of our guys before they ever come out, so maybe they look at our ratings.”

Read much more from Muschamp and the Florida coaching staff…after the break!
Continue Reading » Will Muschamp discusses Florida Gators’ 2013 recruiting class; coaches evaluate new signees

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Florida Gators 2013 National Signing Day bios

P Johnny Townsend: commit No. 30 | OL/TE Trevon Young: commit No. 29 | JUCO DT Jarran Reed: commit No. 28 | DT Jay-nard Bostwick: commit No. 27 | Muschamp discusses class; assistants evaluate signees | Video interviews with coaches | “Closing”, quarterback situation

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

EARLY ENROLLEES (8)

Alex Anzalone • Linebacker
6’3″ • 220 • Wyomissing, PA (Wyomissing Area)
PRIOR TO FLORIDA: Helped Wyomissing High to its first Class AA state championship in 2012, finishing 16-0, a school single-season record for wins…Selected to the 2013 Under Armour All-American Game…Finished his senior year with over 1,000 rushing yards and 30 touchdowns from the fullback position and registered more than 100 tackles…Earned a spot on the 247Sports Class of 2013 All-America team…Named senior Class AA Player of the Year as part of the 2012 Pennsylvania Sports Writers All-State Team…As a junior, was named first team all-state, all-region and all-county…In 2011, ran for over 900 yards and scored 13 touchdowns and was named to the all-state team…Invited to “The Opening”, an all-star summer prospect camp held on the Nike Campus…Chose Florida over Notre Dame, Ohio State, Penn State, USC, UCLA, Miami, Tennessee, Pitt, Stanford, Georgia and Florida State…Coached by Bob Wolfrum.

Darious Cummings • Defensive tackle
6’1″ • 310 • Titusville, FL (Astronaut/Florida St./East Mississippi CC)
PRIOR TO FLORIDA: Played in all 10 games during the 2012 season at EMCC, tallying 26 tackles (12 unassisted) with 4.0 TFL (12 yards), 3.0 sacks, two quarterback hurries and one forced fumble…EMCC finished 8-2 on the year and ranked 15th in the final NJCAA poll…Anchored a defense that allowed just 74.2 rushing yards per game…Notched a season-high four tackles twice during the season, against Pearl River CC and Itawamba CC…Played under head coach Buddy Stephens at EMCC…Spent two years at Florida State before transferring to EMCC…Played in three games as a true freshman and two games as a sophomore before suffering an injury that caused him to miss most of the 2011 season…Totaled seven tackles in five career games at FSU…Missed the spring of 2012 at FSU after arthroscopic knee surgery and then transferred to EMCC in the summer of 2012…Entered his senior year of high school with 159 tackles, including 22 for loss and 15 sacks…Was the first commit in FSU’s 2010 signing class…Was a Florida Super 75 selection by the Times-Union…Named to SunStateFootball.com all-state first team in 2009…Attended the same high school as former Gator football players LB Wilber Marshall, WR Cris Collinsworth and TE Aaron Walker…Chose Florida over offers from Ole Miss, Texas A&M, Mississippi State and Arkansas.

Continue Reading » Florida Gators 2013 National Signing Day bios

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14 Gators commits in final Rivals250 for 2013

Released Tuesday, the fifth and final edition of the Rivals250 for the class of 2013 is filled with players verbally committed to play for the Florida Gators next season. Though seven Florida commits are part of the top 100 players in the group (list released Monday), seven more are ranked among the top 250 recruits in the nation.

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

2 7 – DB Vernon Hargreaves (Tampa, FL)
28 22 – LB Alex Anzalone^ (Wyomissing, PA)
38 2 – RB Kelvin Taylor (Belle Glade, FL)
52 4 – WR Demarcus Robinson^ (Belle Glade, FL)
63 38 – WR Alvin Bailey (Seffner, FL)
64 17 – DB Keanu Neal (Bushnell, FL)
67 10 – DB Marcell Harris (Orlando, FL)
123 30 – LB Daniel McMillian (Jacksonville, FL)
132 29 – DT Caleb Brantley (Crescent City, FL)
136 19 – WR Ahmad Fulwood (Jacksonville, FL)
164 36 – DB Nick Washington (Jacksonville, FL)
197 2 – LB James Hearns (Tallahassee, FL)
198 3 – DE Joey Ivie (Dade City, FL)
224 6 – DE Jordan Sherit (Tampa, FL)

^ New commitment since last update.

Notes:

» Florida has received a commitment from a top-five player in three of the last four recruiting cycles. The Gators have also picked up the No. 2-ranked prospect in each of the last two years (offensive tackle D.J. Humphries, 2012).
» Anzalone added a fifth star and is Florida’s second five-star pledge.
» 10 of 14 players dropped an average of 14 spots in the rankings.

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* Early enrollee (spring 2013)

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Sixteen Gators ranked in final ESPN 300 for 2013

Released Thursday afternoon, the final edition of the ESPN 300 for the class of 2013 is filled with players verbally committed to play for the Florida Gators next season. Eleven Florida commits are part of the top 150 players in the group and five more are listed among the top 300 recruits in the nation.

Three major changes to the list include running back Kelvin Taylor (Belle Glade, FL) adding a fifth star, four-star wide receiver Demarcus Robinson (Jacksonville, FL) moving up 104 spots and four-star defensive end Jordan Sherit (Tampa, FL) dropping out of the rankings due to his ACL injury.

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

3 EVEN – DB Vernon Hargreaves (Tampa, FL, FL)
8 7 – RB Kelvin Taylor (Belle Glade, FL)
33 13 – LB Daniel McMillian (Jacksonville, FL)
42 4 – DT Caleb Brantley (Crescent City, FL)
53 104 – WR Demarcus Robinson (Jacksonville, FL)
65 2 – DB Keanu Neal (Bushnell, FL)
68 2 – DB Marcell Harris (Orlando, FL)
77 6 – WR Alvin Bailey (Seffner, FL)
80 4 – LB Matt Rolin (Jacksonville, FL)
97 UNK. – LB Alex Anzalone (Wyomissing, PA)
110 61 – WR Ahmad Fulwood (Jacksonville, FL)
154 19 – DB Nick Washington (Jacksonville, FL)
175 7 – RB Adam Lane (Winter Haven, FL)
199 19 – WR Marqui Hawkins (Columbus, GA)
263 3 – QB Max Staver (Brentwood, TN)
278 2 – LB James Hearns (Tallahassee, FL)

Florida’s 2013 commitments:
Continue Reading » Sixteen Gators ranked in final ESPN 300 for 2013

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Two days later, DT Brantley recommits to Gators

Just over 48 hours after choosing to decommit from the Florida Gators and reopen his recruitment, four-star defensive tackle Caleb Brantley (Crescent City, FL) announced that he is back in the fold and once again a member of the team’s 2013 class.

Originally the second player to commit to Florida for 2013, Brantley first gave the coaching staff his pledge on Jan. 28, 2012. Though he had considered decommitting in the past, he ultimately decided to remain pledged to the Gators for nearly an entire year.

That was until Wednesday, just hours before Florida competed in the 2013 Sugar Bowl, when he announced on Twitter that he was no longer committed to the program. Brantley spent the week in St. Petersburg, FL practicing for the 2013 Under Armour All-American Game along with seven current UF commits.

Early Saturday morning, after seeing limited action (neck) in the game and following a conversation with with members of the Gators coaching staff at his hotel, Brantley announced on Twitter that he had recommitted to Florida.

“Just committed to University Of Florida ! #Again ! #GoGators,” he wrote.

Brantley is the Gators’ only defensive tackle commitment for 2013 aside from four-star JUCO transfer Darious Cummings (Scooba, MS). A long-time Florida fan, his decommitment was widely seen as a temporary decision.

With Brantley back in the fold, the Gators recruiting class is now 25 members strong with 24 pledges that count as part of the 2013 cycle.

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FOUR BITS: Brissett, Johnson, HS All-Americans

1 » Will quarterback Jacoby Brissett be spending his junior season with the Florida Gators? That is one of many unanswered questions lingering in the wake of Florida’s 33-23 loss to Louisville in the 2013 Sugar Bowl on Tuesday. Brissett addressed his future after the game when questioned by the Palm Beach Post. “I haven’t decided yet,” he said. “It depends on how I feel when I get back to Gainesville and have a talk with Coach [Will] Muschamp. You grow relationships for two years with some of these people you’re around every day, and it’s hard to leave them. It depends on how I feel.” With sophomore Jeff Driskel entranced as the Gators’ starter, Brissett would likely be returning in a back-up role. He has yet to use a redshirt season and Driskel is an unlikely candidate to leave as a junior meaning Brissett, should he stay, would run the risk of either never being a full-time starter or doing so for just one year elsewhere if he transferred following the 2013 season. Dwyer High School head coach Jack Daniels said last week that he has suggested that Brissett leave even though he thinks he will stay for at least one more year.

2 » The Post also caught up with Florida sophomore running back Chris Johnson after the game and asked him how he felt about being ejected from the game after he threw a punch following the team’s onside kick attempt to start the second half. “Bad discipline on my part, but you learn from your mistakes and move on,” he said. “It was frustration. The guy was riding me a little bit. If I could do it differently, I’d walk away from it. It sucks. In my mind, I feel like I cost us the Sugar Bowl.” Johnson’s personal foul was one of two on the play, and the Cardinals started at the Gators’ 19-yard line as a result. One play later, Louisville took a 30-10 lead and all but put the game away.

3 » Seven of Florida’s 2013 commitments will compete in the 2013 Under Armour All-American Game on Friday at 5 p.m. (ESPN). Four-star wide receiver Alvin Bailey (Seffner, FL), five-star defensive back Vernon Hargreaves (Tampa, FL), four-star DB Marcell Harris (Orlando, FL), three-star offensive lineman Roderick Johnson (Delray Beach, FL), four-star DB Keanu Neal (Bushnell, FL) and four-star RB Kelvin Taylor (Belle Glade, FL) will play for the black team, while four-star linebacker Matt Rolin (Ashburn, VA) suit up for the white team. The Gators also have three targets in the game with four-star defensive tackle Caleb Brantley (Crescent City, FL), four-star defensive end DeMarcus Walker (Jacksonville, FL) and four-star DE Elijah Daniel (Avon, IN) suiting up for the black team. Walker, an early enrollee, is reportedly set to visit UF following the game and may flip from his commitment to Alabama.

4 » The 2013 U.S. Army All-American Bowl, set to air live on NBC on Saturday at 1 p.m., features four Florida commitments as four-star WR Ahmad Fulwood (Jacksonville, FL), four-star LB Daniel McMillian (Jacksonville, FL), four-star DE Jordan Sherit (Tampa, FL) and four-star DB Nick Washington (Jacksonville, FL) are members of the East Team. The Gators also have a number of targets in the game including four-star WR Demarcus Robinson (Fort Valley, GA), who plans to enroll early at the school of his choice on Monday.

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DT Caleb Brantley decommits from Gators

The Florida Gators’ 2013 recruiting class has lost yet another prominent member as four-star defensive tackle Caleb Brantley (Crescent City, FL) publicly announced his decommitment from the program on Wednesday.

Brantley officially became the second member of Florida’s 2013 class on Jan. 28, 2012 when he originally committed to join the program. He has considered decommitting in the past but ultimately decided to remain pledged to the Gators.

He obviously had a change of this week while in St. Petersburg, FL for the 2013 Under Armour All-American Game.

“Just Decommitted from Florida by text message !” he wrote on Twitter. “It is what it is ! I aint even playing I decommitted ! ON GOD !”

Soon after Brantley’s announcement, Florida four-star defensive end commit Joey Ivie (Dade City, FL) reached out to him in an attempt to ease his concerns.

“Call me when you can. Don’t let BS screw up your future man,” he wrote. “Your a Gator, its your dream school like mine. Haters gonna hate.”

Brantley was the Gators’ only defensive tackle commitment for 2013 aside from four-star JUCO transfer Darious Cummings (Scooba, MS). He supposedly grew up a fan of the team as his entire family roots for Florida.

With redshirt senior Omar Hunter graduating and junior Sharrif Floyd likely leaving early for the 2013 NFL Draft, playing time in the middle of the defensive line is up for grabs next season.

Though Brantley has decommitted and said he plans to take visits, recruiting analysts such as Blake Alderman from InsidetheGators.com believe there is a high likelihood that he could recommit to the program within the next month.

Either way, he is the eighth former pledge to decommit from the Gators this recruiting cycle. Three-star offensive lineman Roderick Johnson (Delray Beach, FL) is the only one of those eight to recommit as of press time while Brantley and four-star wide receiver Demarcus Robinson (Fort Valley, GA) remain in limbo.

UF now has 24 total pledges including 23 that count as part of the 2013 class.

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FOUR BITS: Freshman All-SEC, Harvin, Siler, UA

1 » Four Florida Gators football players were named to the 2012 Freshman All-SEC Team on Thursday. Left tackle D.J. Humphries was the only player from the offensive side of the ball to be honored, but the Gators cleaned up on the defense with three placements – Buck linebacker Dante Fowler, Jr., defensive end Jonathan Bullard and LB Antonio Morrison. Florida was one of three teams (Alabama, Texas A&M) with four players selected to the Freshman All-SEC Team.

2 » The Minnesota Vikings on Wednesday placed wide receiver Percy Harvin on injured reserve, abruptly ending his season. Harvin had not played since injuring his ankle in Week 9 but up to that point was a candidate for Most Valuable Player consideration. He led Minnesota in receptions in virtually every game he played, racking up 677 yards and three reception touchdowns to go along with a rushing score and return touchdown. Harvin reportedly suffered a grade-three ankle sprain (torn ligament) on Nov. 4 and has been unable to get healthy enough where team doctors would clear him to return to the field. The offseason was a rough one for Harvin, who appeared to get over his career-long migraine issues but was unhappy with how little the Vikings organization was using him on the field, reportedly noting privately that he wanted more touches in order to prove his worth and value. Minnesota and head coach Leslie Frazier heeded his request and used him plenty through the first nine weeks of the season. Harvin will enter the final year of his rookie contract in 2013. He was hoping to sign a new deal in the upcoming offseason though those plans may be on hold as the franchise could wish to wait and see how he performs next year.

3 » Kansas City Chiefs LB Brandon Siler has been relegated to reserve duty all season long. After being signed by the Chiefs prior to the 2011 season, Siler was expected to start for the team but tore his Achilles’ in the preseason and missed the entire year. Kansas City re-signed him to a one-year deal before 2012 got underway with it being known that he would likely be a backup who would see relatively limited action during games. That all changed last week when the player in front of Siler, Jovan Belcher, was involved in a murder-suicide that rocked the team, the NFL and the country as a whole. Siler moved back into the starting lineup in place of Belcher on Sunday. “All I know is there are two families out there, and there’s a little baby girl out there who is going to get my prayers every day for the rest of my life,” he told the The Kansas City Star. “That’s what’s really important to me.” Siler said he handled the situation his “own way” without the assistance of grief counselors but just wishes there was something he could have done. “I went through it a hundred times in my mind, and I couldn’t think of anything,” he said. “There are a lot of what-ifs, it drives you crazy. You have to cope with it and deal with it. It’s real and it happened.”

4 » Six Gators commitments have been named to the 2013 Under Armour All-American Game, which will take place on Jan. 4 and air live on ESPN. All playing for the black team, the Florida pledges that will suit up include four-star wide receiver Alvin Bailey (Seffner, FL), four-star running back Kelvin Taylor (Belle Glade, FL), five-star defensive back Vernon Hargreaves III (Tampa, FL), four-star DB Marcell Harris (Orlando, FL), four-star DB Keanu Neal (Bushnell, FL) and four-star defensive tackle Caleb Brantley (Crescent City, FL).

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