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.”

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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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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%

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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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Five-star CB Jalen Tabor flips to Florida

Less than a week after committing to the Arizona Wildcats during the 2014 Under Armour All-American Game, five-star cornerback Jalen Tabor (Washington, D.C.) changed his mind and has instead decided to join the Florida Gators.

The early enrollee will step foot on campus Monday, according to multiple reports.

“If You Not A Gator You Gator Bait !” he tweeted shortly after making the flip. “Following In Big Cuz Footsteps @joehaden23 ! Wearing #5″

Tabor (6-foot-1, 186 pounds), ranked the No. 24 overall player in the nation by Rivals.com, chose Arizona primarily over Alabama on Jan. 2, but his final four also included Florida and Maryland.

“Marcus Roberson [declaring for] the draft had a big part to do with Tabor’s flip, that and distance according to him,” explained Blake Alderman InsidetheGators.com.

The fourth-highest rated cornerback in the country immediately becomes the Gators’ top-ranked prospect and only five-star commitment to date this cycle.

Tabor is coming off an impressive performances both in the Under Armour game and during the week of practices leading up to the contest. Rivals.com’s recruiting analyst Mike Farrell said Taylor “provided the best coverage on defense during the week.”

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2014 RB Dalvin Cook flips from Florida to FSU

A year filled with devastating news for the Florida Gators ended in a similar fashion as the program lost its highest-rated 2014 commitment, four-star running back Dalvin Cook (Miami, FL), to the in-state rival Florida State Seminoles on the final day of 2013.

ESPNU casually broke the news of Cook’s flip with a graphic and simple mention on Tuesday evening during a taped show emanating from practices ahead of the 2014 Under Armour All-American Game.

Though he first made a pledge to continue his career at Florida back on April 6, when he decided to flip his commitment from Clemson, Cook began wavering as the Gators fell apart throughout the season.

Florida finished 4-8 while the team Cook ultimately committed to, Florida State, is 12-0 and playing for a national title next week.

He told Scout.com‘s Amy Campbell that he came to the final decision to play for FSU two months ago. Cook has spent much of that time claiming he was “100 percent” committed to UF. Dozens of pictures of Cook doing the Gator Chomp have found their way on social media over the last few days.

The Gators now only have three commitments participating in the Under Armour All-American Game, set to air live on ESPN at 4 p.m. on Thursday, a number that could decrease in the coming days or weeks.

A pair of four-star Florida pledges – wide receiver Ermon Lane (Homestead, FL) and cornerback J.C. Jackson (Immokalee, FL) – are also wavering in their commitments. Lane has said he plans to attend school with Cook and has an official visit scheduled at FSU, while Jackson is heavily considering Miami.

2015 four-star WR Da’Vante Phillips (Miami, FL), Cook’s teammate at Miami Central High School, decommitted from UF on Dec. 24. He had made a verbal pledge on July 27.

Cook, the 30th ranked player in the Class of 2014, was considered a must-get prospect for the Gators this recruiting cycle. His innate playmaking ability was sorely needed by Florida, which would likely have found a way to get him on the field right away.

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Seven Gators commits in third Rivals250 for 2014

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

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

25 4 – QB Will Grier (Davidson, NC)
28 4 – RB Dalvin Cook (Miami, FL)
34 2 – WR Ermon Lane^ (Homestead, FL)
137 2 – DT Khairi Clark (Hollywood, FL)
148 2 – CB Quincy Wilson^ (Fort Lauderdale, FL)
158 74 – DB Duke Dawson (Cross City, FL)
249 5 – CB J.C. Jackson (Immokalee, FL)

^ New commitment since last update.

Notes:

» Dawson’s jump of 74 spots was the largest gain in the new rankings.
» Adjustments to non-Rivals250 players’ star ratings will be released Wednesday.

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 raid South Florida for trio of four-star commits, add WR Ermon Lane, CB Quincy Wilson

The Florida Gators‘ 2014 recruiting class received an enormous boost on Monday evening when a pair of four-star prospects out of South Florida – wide receiver Ermon Lane (Homestead, FL) and cornerback Quincy Wilson (Fort Lauderdale, FL) – joined a third local product by committing to play college football for the Gators.

Lane (6-foot-2, 172 pounds) and Wilson (6-foot-2, 195 pounds) have been planning to play together in college for quite a while and linked up to announce their collective decision during a radio broadcast on 560 WQAM.

“When Quincy’s dad took us up to Florida for the spring practice, I just felt at home when I stepped on campus, Lane said. “I was looking at the wide receivers, and I just felt like I could go in and compete and play as a true freshman.”

Added Wilson: “I felt the same way too with Loucheiz [Purifoy] and Marcus [Roberson], they’ll probably leave. I felt like I could go in there, make an impact early being that there will only be Vernon Hargreaves and three other commits – J.C. Jackson, Chris Lammons and Duke Dawson. I felt like that was going to be a good opportunity.

Listed as the No. 2 wide receiver in his recruiting class, Lane is considered the 32nd best player in the nation by Rivals and 28th overall by ESPN. Wilson is ranked No. 150 in the Rivals250 and No. 203 in the ESPN 300.

They are UF’s third- and fifth-highest ranked commitments, respectively.

The duo chose Florida over Ohio State and South Carolina, two other schools that also had scholarship offers extended to both players.

Earlier in the day, four-star CB Chris Lammons (Plantation, FL) – a friend of Wilson’s – verbally committed to the Gators live on ESPNU.

“They’ve always been my teammates,” Lammons said of the two players. “I just know we’re going to continue balling.”

Lammons, Lane and Wilson have extended Florida’s 2014 recruiting class to 16 total commitments. The trio gives the Gators five pledges that hail from South Florida, and the quintet comprises nearly one-third of the recruiting class.

RELATED: One down: CB Chris Lammons picks Florida

Four-star running back Dalvin Cook (Miami, FL) committed on April 6, and four-star defensive tackle Khairi Clark (Hollywood, FL) made a verbal promise on June 22.

Gators defensive backs coach Travaris Robinson, a Miami native whose recruiting territory is South Florida, was the primary recruiter for all five players.

Check out Florida’s updated 2014 recruiting class by clicking here.


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