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Athlon Sports continues counting down the Top 25 recruiting classes of 2013.
College football's 2013 National Signing Day is in the books and Athlon Sports kicks off its 2013 team recruiting rankings countdown with an in-depth look at the best classes in the nation.
Florida head coach Will Muschamp was not happy on National Signing Day. It had nothing to do with his elite top-five class ranking or deep collection of future Gators stars. No, he was worn out from a hard season on the recruiting trail and was ready for the process to be over. But all that hard work paid off in spades and Florida landed one of best classes in the nation.
No. 4: Florida Gators
Athlon Consensus 100 Signees: 6
National Signees: 11
Total Signees: 30
Where They Got 'Em:
The state of Florida will be and always should be the primary focus of any head coach in Gainesville. More top-flight prospects come out of The Sunshine State each season than anywhere else in the nation. It shouldn't be a surprise then that Muschamp landed 19 in-state signees, including eight nationally ranked players. Florida can recruit nationally, but the foundation for every Gator class should come from within its borders.
Georgia has quickly become the No. 4 (Fla., Texas, Calif.) state for talent nationally and the Gators took advantage here as well. Six players signed with Florida from The Peach State, giving this class 25 players from either Georgia or Florida. Pennsylvania, Virginia, Michigan, North Carolina and Tennessee provided one signee each.
Areas of Focus:
It seems impossible, but Florida has lacked big-time playmakers on offense since Percy Harvin, Riley Cooper and Louis Murphy departed campus. This offense has been desperate for a star on the outside and Muschamp hopes that he has found one with five highly rated wide receiver signees. Three of the top 15 wideout prospects in the nation are headed to Gainesville. Demarcus Robinson (6-2, 195) and Almad Fulwood (6-4, 200) bring size and vertical ability to the outside while Alvin Bailey (5-11, 175) and Chris Thompson (6-0, 170) should be featured in the slot.
With Mike Gillislee running out of eligibility, this team also needed to find a workhorse. Gators' legacy prospect Kelvin Taylor should be the guy. He is the No. 2 running back in the nation and is the son of NFL great Fred Taylor. He has been a prep star in The Sunshine State since starting for Glades Central as a middle schooler and should compete for carries right away. He is already on campus working in the offense.
Helping to make all of these stars successful on offense are five offensive line signees. None are nationally ranked but depth shouldn't be an issue along the front line.
The defense is getting loads of help in this class. The defensive line class is one of the best in the nation as seven new faces show up along the defensive front. Caleb Brantley is the only nationally ranked player in this deep and versatile group. He can play inside or out along with early enrollee Joey Ivie and Antonio Riles. Darious Cummings, Jay-nard Bostwick and Jarran Reed will land at tackle while Jordan Sherit will come off of the edge. Muschamp and company will have to develop this haul, but the upside is remarkable.
The star power of this recruiting class resides in the back seven on defense, however. Six of the 11 nationally rated prospects will play either defensive back or linebacker. Four of the top five players in this class will play there are well. Vernon Hargreaves III is the top coverman in the nation and a pair of electric linebackers in Alex Anzalone and Daniel McMillian restock a position that lost Jelani Jenkins and Jon Bostic this winter. Both highly touted players enrolled early and both are listed at an impressive 6-3 and 220 pounds. Three of the top 20 linebackers in the nation signed with Florida.
Along with Hargreaves III, AC100 safety Marcel Harris, an jumbo prospect who could be special at 6-2, 220, and nationally rated Keanu Neal bolster the back end of the Gators defense with elite talent.
Offense: QB: 1, RB: 2, WR: 5, TE: 0, OL: 5
Defense: DL: 7, LB: 4, DB: 4, ATH: 1, P: 1
|3.||Vernon Hargreaves III||DB||No. 1||Tampa, Fla.||5-11||180|
|22.||Kelvin Taylor||RB||No. 2||Belle Glade, Fla.||5-10||205|
|54.||Alexander Anzalone||LB||No. 5||Wyomissing, Pa.||6-3||220|
|56.||Daniel McMillian||LB||No. 6||Jacksonville, Fla.||6-3||220|
|78.||Marcel Harris||DB||No. 15||Orlando, Fla.||6-2||220|
|81.||Demarcus Robinson||WR||No. 11||Ft. Valley, Ga.||6-2||195|
|104.||Keanu Neal||DB||No. 19||Bushnell, Fla.||6-0||205|
|106.||Alvin Bailey||WR||No. 13||Seffner, Fla.||5-11||175|
|119.||Caleb Brantley||DL||No. 22||Crescent City, Fla.||6-3||295|
|127.||Ahmad Fulwood||WR||No. 14||Jacksonville, Fla.||6-4||200|
|153.||Matt Rolin||LB||No. 20||Ashburn, Va.||6-4||205|
|Alex Anzalone||LB||Wyomissing, Pa.||6-3||220||No. 54|
|Darious Cummings||DL||Scooba, Miss.||6-2||305||JUCO|
|Joey Ivie||DL||Dade City, Fla.||6-4||270||--|
|Daniel McMillian||LB||Jacksonville, Fla.||6-3||220||No. 56|
|Tyler Moore||OL||Clearwater, Fla.||6-5||312||--|
|Demarcus Robinson||WR||Ft. Valley, Ga.||6-2||195||No. 81|
|Matt Rolin||LB||Ashburn, Va.||6-4||205||No. 153|
|Kelvin Taylor||RB||Belle Glade, Fla.||5-10||205||No. 22|
Athlon Sports 2013 Recruiting Classes: