Florida football: Biggest recruiting needs in 2017, 2018 – SECcountry.com
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Recruiting classes are often judged by rankings, signing-day finishes and the number of 5-star prospects on your commitment list.
But for coaches, the No. 1 goal in each cycle is filling the personnel needs of their football team. It’s certainly important to land top-100 recruits and high school All-Americans, but addressing deficiencies on the roster always takes precedence.
Below are Florida’s biggest recruiting needs for the next two years:
Class of 2017
Team needs: Cornerback, defensive tackle, tight end, linebacker, offensive line
The departures: The Gators are expected to lose juniors cornerbacks Jalen “Teez” Tabor and Quincy Wilson, defensive tackles Caleb Brantley and Joey Ivie and linebackers Alex Anzalone, Jarrad Davis and Daniel McMillian. Anzalone and Brantley are redshirt juniors, but both appear to be leaving early for the NFL Draft.
Tight ends DeAndre Goolsby and C’yontai Lewis return next year, but Goolsby will be a senior and UF didn’t sign any prospects at the position in the last class. Barring attrition, the Gators will bring back all 15 linemen on their roster. Despite that depth, they still need talent upgrades along the offensive line.
The replacements: Florida currently has 10 verbal commitments at those five positions.
3 cornerback commits — Elijah Blades, Shawn Davis, Marco Wilson 2 defensive tackle commits — Fred Hansard, Javier Edwards 2 tight end commits — Zech Byrd, Kemore Gamble 2 linebacker commits — James Houston, Ventrell Miller 1 offensive line commit — Kadeem Telfort
UF has filled its needs at tight end and wants to add a third defensive tackle and linebacker to this class, with 3-star DT Tyrone Truesdell (Augusta, Ga.) and 4-star LB Rahyme Johnson (Los Angeles) being the most likely options. The Gators are trying to land two more cornerbacks and 4-star recruits C.J. Henderson (Miami) and Brad Stewart (New Orleans) are the names to watch. UF also needs to sign an elite lineman to join Telfort, and 5-star Alabama commit Alex Leatherwood