GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Here are the grades for Florida’s 2017 class.
UF signed two prospects at the position, though athlete Kadarius Toney could eventually play wide receiver. But the Gators nabbed an Elite 11 finalist and two-time state champion in Jake Allen.
Running back: A+
The Gators hit a home run here. They landed their top target in Adarius Lemons — once ranked the state’s No. 1 back — and Malik Davis, the all-time leading rusher in Hillsborough County who was pursued late by Clemson, Georgia and Miami.
Wide receiver: A
This wasn’t a position of need after signing five receivers in 2016, but UF landed a pair of Under Armour All-Americans for the second straight year in Daquon Green and James Robinson, who could be an immediate-impact player.
Tight end: A-
The Gators wanted two prospects at this position after not signing any in the last class. They inked the state’s No. 1 tight end in Kemore Gamble, but 3-star commit Zech Byrd wasn’t able to sign because of academics.
Offensive line: B
Contrary to popular belief, offensive line wasn’t a priority because Florida returns 13 players for 2017. However, quality depth was needed and that’s what UF got with 4-star linemen T.J. Moore and Kadeem Telfort, the state’s No. 3 offensive tackle.
Defensive line: A
Defensive tackle was the Gators’ second-biggest need and they signed three prospects in Kyree Campbell, Elijah Conliffe and T.J. Slaton, a top-100 prospect. Elite 4-star defensive end Zachary Carter also committed to Florida over Alabama and Clemson.
UF certainly added depth at this position with four signees, though none of them were highly coveted or highly touted. However, Ventrell Miller and Nick Smith may very well prove to be better than their 3-star ratings. Randy Shannon knows linebackers.
I concur with @ZachAbolverdi on Ventrell Miller and Nick Smith. They're 3-star guys but really, really good players
— Ollie Connolly (@OllieConnolly) January 31, 2017
Defensive backs: A
Cornerback was the No. 1 need for the Gators and they landed some studs. The de-commitment of 4-star recruit Elijah Blades did not hurt the CB class, but missing on some top-flight safeties keeps this grade from being an A+.
Jim McElwain, his assistant coaches and the recruiting staffers filled their biggest needs with quality players and signed Florida’s first top-10 class since 2014.