GAINESVILLE — Will Muschamp came to Florida with a reputation as a recruiter, but had less than a month to sign his first class. Now with more than a year on the job, the Gators' coach has a chance to put together a class that can help the program move past a 7-6 season.
What they need: Muschamp knew the SEC would be a line of scrimmage league, and his first season at Florida taught up him how his players stacked up. In short, not well. The Gators' struggled with a lack of depth on both lines and were often overpowered in conference play. Florida will need help, especially on the offensive line where it loses starting guard Dan Wenger and finished the season with three tackles.
Elsewhere on offense, Florida will need help with running back after the graduation of Jeff Demps and Chris Rainey. On defense, the Gators didn't sign enough linebackers in the last class and will need to add more at that position this year.
Who they've already got: Tackle D.J. Humphries, the No. 3 recruit overall according to Rivals.com, was one of six players to enroll early. Among the five defensive linemen in the class, end Jonathan Bullard, ranks among the best at the position nationally and tackle Damien Jacobs is one of the highest-ranked JuCo transfers. Running back Matt Jones helps at a position of need, and Florida should solidify itself at tight end with two of the best in the country in Kent Taylor and Colin Thompson.
The Gators also have some help on defense, with two linebackers committed, and add to their secondary with Marcus Maye and Brian Poole, two of the state's best defensive backs.
Players still considering Florida
Tracy Howard, S, Miramar (5-11, 175) – It's on secret that Howard is high on coach Will Muschamp's board. He sat with Howard's mom at the state championship game. Howard is the No. 1 safety in the country and appears to be down to UF and LSU.
Nelson Agholor, WR, Tampa Berkeley (6-2, 180) – Mr. Do-Everything is visiting Florida State this weekend. He is down to UF, FSU, Notre Dame, Oklahoma and Southern Cal. He will have visited all but USC as of this weekend.
Stefon Diggs, WR, Olney (Md.) Our Lady of Good Counsel (6-0, 185) – Diggs wowed people with his speed, hands and also his flashy swagger at Friday Night Lights in July. He is visiting Auburn this weekend and has had the Tigers No. 1.
Jake Meador, OL, Whiteland, Ind. (6-7, 305) – A late December offer from the Gators may change things for Meador, who is currently entertaining other offers but committed to Mississippi. He is at Gainesville this weekend.
Dante Fowler, DE, St. Petersburg Lakewood (6-3, 232) – Committed to Florida State long ago (Dec. 2010), but Fowler has been a frequent visitor to The Swamp all season long. He is visiting Tallahassee this weekend and will visit the Gators officially on the final weekend of allowable visitation. He also will visit USC.
Players currently committed
DE Jonathan Bullard, 6-4, 255, Shelby (N.C.) Crest; K Austin Hardin, 5-11, 200, Atlanta Marist; RB Matt Jones, 6-2, 200, Seffner Armwood; SS Rhaheim Ledbetter, 5-11, 190, Boiling Spring (N.C.) Crest; DT JaFar Mann, 6-4, 275, Stone Mountain (Ga.) Stephenson; S Marcus Maye, 6-1, 190, Melbourne Holy Trinity; DT Dante Phillips, 6-6, 268, Venice; LB Lorenzo Phillips, 6-1, 200, Patterson (La.); DB Brian Poole, 5-11, 187, Bradenton Southeast; LB Jeremi Powell, 6-2, 200, Largo Pinellas Park; TE Kent Taylor, 6-5, 220, Land O'Lakes; TE Colin Thompson, 6-5, 255, Warminster (Pa.) Archbishop Wood Catholic; DE Quinteze Williams, 6-4, 295, Tyrone (Ga.) Sandy Creek; ENROLLED: DT Damien Jacobs, 6-4, 290, Gray (La.) Bourgeois High via East Mississippi CC; DB Willie Bailey, 6-1, 165, Hallandale; OL Jessamen Dunker, 6-6, 315, Boynton Beach; OT D.J. Humphries, 6-5, 265, Charlotte (N.C.) Mallard Creek; LB Antonio Morrison, 6-3, 220, Bolingbrook (Ill.); WR Latroy Pittman, 6-1, 190, Citra North Marion.Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times