2013 Football Recruiting Report: Kelvin Taylor – Running Back – Belle Glade, FL

He’s the recruit everyone had their eye on, for a while now. Being the son of a former Florida Gators’ great is one thing; breaking the career state rushing record of another is one more. There are many things that turned Kelvin Taylor into one of the nation’s most sought after running backs; his connections to Fred Taylor and Emmitt Smith are just a couple. The 2013 RB more than lives up to the comparisons and the hype and on February 18, he made Gator Nation extremely happy.

The Rundown

Name: Kelvin Taylor
Position: Running Back
Height: 5’11″
Weight: 215
Hometown: Belle Glade, FL
High School: Glades Day
Class: 2013
Rankings: 247Sports – 5 stars, No. 1 RB, No. 13 Overall | ESPN – 4 stars, No. 1 RB, No. 21 Overall | Scout – 4 stars, No. 9 RB, No. 58 Overall | Rivals – 4 stars, No. 9 RB, No. 92 Overall
Status: Committed to Florida

The Report

It came down to two schools for Taylor: Florida – where his father played – and Alabama – the defending national champions and the program that recently produced Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson. A tough decision for Taylor seemed like a no-brainer for Gators’ fans. The decision came early when Taylor committed to Florida, and although there’s plenty of time for him to change his mind, not many see that happening.

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2013 Football Recruiting Report: James Hearns – Linebacker – Tallahassee, FL

On February 2, 2012, the Florida Gators added two linebackers to their 2013 recruiting class. The first was Jacksonville’s (First Coast) Daniel McMillian and he was immediately followed by Tallahassee’s (Lincoln) James Hearns. Hearns joins 2012 signee Raphael Andrades from Lincoln and the connection doesn’t end there. Former Gator great Jacquez Green is the school’s offensive coordinator. Lincoln has plenty of talent and we hope the path to Florida doesn’t end with Hearns.

The Rundown

Name: James Hearns
Position: Linebacker
Height: 6’3″
Weight: 230
Hometown: Tallahassee, FL
High School: Lincoln
Class: 2013
Rankings: 247Sports – 4 stars, No. 10 ILB, No. 190 Overall | ESPN – 4 stars, No. 8 ILB | Scout – 3 stars, No. 15 ILB | Rivals – 4 stars, No. 7 ILB, No. 157 Overall
Status: Committed to Florida

The Report

Hearns is a power defender, meaning he uses his strength to his advantage in almost every situation. Watch just a few moments of his highlights reels and you’ll see him run through most ball carriers and push many blockers out of his way. His raw power builds as he accelerates and he doesn’t always have to use technique to bring offensive players to the ground. Once Hearns gets a full head of steam, he can go up against much of what the offense has to offer. As he fills out and learns improved ways to condition at the college level, his power and strength will only increase, making him a dangerous individual to be hit by.

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2013 Football Recruiting Report: Daniel McMillian – Linebacker – Jacksonville, FL

One of the Florida Gators’ highest rated commitments, Jacksonville, FL (First Coast) linebacker Daniel McMillian is also one of the most important recruits to hold on to. Whether playing inside or outside linebacker (the recruiting services seems to differ on where he should end up), McMillian is a dynamic athlete with a certain amount of beast mode to the way he plays. Committed to Florida, his recruitment won’t stop and a number of programs will continue to pursue him.

The Rundown

Name: Daniel McMillian
Position: Linebacker
Height: 6’3″
Weight: 220
Hometown: Jacksonville, FL
High School: First Coast
Class: 2013
Rankings: 247Sports – 4 stars, No. 3 OLB, No. 44 Overall | ESPN – 4 stars, No. 2 OLB, No. 38 Overall | Scout – 4 stars, No. 3 ILB, No. 44 Overall | Rivals – 4 stars, No. 2 ILB, No. 53 Overall
Status: Committed to Florida

The Report

McMillian has the potential to turn into a nightmare for opposing offenses much in the manner Jevon Kearse was during his time with the Gators. He’s an all-out player that seems to gravitate toward the ball. McMillian has the innate ability to sniff out plays and the direction they are headed. Many times, you’ll find him on the ball carrier almost immediately when the rest of the defense has yet to make a read on the play. It’s this type of instinctive play that generally guides a linebacker to greatness. As he refines the rest of his game, his ball awareness will be the strength that allows him to succeed.

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2013 Football Recruiting Report: Caleb Brantley – Defensive Tackle – Crescent City, FL

Crescent City, FL (Crescent City) defensive tackle Caleb Brantley was the second member of the Florida Gators’ 2013 recruiting class behind only Winter Haven, FL (Winter Haven) running back Adam Lane. While confident in his decision at the time, recent events have led to numerous questions over the level of his commitment. A big body with speed for his size, the Gators are looking to keep Brantley happy with the choice he originally made in hopes he ends up in orange and blue.

The Rundown

Name: Caleb Brantley
Position: Defensive Tackle
Height: 6’3″
Weight: 302
Hometown: Crescent City, FL
High School: Crescent City
Class: 2013
Rankings: 247Sports – 4 stars, No. 16 DT, No. 241 Overall | ESPN – 4 stars, No. 4 DT, No. 18 Overall | Scout – 4 stars, No. 28 DT, No. 252 Overall | Rivals – 4 stars, No. 7 DT, No. 82 Overall
Status: Committed to Florida

The Report

Depending on which recruiting service you follow or where you like to get your news, Brantley may or may not have gone from being solid to Florida to becoming a soft commitment in recent weeks. It seems that he feels he rushed into his decision and wants to take a few more looks before confidently saying he is a Florida Gator. Then again, maybe he is solid and just needed a moment to realize such. Only Brantley knows where he stands at this exact moment. What we know is that he’s an important recruit that could be a vital member of the Gators’ class as Florida looks to rebuild depth at defensive tackle in another season or two.

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2013 Football Recruiting Report: Adam Lane – Running Back – Winter Haven, FL

One month ago today, Adam Lane became the first member of the Florida Gators’ 2013 recruiting class. The running back from Winter Haven, FL (Winter Haven) wasn’t alone for long; only four weeks later he was one of 10 recruits committed to the Gators. Along with Kelvin Taylor, Lane hopes to run wild for Florida for years to come.

The Rundown

Name: Adam Lane
Position: Running Back
Height: 5’7″
Weight: 207
Hometown: Winter Haven, FL
High School: Winter Haven
Class: 2013
Rankings: 247Sports – 3 stars, No. 42 RB | ESPN – ESPNU 150 | Scout | Rivals
Status: Committed to Florida

The Report

An injury can do more than just force a player to miss time. It can impact the initial rankings he receives from recruiting services. While those services are just a guide and not always accurate predictors of how a prospect will turn out, they are a starting point and Lane starts with some ground to make up. Thought to be one of the better running backs in the nation entering his junior season, an ankle injury didn’t allow him to prove it. With so much time away from the field, Scout and Rivals didn’t rank him initially while 247Sports believes Lane is the nation’s No. 42 running back worthy of three stars and ESPN puts him in the ESPNU 150. From unranked to one of the 150 best players in the nation; if that doesn’t give you a prime example of the differing opinions available in the recruiting world, not much else will.

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