Defining Season Begins On Saturday For Florida Gators Running Back Mack Brown

Mike Gillislee is the Florida Gators starting running back. We know this, and we’re also aware of his lofty expectations for the 2012 season. Behind him is a group of backs with very little game experience. There’s a true freshman, a converted defensive back/linebacker, and Mack Brown.

Brown came to Florida with the hype that surrounds most four-star recruits. In the two seasons since, he has 65 yards rushing on only 15 carries. Three of those carries came during a true freshman season that he was fortunate enough to get a redshirt out of. As a redshirt freshman in 2011, more was expected. The result was 12 total carries, 10 of which came in one game. To say Brown’s career hasn’t gone as expected thus far is an understatement. BUT…he has three years of eligibility left.

Gillislee is a senior, so the role of his backup is a coveted one. The Gators haven’t had a primary go-to back in…let’s not even bother to count how long…so the backups will get work. Add that to the fact that in 2013, Florida will be looking for a starter and you have quite the desirable position to be in if your Brown. He’ll compete for carries in 2012, but if he plays well enough when called upon, he may earn more in 2013.

This season could define Brown’s career as a Gator. Play well and earn more for the future. Underachieve and we’ll hear even more about Matt Jones, Chris Johnson, Kelvin Taylor and Adam Lane. There’s plenty of talent at the position and more coming. One misstep and anyone of those names could find themselves buried deep down the depth chart. Brown has to prove, on the field, that he’s worthy of that No. 2 spot.

2013 Football Recruiting: Athlete Derrick Henry No Longer Committed To Georgia Bulldogs

During the 2012 recruiting cycle, an athlete from the 2013 class jumped to the top of many wish lists. While programs focused on putting together their 2012 classes, they couldn’t help but notice Yulee, FL (Yulee) athlete Derrick Henry. One of the nation’s best in his class, Henry was a want of nearly every major program in the nation. Among those were the Florida Gators.

With a need a running back, wide receiver, and virtually every other position Henry could conceivably play, the Gators kept an eye on Henry. There was even a time when Florida was considered the leader. But not long after that news began to surface, Henry pulled the trigger and committed to Georgia. After 11 months and numerous other visits, Henry is a free agent again. On Wednesday, the athlete announced he was no longer committed to the Bulldogs.

The news comes after a weekend Henry spent at Alabama – considered to be among his favorites. Also on that list is another SEC program, Tennessee. It seems more and more likely that Henry will end up in the Southeastern Conference, but Georgia may now be a long shot.

As for Florida? Well, the Gators could be as well. Since Henry’s commitment to the Bulldogs, the Gators have added Adam Lane and Kelvin Taylor. Although Henry has also been mentioned as a possible receiver or defensive back, Florida has added numbers at those positions as well. They could always use more, but a lot of time has passed with Henry.

The coaching staff may test the waters and see where Henry’s mind is now that he is no longer committed to Georgia, but nearly one year after being rumored as the leader for him, Florida has an uphill battle if they want to join in the fight again.

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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2013 Football Recruiting: Kelvin Taylor Commits To Florida; Gators Add Top 2013 Running Back

Belle Glade, FL (Glades Day) running back Kelvin Taylor has committed to play football for the Florida Gators. The Florida legacy – scheduled to attend Florida’s Junior Day on Saturday – has made his decision public. Taylor – son of Gators’ great Fred Taylor – chose Florida over the Alabama Crimson Tide.

Taylor is regarded as one of the nation’s top running backs. The state’s high school career rushing leader will take his talents to Gainesville where his father was a star in the 1990s. The younger Taylor ends speculation early in the process and was one recruit that definitely made Florida fans nervous over the last few months. While he has always been extremely pro-Gator, Taylor has also been positive toward the Tide via his Twitter account.

Florida now has two running backs already committed as part of the 2013 recruiting class. Taylor joins Winter Haven’s Adam Lane and the duo may eventually become a trio. There has been plenty of talk about the Gators taking three backs as part of the class after landing only Matt Jones in 2012.

The fast start to the 2013 cycle is a welcome occurrence for fans that weren’t entirely satisfied with the 2012 class. It’s hard to be down on a class ranked as highly as the Gators’ was, but minimal offensive playmakers at key positions such as wide receiver and, of course, running back had many looking forward to 2013. Taylor joins a class that is already turning out to be a very good one more than 11 months before National Signing Day.

2013 Football Recruiting: 3 Florida Gators Among Rivals 100 And 250 Rankings

Over the past two days, Rivals has released their first Rivals 100 and Rivals 250 football recruiting rankings for 2013. The Florida Gators – with four committed prospects already – have three players placed on those lists. All three were also given four-star status by the recruiting service.

Linebacker Daniel McMillan is up first on the list. The Jacksonville, FL (First Coast) linebacker ranks in at No. 53 overall. McMillan also had offers from Alabama and Florida State. Up next – and also in the Rivals 100 – is Crescent City, FL (Crescent City) defensive tackle Caleb Brantley at No. 82. Rivals is going to want to add a picture or two if they plan to keep Brantley on the list. Tallahassee, FL (Lincoln) linebacker James Hearns also received four stars, but was part of the Rivals 250. Hearns ranks in at No. 157.

The only commit to not make the list is Winter Haven, FL (Winter Haven) running back Adam Lane, but it may only be a matter of time. Lane is a power runner who also holds an offer from Ohio State. What may actually be holding him back is the sheer number of great running backs in the 2013 class. For example, there are nine RBs in the Rivals 100 and another three athletes that have a chance to end up at the position. Of those 12, seven are from states with SEC programs.

For more on the Gators’ 2013 recruiting class, visit the dedicated page we’ve set up. It contains measurables, rankings, links and more.

2013 Football Recruiting: Caleb Brantley Chooses Gators; Defensive Tackle Commits To Florida

Adam Lane was alone on the 2013 Florida Gators’ football commitment list for only a short time. On Saturday, the running back was joined by defensive tackle Caleb Brantley ($). Brantley committed to the Gators while attending junior day and although signing day for his class is over a year away, he believes he made the right decision.

“It is really early, but I am a Gator.” – Caleb Brantley, 2013 Defensive Tackle

From Crescent City, FL (Crescent City), Brantley had offers from many instate schools including Florida State, Miami and USF. He chose Florida citing the family feel and ability for his family to see him play on a constant basis. The 6’3″, 285-pound defensive tackle already has great size for his age and the ability to develop into a great run stopper. With another year of high school football ahead of him, Brantley will have plenty of time to continue to develop his talents before he gets to the next level.

With only a few days left until the 2012 class signs, Will Muschamp and the entire Florida staff are already making their mark on 2013. For those that won’t be joining the Gators until then, check out the new 2013 Gators Football Recruiting Class page.

2012 Football Recruiting: Florida Gators Add Alex McCalister; Defensive End Verbally Commits

The train started on Saturday with the commitments of 2012 defensive end Brian Cox Jr. and 2013 running back Adam Lane and continued into Monday with the announcement of 2012 defensive end Alex McCalister. McCalister becomes the seventh defensive line commitment the Gators have picked up and the second in three days to be considered a fit for the buck position.

McCalister – listed at 6’7″, 212 pounds – chose Florida over Georgia Tech and North Carolina. He will have to add considerable bulk before he’ll see significant playing time in a Gators’ uniform, but his quickness off the line makes him an intriguing prospect. Out of Clemmons, North Carolina (West Forsyth), McCalister becomes the latest in a line of recent recruits from the state of North Carolina to commit to Florida. There are three others in the 2012 class alone – Jonathan Bullard, D.J. Humphries, Rhaheim Ledbetter – Xavier Nixon will be back in a Gators’ uniform this upcoming season and we can’t forget about Brandon Spikes.

McCalister makes it 20 commitments for Florida with more to come as National Signing Day approaches.

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2013 Football Recruiting: Adam Lane Commits To Florida Gators; Running Back Becomes First For 2013

Brian Cox Jr.’s commitment wasn’t the only good news the Florida Gators received on Saturday. Florida added their first commitment to the 2013 list with the announcement made by running back Adam Lane ($). Lane was a question mark after an injury forced him to miss his junior season, but he had been considered one of the better backs in the 2013 class before that.

The 5’7″, 207-pound Lane committed to the Gators on Saturday during a visit to Gainesville. With the running game looking for a refresh of sorts, Lane is a powerful back in a small package. His weight alone points to that. Lane wanted to commit early and chose Florida over other offers including one from the Ohio State Buckeyes. He is the first running back in the Gators’ 2013 class, but won’t be the last. Florida will be one of Kelvin Taylor’s finalists, is expected to go hard after Greg Bryant and will still recruit Georgia Bulldogs’ commit Derrick Henry. Don’t expect Lane to be alone in the class.

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