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The Bull Gator: Chris Dunkley to USF. Thoughts? Feelings?
One Eyed Willy: Each year I pinpoint one recruit from the Florida class of commits that I have what the doctors like to call a “healthy man-crush” on. For the class of 2010, that recruit was one Mr. Chris Dunkley. The reason for my infatuation with Chris was quite simple…he went to the same high school and graduated the same year as my “little” brother (TBG Note: The use of “little” is completely appropriate here. OEW’s brother would destroy him.). Well, kind of. You see, Chris went to Royal Palm Beach High School for his freshman, sophomore and junior years (the same school that my brother went to), but then decided to transfer to the football powerhouse that is Pahokee High School for his senior year. I can’t really blame him for that decision given that he ended up at a school with a much better coaching staff and a far superior football program.
I also cannot really blame him for transferring from UF. As UF fans, we want all of the guys that we recruit to end up being all-world in three areas of their life: on the field, off the field, and in the classroom. Unfortunately, Chris’s biggest issues came with the latter. For whatever reason, Chris could not handle the academic part of being a student athlete. I don’t recall Chris ever getting in trouble with the authorities, I don’t recall him ever being suspended from the team, and I don’t recall him ever saying anything negative about UF as a program or about either of the two coaching staffs he played under. Chris simply could not handle the class work at UF and therefore decided to transfer (or maybe was told to transfer).
Now the question becomes where does he go from there? There are some places that are an absolute no-no for an ex-Florida player to end up: FSU, Tennessee, Miami and Georgia are the four that stick out in my mind. But there is one place that ex-Gators should be welcomed with open arms, assuming they are good players and good kids, which I believe Chris to be. That, of course, is my second alma mater, the University of South Florida. So I wish Chris the best of luck in the green and gold on Saturdays – but more importantly I wish him the best of luck in the classroom on Monday through Friday!
TBG: One linebacker was said to have Florida in his final two before he committed elsewhere. Another was said to be a heavy Florida lean before he committed elsewhere. Is this something to be concerned about? Is linebacker a must-get position during the 2012 recruiting cycle?
OEW: Losing Noor Davis and Raphael Kirby is disheartening for sure, but it’s not something to get all bent out of shape about. This is recruiting…you lose guys that you were sure were coming to your school all the time. Unfortunately we lost “locks” within a week’s time and we lost them during the dead season in college football which resulted in a small story becoming a nationwide outcry from Gator fans – or at least that’s what it seemed to become.
Noor Davis is a very smart young man who wanted to go to a program that combined exceptional academics with an exceptional football team. Is there a place in the country that does that better than Stanford? Gator Nation laughed when former FSU safety Myron Rolle chose FSU over UF because of FSU’s superior academics (oxymoron alert!) because we all knew that was a crock of crap. In that same token, we cannot get upset with a guy like Davis who truly puts academics first when picking the place he will be for the next four years.
Raphael Kirby, on the other hand, seemed to pick his school of choice with his heart rather than his mind. I am sorry, but no one can tell me that right now Miami is a better school to go to than UF. But Kirby grew up a Miami fan and a few days after he picked up the Miami offer he went ahead and followed his heart to the U. Again, I can’t really fault a 17-year old kid for doing this as I too attended the school that I had loved since childhood.
As far as LB being a position of need, I would have to say the answer is yes and no. As we have seen this spring, developing depth on a team is a priority and something that our past coaching staff may not have excelled at. This is the SEC, players get injured, and you always want good young talent to be backing up and ready to take the place of your starters at a moment’s notice. But our LBs are actually very young. We currently have nine scholarship LBs (or LBs/DEs) on the team that are capable of getting significant playing time. Of these nine, none are seniors and only two (Jonathan Bostic and Dee Finley) are juniors. The rest are underclassman. In addition, Graham Stewart is an incoming freshman who has the potential to make his name known on the defensive side of the ball in the coming years. So while recruiting LBs is always going to be an area of focus for UF’s coaching staff, I think this year we definitely have bigger needs – have you seen our depth at the offensive line and wide receiver positions? Good grief!
TBG: Obligatory Lacrosse Question: What are you feelings about Saturday’s game against Duke?
OEW: The thing that scares me most about Duke is that they are extremely battle-tested this year. In the 18 games they have played this season, only six of them were against teams not ranked in the top 20 in the country. And they are 8-4 in those 12 games against ranked opponents. Their only losses this season are to #1 Maryland, #2 Northwestern, #3 UNC and #9 Penn. And they just beat that same #9 Penn team last week in the first round of the NCAA Tourney.
Like last week, the best thing that the Gator girls have going for them is that they are playing at home where they are still undefeated this year. Last week I said that Kitty Cullen and Ashley Bruns needed to have big games to beat Stanford. Although Bruns was held scoreless and only attempted one shot, Cullen provided the needed offensive power, scoring four goals against the Cardinal. Janine Hillier also provided some timely offensive sparks by scoring four goals herself. Cullen, Bruns and others will have to once again play up to their potential if they want to beat the Blue Devils. In the end, I will give the advantage to the home team and pick the Gators to win by 2-3 goals.
Former Florida wide receiver Chris Dunkley has landed, and it was not that far from his original destination. Dunkley left the Gators earlier this spring after speculation regarding grades and him finding himself in the doghouse. Almost immediately after announcing his intention to transfer, rumors about the receiver to USF began to surface. Those rumors would prove true in the end and Dunkley is now a member of the Bulls football team.
For Florida, Dunkley completed what we can now refer to as the Pahokee Three. It all started with Janoris Jenkins in 2008. Jenkins came to the Gators as one of the nation’s top cornerbacks. He would prove to be as much at the college level as well. A starter for three seasons, Jenkins was a member of back-to-back 13-1 Florida teams. Shocking to all, the talented defender decided to return to the Gators for his senior season instead of bolting early for the NFL. That decision is even more questionable now considering Jenkins’s arrests and subsequent dismissal from the program.
Next up was Nu’Keese Richardson. A year behind Jenkins, Richardson initially committed to the Gators only to spurn Florida for Tennessee. Let us all agree that the Gators dodged a bullet on this one. Richardson was said to have not been able to qualify academically at Florida as it is, but that was not the trouble. The trouble came when he was arrested for attempted armed robbery. So the Vols came and the Vols went for Richardson and he moved on to Hampton. That did not last long as Richardson left the program last summer. He spent the 2010 season at Coffeyville Community College. Expected to resurface at a FBS school for the upcoming season (USF was mentioned), Richardson now appears headed to Delta State.
And finally, we get to Dunkley. It is unfair to lump Dunkley in with the other two. His career path could prove to very different and we should hope it does. But there are two key connections: Florida football and Pahokee High School. In 2010, for the third straight year, a Pahokee player appeared on the Gators commitment list at one time or another. For the second time, that player signed to play at Florida. After redshirting his freshman year, Dunkley was expected to get a shot as was practically anyone listed at the wide receiver position, but his chances took a serious hit when he was suspended by new head coach Will Muschamp. Dunkley only participated in parts of spring practice and the suspension was believed to be related to academics.
So that leaves Florida with one great player who’s Gator career ended in a disgraceful fashion, one who never made it to Gainesville, and one who will never see the field in orange and blue. But of them all, Dunkley has the best chance to resurrect his college career and he will be doing it only a couple of hours from Florida.
The move to USF is a good one for Dunkley. He will sit out the 2011 season and then be eligible to play for the Bulls in 2012. With three years of eligibility left at that point, there is plenty of time for Dunkley to put together a nice, productive college career. Working with Skip Holtz at a school still in his home state should be good for the talented wide receiver. The pressure of competing at Florida is a different animal than it is at USF. For Dunkley, that is a good thing and might just prove to be the perfect fit.
Florida head coach Will Muschamp is making the rounds from Lakeland, FL to Bristol, CT and has plenty to say about the Gators and his role as leader of the orange and blue. In Lakeland, Muschamp spoke with a local Gator club. And in Bristol, it was ESPN (were you expecting me to say someone else?). Here’s a recap of some of what he talked about (you can visit Alligator Army and Only Gators for more) and of course my thoughts:
• Muschamp supports John Brantley and reminds us that the quarterback position will always receive criticism. If things go well, you’re the one that made them so. If things go bad, it’s your fault and no one else’s. This is true for the most part, but what else do we honestly expect Muschamp to say? He’s not going to attack a kid who looked like he had confidence problems during his first season as a starter. Muschamp has to play the role of not just coach, but motivator and supporter for Brantley. #12 was in a tough position before last season and his performance throughout 2010 didn’t make anything easier for him. To be honest, no one has any idea what the Gators have at the quarterback position until we all see it with our own eyes during the first game. This is going to be the main topic of discussion for Florida fans and followers up until and even through the 2011 season. The “issue” (that’s a nice way of saying problem) isn’t going away and as many guesses as we throw at it, none of us can predict what will happen. We all just have to keep our fingers crossed for improvement of any kind.
• After the announcement was made that wide receiver Chris Dunkley would transfer, speculation regarding his destination immediately started. Muschamp has said Florida will not restrict where he can transfer to in any way. I’m a supporter of this. Sure, I don’t want to see Dunkley (or Javares McRoy) leave, but it happens. Losing such a small number during a coaching change might actually be a positive. Florida isn’t for everyone. Sometimes things just don’t work out. You can’t expect every kid to come in and love everything about the school they choose. For Dunkley, this is what happened. For whatever reason, it didn’t end up being the place for him. Things might have been different if he had been eligible for the spring, but he wasn’t and so he’s moving on. Good for Muschamp for allowing him to try to find the place that’s best for him with no restrictions.
• The big quote from Muschamp from today (which Andy Hutchins expands on here) was “I don’t want to be a CEO head coach.” Instead of taking it as a statement of what Muschamp is or isn’t, it was immediately seen as a shot at either his former boss at Texas, Mack Brown, or former Gator head man Urban Meyer. Every coach has a different style. No two are alike, but it sounds like Muschamp doesn’t want the business-like, running a corporation approach. You could read what he said as him wanting to just be a football coach. Not wanting to worry about interviews, etc., but wanting to coach his team. Muschamp loves being on the field, it doesn’t sound like he relishes some of the other stuff off of it. He just wants to be himself and he seems to be doing that just fine so far. It’s hard to question too much of what he’s done since being named a head coach for the first time and if you’re intent on hunting for jabs he might be throwing at others, keep searching. Methinks he meant exactly what he said and was merely pointing out what he is and what he isn’t. If it’s a shot at anyone in particular, so be it, but let’s not begin this sort of talk before he coaches his first game. This was far from a Lane Kiffin-like shot fired. As for what he said regarding Aubrey Hill and Miami, well…
Not long after hearing the news about Javares McRoy, we’re now hearing that wide receiver Chris Dunkley will also transfer from Florida. Dunkley had been suspended from spring activities due to not fulfilling certain academic requirements.
Much was expected of Dunkley when he committed to the Gators. The receiver was rated as one of the nation’s best and even made the Rivals 100 list as the #77 overall player in 2010. From Pahokee (Pahokee, FL), Dunkley had a lethal combination of speed and agility and his hands were second-to-none.
But he struggled in the academic arena and was quickly losing time to other receivers on the roster. The suspension for the spring was probably the last straw for a player who had yet to make an impact at Florida. His loss, along with McRoy’s, drops the number of scholarship wide receivers to a precarious level. The Gators still have talent at the position, but most of it is unproven. A few injuries could spell doom for the Florida passing game in 2011. If Quinton Dunbar is the real deal, he needs to prove it even more so now in the fall.
There is no word yet on where Dunkley could end up.
Dilemma was as close as I could get. It’s not a debacle by any means. There’s still plenty of time to keep it away from that, but it’s not a delight just yet either. Two high-rated wide receivers have now been in the Florida program for three combined years and yet we haven’t seen anything close to the potential Andre Debose and Chris Dunkley have to offer.
There have been setbacks. Debose was forced to take a redshirt during what would have been his true freshman season due to an injury that many were worried could derail his entire career. When Debose was ready to go during the 2010 season, he struggled to find his way within the offense while possibly securing a place on special teams. Dunkley is currently not participating in spring drills and practices due to a suspension because of poor academic standing.
Currently, we’re hearing much of the same about Debose – that he’s not grasping the playbook. Reports say he’s had trouble understanding the offense and that could be the reason he hasn’t seen as much time as fans – and Debose himself – would like. His talent is undeniable, but if he’s not on the field, we’ll barely see it. He did show some spark on kick returns in 2010, but that’s not the only place he should excel on the field.
Dunkley came in with nearly as much hype as Debose only a year later. After redshirting during his true freshman season, many expect him to see the field during 2011, but he has to get his academic standing in order. With reports of classmate Quinton Dunbar making a serious push for playing time, Dunkley is getting even further behind. The Gators have plenty of young receivers ready to get an opportunity to play. Dunkley needs to get “off the field” in order so he can participate “on the field” before he is an afterthought.
Neither of these players is past the point of no return. The both have the talent and time to live up to their enormous potential. It isn’t easy being a top prospect. People expect you to come in and not only play right away, but succeed right away. They see true freshman do it all the time. Joe Haden, Percy Harvin, Janoris Jenkins – just a few athletic players who contributed heavily from day one. Debose and Dunkley were unfairly expected to do the same. Some players take time to develop and even though both still have it, that time is ultimately limited.
Both have the ability and both of the major dilemmas they are facing can be overcome. It’s not that they can’t play; it’s understanding of the playbook and academics that are keeping them from really contributing. Basically, both need to study and study hard. Regardless of what happens on the field for Debose and Dunkley during 2011, what happens off the field will shape their futures.
Florida released their full roster for the 2010 season last week and along with it came the newest jersey numbers. We already knew about some of the freshman – those that have been around since the spring – but now the rest have numbers as well. Don’t think these are definitely what they will wear once they hit the field one day (jersey numbers have been known to change), but for most of them, this is it.
And for fun I’ve added some memorable former Gators that have worn those numbers. Well, memorable according to my standards. You may have a different view entirely.
7 – Ronald Powell – DE – Jesse Palmer, Danny Wuerffel, Lorenzo Hampton, John Reaves
8 – Adrian Coxson – WR – Carlos Dunlap, Chad Jackson, Rex Grossman, Don Gaffney
10 – Tyler Murphy – QB – Jabar Gaffney, John Capel, Eric Kresser, Monty Grow, Chan Gailey
13 – Trey Burton – QB – Alex Brown, Ray Criswell
14 – Jaylen Watkins – CB – Bart Edmiston, Shayne Edge, Ernie Mills, Bruce Bennett
22 – Matt Elam – S – Terry Jackson, Willie Jackson Jr., Emmitt Smith, John L. Williams, Willie Jackson Sr., Steve Tannen
25 – Gideon Ajagbe – LB – Brandon James, Elijah Williams, Stacey Simmons, Lee McGriff
27 – Chris Dunkley – WR – Neal Anderson
29 – Joshua Shaw – CB – Mike Peterson
30 – Jonathan Dowling – S – Earl Everett, James Jones
31 – Cody Riggs – CB – Johnny Lamar, Carlton Miles
32 – Gerald Christian – TE – Dustin Doe, Eugene McCaslin
33 – Mack Brown – RB – Kestahn Moore, Ran Carthon, Teako Brown, Errict Rhett, Larry Smith
37 – Brandon Sanders – CB – Reggie Davis
38 – Phillip Bellino – RB – Matt Piotrowicz
39 – Jordan Haden – S – Chris Hetland
48 – Neiron Ball – NT – Dexter Daniels
49 – Darrin Kitchens – LB – Jermaine Cunningham, Jeff Chandler
51 – Michael Taylor – LB – Brandon Spikes, David Little
58 – Dominique Easley – DT – Johnny Rutledge
68 – Leon Orr – DT – Mike Degory, Rhondy Weston
73 – Sharrif Floyd – DT – David Williams
75 – Chaz Green – OL – Phil Trautwein, Shannon Snell, Donnie Young, Lomas Brown
77 – Ian Silberman – OL – Max Starks, Cheston Blackshear
81 – Robert Clark – WR – Aaron Hernandez, Dallas Baker
83 – Solomon Patton – WR – Dwayne Dixon
84 – Quinton Dunbar – WR – Ben Troupe, Harrison Houston
85 – Lynden Trail – DE – David Galloway
88 – Michael McFarland – TE – Kirk Kirkpatrick, Wilber Marshall, Jim Yarbrough
An interesting number assignment to note: Dunkley. The receiver has been rumored to be getting #5, but is listed at #27. No one on the roster is currently listed at #5, so Dunkley could still get it, but as of right now he has something else.
Previous breakdowns: Part 1
Throughout most of the recruiting process there was talk Dowling would end up at receiver once he got to college. After a stellar performance at safety at the Under Armour All-American Game, thoughts may have shifted. Dowling is a ball-hawk who has his mind set on making the big play on defense. Although he could still end up on the offensive side of the ball, he seems to lean slightly to playing safety for Florida. Expect him to see some time on special teams and late in games during the upcoming season.
WR – 6’3″, 170 lbs. – Miami, FL – Booker T. Washington
Dunbar has the chance to be a very good receiver when all is said and done, but it may take him a year or two to fully develop. There’s nothing wrong with his skill-set, but when you only weigh 170 pounds at 6’3” you need to put on some weight. Where Dunbar can contribute early is in the red zone. He’s tall and has superior leaping ability. Look for him to be able to out-jump nearly anyone covering him. Expect Dunbar to redshirt in 2010 while he builds some muscle.
WR – 5’10”, 164 lbs. – Pahokee, FL – Pahokee
Dunkley is the most anticipated of the new wide receiver group. Fans waited and waited and waited for him to finally commit to Florida and when he did immediately penciled him in as a major contributor in 2010. Dunkley has great hands and is surprisingly quick and has the best chance of any of the new receivers to crack the lineup. Barring unforeseen circumstances, expect to see him on the field this season.
DT – 6’3″, 258 lbs. – Staten Island, NY – Curtis
Easley was easily (yes, I did that on purpose) the biggest surprise of the recruiting class. Virtually no one expected him to put on a Florida hat when he committed during the Under Armour All-American Game. Most impressive was his work during that week and the game which skyrocketed him up the recruiting rankings. Easley ended up as the #7 prospect overall according to Rivals.com and put himself in a great position to see the field early in his college career.
DB – 6’0″, 205 lbs. – West Palm Beach, FL – Dwyer
Elam was the one Gator fans wanted all along. When he committed, everyone was ecstatic. Then he decommitted after Urban Meyer announced his resignation/leave of absence and suddenly he was the outcast no one wanted anything to do with. Not long after, Elam came back and fans were thrilled again. Is he that good? Yes, he is. Elam can, and will, make a big difference at Florida. He will play early and often.
DT – 6’3″, 310 lbs. – Philadelphia, PA – George Washington
Want a great story, look no further than Floyd. A huge (literally) get for Florida, Floyd should see early time with Easley in the middle of the defensive line. For those of you keeping track, that’s five five-star defensive tackles in the last four years for the Gators. Four are still on the roster. All of which are expected to contribute in 2010. Floyd should make an impact from day one.
OL – 6’6″, 290 lbs. – Tampa, FL – Tampa Catholic
The last member to join the class may be one of the most important. Florida has brought in some big names across the offensive line in recent years, but depth may start to become a concern in a year or two. Getting Green to sign on the line on National Signing Day was big. Green has the chance to start for the Gators for a number of years and will probably see time during his freshman year in hopes of getting him good experience for the future.
Come back tomorrow for the next part.
For most of the recruiting cycle Pahokee (Pahokee, FL) wide receiver Chris Dunkley was thought to be a Florida lock, so his commitment during the Under Armour All-American Game was no real surprise. Despite some rumors he may be leaning elsewhere, Dunkley did what was expected all along and became a Gator. But for those who enjoy a little shock and awe, they got it on Saturday in the form on Dominique Easley. The Staten Island, NY (Curtis) defensive end was expected to choose between Miami, Oregon, and Penn State, but when it came down to it, Easley shocked everyone following his recruitment and put on a Gator hat.
Starting with the offensive side of the ball, wipe of the drool. The thought of Dunkley and Andre Debose in the Gator offense will do that to you (if possible, please refrain from nicknaming them the Double Ds). Measuring in at 5’10”, 165 lbs., Dunkley is small in stature, but plays big on the field. He’s quick, fast, speedy, acceleratory, agile, fluid, swift, fleet of foot, and oh yeah, not slow. When he has the ball, good luck trying to actually tackle Dunkley. He possesses a variety a moves sure to make defenses nauseous. Although he may be worked into the passing game a little slower (as most true freshmen not named Percy Harvin are), Dunkley could get an early chance to return kicks, especially punts. Everything about his game points to him being a dangerous punt returner. Then again, if Friday night is any indication of the future of the Gator pass offense, Florida will need each and every receiver on the roster to contribute.
Across the line of scrimmage, Easley is one of the best surprises for Florida in quite some time. Before the Under Armour game started, he was talked about as one of the most impressive prospects during the week of preparation. During the game, he didn’t disappoint. He ended the day with a sack, forced fumble, and fumble recovery. Add those numbers to too many hurries to count and you could see why he was the topic of conversation. At 6’3”, 258 lbs. Easley is already a good size for the college game and should be able to continue right where he left off in the UA game. No one had any idea Easley would end up a Gator so feel free to boast about this one for the foreseeable future. He will contribute early and often and could continue a strong line of recent Florida pass rushers.
Saturday definitely brought some momentum heading toward National Signing Day. In addition to the commitments of Dunkley and Easley, other future Gators had big days. Jonathan Dowling and Solomon Patton both scored and Dowling, Demar Dorsey, and Joshua Shaw combined for four interceptions. It was a great display of future Florida talent.
Weight: 164 lbs.
High School: Pahokee (Pahokee, FL)
Possible Destination: Alabama, Florida
TBG’s Gator Probability: 75%
TBG’s Gator Probability: 75%
Dunkley has long been the top target of many Florida fans. After hearing concerns about the receiving corps leading up to the 2009 season and then actually watching said receiving corps mimic those exact concerns, the position is a big need for the Gators. And Dunkley is the one everyone seems to want.
Rivals.com ranks Dunkley as the nation’s eighth-best receiver and #63 overall prospect. He’s received offers from all of the big schools you can name, but has been rumored to be a Florida lock for quite some time. Dunkley won’t say as much though. At least not publically. The latest has him down to the Gators and Alabama.
Although many think he’ll still end up in orange and blue, the Crimson Tide may have made a further push with their recent SEC Championship Game win. And it doesn’t hurt their chances that his main recruiter for the Gators – Billy Gonzales – is now at LSU. I’d still consider him a Florida lean, but my guess is as good as yours. We’ll find out in a few weeks. Dunkley will announce on January 2nd.
Dunkley is a speed receiver and has the agility to match. He’s a smaller receiver at this point and although he won’t add height, he can still add weight. He’ll have to put on some strength to be able to fight for the ball at the next level, but his speed is his main attraction. Dunkley also seems to have innate knowledge of where the ball will be. He pulls it out of the air fairly effortlessly and is able to make adjustments in stride when he has to go after it.
Picking up a commitment from Dunkley would be big for the Gators. While two receivers have already given their verbals to Florida, Dunkley could be the star of the class at the position. He’s the one fans are waiting patiently for.
Let’s be clear from the start. These 10 players aren’t necessarily the top 10 recruits Florida is targeting. I have no way of knowing what their big board looks like. As I’ve said before, I have no inside “source” for any of the babble I spew out. It’s all merely my garbled thoughts and opinions. So consider these high school beasts as my own personal top 10 list. And yes, I know these are all players within the Rivals100 (actually, they’re all in the top 74), but this is more of a shoot for the moon list. If the Gators can add even 2-3 from this list to an already strong class, fans should be more than happy. And remember, these are recruits I’d like Florida to get, not necessarily ones who have the Gators as their current favorite. But they have all at least mentioned Florida and seem to have them somewhere near the top of their lists.
In order of how likely I think they are to become Gators.
1. Chaz Green – OL – Tampa Catholic (Tampa, FL) – 6’6”, 290 lbs.
Green has been mentioned as a Florida-lock for quite some time, but has yet to make his commitment. With raw talent and improving technique, Green has been moving up the rankings. Many say it’s only a matter of time before Green becomes a Gator, but he’s currently trying to decide if he wants to make other visits or not. In the end, it seems like it would be very hard for anyone to pull him away from Florida. Others in the running: Ohio State, USC. Likelihood to end up at Florida: 90%. My guess: Florida.
2. Chris Dunkley – WR – Pahokee (Pahokee, FL) – 5’10”, 177 lbs.
Dunkley is another that gets the “it’s only a matter of time” label. Many believe he will end up at Florida and some have even said he’s already a secret commit. He has an explosive first step and could fit into the Gator offense perfectly. Dunkley was always considered a top prospect, but recent camp performances have helped him stand out. After one touchdown at Friday Night Lights, he even did a Gator chomp, but we’ll have to wait quite some time for him to make it official. Dunkley doesn’t plan on announcing his commitment until after the season. Others in the running: FSU, Miami (there are others, but I can’t see Dunkley heading out of the state). Likelihood to end up at Florida: 85%. My guess: Florida.
3. Cody Riggs – CB – St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale, FL) – 5’9”, 156 lbs.
St. Thomas Aquinas teammate Lamarcus Joyner is the higher rated cornerback, but Riggs is the more likely to end up a Gator. Despite his father playing at Arizona State and his brother at Tennessee, Riggs has proclaimed Florida to be his current leader. He has narrowed his list down to five and will make all of his official visits during the first half of the season. Riggs hopes to have a decision not long after that. Florida’s class is already full of defensive backs, but with whispers of some possibly heading elsewhere in the end, Riggs would definitely be a pleasant addition. Others in the running: FSU, Georgia, Notre Dame, Tennessee. Likelihood to end up at Florida: 75%. My guess: Florida.
4. Ronald Powell – DE – Rancho Verde (Moreno Valley, CA) – 6’4”, 230 lbs.
Powell’s imposing chiselosity conjures up memories of Jevon Kearse. Although he hails from California and has USC up there with Florida, don’t be surprised if Urban Meyer and crew can convince him to pack his bags and head to the sunshine state. Analysts and coaches say Powell can play both ways – on the defensive line and at tight end – although that ends up happening a lot less than it’s talked about. He only has one official visit scheduled at this point – to Florida the weekend of the Tennessee game – making some think he could be leaning toward the Gators. Others in the running: USC. Likelihood to land at Florida: 50%. My guess: Florida.
5. Ivan McCartney – WR – Miramar (Miramar, FL) – 6’3”, 180 lbs.
McCartney isn’t naming his favorites just yet, but Florida seems to be in the mix and may have improved their position after his appearance at Friday Night Lights. He didn’t catch a lot of balls during his junior season (21), but 12 of them went for touchdowns and he average over 30 yards per reception. It’s anyone’s guess where he ends up signing. Others in the running: Boston College, Georgia, Miami, North Carolina, Ole Miss, West Virginia. Likelihood to end up at Florida: 50% (of course, he’s said every school has a 50-50 chance at the moment). My guess: I might as well pull a name out of a hat at this point.
6. Christian Green – ATH – Tampa Catholic (Tampa, FL) – 6’2”, 200 lbs.
A high school quarterback who projects to play receiver at the collegiate level, Green could be one to pull the trigger soon. At times it seemed as if Green would be FSU-bound, but lately he mentions Georgia more and more. Although close to Tampa Catholic teammate Chaz Green, they could definitely end up at different schools. With Florida still in the running, it’s anyone’s guess where he will end up at this point. He even adds USF in his top four. Others in the running: FSU, Georgia, USF. Likelihood to end up at Florida: 33%. My guess: FSU.
7. Sharrif Floyd – DT – George Washington (Philadelphia, PA) – 6’3”, 310 lbs.
Floyd isn’t just a hole plugger. He likes to bull rush offensive linemen and not allow them to even attempt to make the hole in the first place. Floyd has announced he will take an official visit to Florida, who could be fighting with Ohio State to land him. There are rumors he has recently dropped Penn State from his list, but it’s also rumored they will get a visit as well. A few others Floyd has mentioned scheduling visits with remain in the hunt. Others in the running: Boston College, Ohio State, Penn State, Rutgers, South Carolina. Likelihood to land at Florida: 33%. My guess: Ohio State.
8. Owamagbe Odighizuwa – DE – David Douglas (Portland, OR) – 6’3”, 234 lbs.
The player with the farthest to travel to come to Florida, Odighizuwa is one of the quickest players off the line in the nation. His motor is constantly running and he rarely gets tired. Odighizuwa has four official visits set so far, and the Gators are the only program outside of California on the list. He will be visiting Florida during the weekend of the FSU game. Cal could be the team to beat as he constantly mentions them and has developed a good relationship with the coaches. Others in the running: Cal, UCLA, USC. Likelihood to land at Florida: 25%. My guess: Cal.
9. Jeff Luc – LB – Treasure Coast (Port St. Lucie, FL) – 6’1”, 230 lbs.
A friend of mine has proclaimed Luc as his man-crush of this recruiting cycle. Said friend is batting .000 when it comes to his man-crushes committing to Florida, so go ahead and cross Luc off of your list. A physical specimen who could play any linebacker position, Luc has narrowed his list down to nine. It’s rumored he and Treasure Coast teammate Deon Rogers want to play college ball together. If true, that’s unfortunately for Gator fans. Rogers is committed to Georgia. Although he hasn’t announced where he will make his official visits to just yet, the Bulldogs are said to be all but guaranteed one. Others in the running: Alabama, FSU, Georgia, LSU, Miami, Ohio State, Tennessee, USC. Likelihood to land at Florida: 20%. My guess: Georgia.
10. Lamarcus Joyner – CB – St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale, FL) – 5’8”, 166 lbs.
Joyner could be the least likely on this list to end up a Gator. There have been rumors of a secret commitment to FSU and he’s even said he came very close to committing to the Seminoles not too long ago. He did miss Seminole Showtime and was considered a surprise attendee of Friday Night Lights, but don’t think that means he’s a Florida lean just yet. However, after attending FNL, he does seem to be considering the Gators a little more than he was. Others in the running: FSU, Ohio State. Likelihood to attend Florida: 10%. My guess: FSU.