2013 Football Recruiting: Florida Gators Part Ways With LB James Hearns

The Florida Gators have cut ties with linebacker and now former commit James Hearns. Hearns – a four-star LB from Lincoln (Tallahassee, FL) was one of the first members of the Gators’ 2013 recruiting class. Florida has pulled his scholarship offer due to concerns over whether Hearns will be able to qualify academically.

James Hearns

Hearns expressed no ill will toward the Gators, simply stating that it was time for both sides to move on. The Florida coaching staff was concerned with his academic record and Hearns was hoping to look at a few other schools before National Signing Day as it is. He got the call from newly appointed defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin, letting him know that he wouldn’t be a part of the Gators’ class.

Hearns is currently visiting a Florida SEC rival–Kentucky–and seems to favor the Wildcats. He’s also considering visiting either Houston, South Carolina or Washington over the last weekend before NSD.

Durkin and head coach Will Muschamp will now turn their focus to Mainland (Daytona Beach, FL) linebacker Quinton Powell. Powell, you will remember, was also a member of Florida’s 2013 class until recently.

2013 Football Recruiting: Florida Gators Lose Quinton Powell; OLB Decommits

Just one day after adding outside linebacker Matt Rolin to their 2013 football recruiting class, the Florida Gators lost another at the same position. Quinton Powell decided the numbers didn’t work in his favor and reopened his recruitment.

Quinton Powell - Florida GatorsPowell’s exit doesn’t come as much of a surprise. There were rumors that he would still look around after finding out the Gators weren’t done adding linebackers to their class. With the commitment of Rolin, the writing was on the wall that Florida would continue to find the right fits for their defense. Powell decided that he might not be one of those fits anymore.

Rolin joined Daniel McMillian, James Hearns and Keanu Neal (although Neal is also listed at safety where he will most likely play) on the Gators’ commitment list. Word had been that Powell wasn’t happy with the numbers for quite some time and wanted to take additional visits.

The 6’2”, 194-pound OLB from Daytona Beach, FL (Mainland) will now turn his attention to possible visits to Miami and USC. 247Sports ranks Powell as the nation’s No. 180 overall prospect and the No. 14 outside linebacker.

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.

(more…)

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: Florida Gators Add James Hearns

Thursday wasn’t the first day 2013 prospects could commit to their school of choice, but it sure felt like it was. Earlier in the day, the Florida Gators added linebacker Daniel McMillian and then it was announced that defensive end/linebacker James Hearns had committed as well. Hearns, from Tallahassee, FL (Lincoln), fits the mold of 3-4 outside linebacker and possibly even defensive end in the 4-3. Yes, that means he fits into the position we have come to known as the buck.

The 6’3″, 230-pound Hearns is the No. 192 overall player in the nation according to 247 and the No. 11 strong-side defensive end. He joins 2012 signee Raphael Andrades as Gators from Lincoln and might not be the last. Wide receivers Reggie Davis and Taj Williams are also targets and among the nation’s best pass catchers. The pipeline between Florida and the Tallahassee school may be open and some thanks could go to former Gator All-American Jacquez Green who is currently the high school’s offensive coordinator.

With the fast start to 2013, make sure you check the 2013 Gators Football Recruiting Class page frequently.