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.
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.
The latest version of the Rivals100 was released on Tuesday and the list contained four Florida Gators’ commitments. The four, in order, are linebacker Daniel McMillian, wide receiver Ahmad Fullwood, running back Kelvin Taylor and defensive back Nick Washington. Taylor was the newbie among the group while defensive tackle Caleb Brsntley fell out of the top 100.
McMillian leads the way at No. 66 with Fulwood not far behind him at No. 69. The two are widely regarded to be two of the Gators’ top commits although many residents of the state of Florida would argue the newest orange and blue member of the top 100 should be much higher up the list.
That would be Taylor, who is definitely one of the nation’s top running backs, but may be the best one depending on who you ask. Taylor makes his Rivals100 debut at No. 92. He’s followed be Washington at No. 99.
With the exception of Taylor, Gators fell this time around – McMillian 13 spots, Fulwood 10 and Washington five. Brsntley was No. 82 in the first list, but will now be a member of the Rivals250.
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.
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
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.
It’s the day that keeps on giving, or something like that. On Saturday afternoon, the Florida Gators added their third commitment of the day and first on the defensive side of the ball. Daytona Beach, FL (Mainland) linebacker Quinton Powell chose Florida over a handful of other offers.
Powell follows in the footsteps of Kelvin Taylor and Rodney Adams, both who committed earlier in the day. The 6’1″, 189-pound outside linebacker received four stars from both Rivals.com and 247Sports. 247 sports lists him as the No. 243 recruit overall and No. 17 OLB. He comes from the same high school that produced 2012 defensive end Leonard Williams. Williams, you may remember, signed with USC on National Signing Day over Florida. It also happens to be the school Vince Carter played at during his high school days.
Adams is a four-star receiver according to both 247Sports and Rivals.com and both services put him in the same ballpark when it comes to overall rankings. He is No. 234 according to Rivals and No. 240 according to 247. Rivals doesn’t have position rankings just yet, but 247 has Adams ranked as No. 31 in terms of wide receivers. Adams joins a class quickly climbing up the team rankings as well. After Taylor’s commitment on Saturday morning, the Gators were No. 4 on 247’s list, but Adams bumped them up to No. 3.
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.
While he has been openly positive toward both programs on his Twitter account, the combination of his father and Florida’s Junior Day has led many to believe he will commit to the Gators on Saturday morning. There’s not much longer to wait before we find out if Florida adds a fifth member to their 2013 recruiting class.
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.
Florida did not add any commitments during it’s annual camp – Friday Night Lights – but did get a chance to see some stars in action, and even some watching from the sidelines.
The biggest names making waves on the field were Stefon Diggs and Dante Fowler. Both Gators targets, Diggs looked great in drills and even treated the crowd to a chomp at one point. He still has plenty of options, but Florida may have taken a bigger spot on his radar after Friday night. The coaching staff will be in his ear for the remainder of the recruiting cycle and so will Jelani Jenkins who went to same high school Diggs attends. Fowler reaffirmed his commitment to FSU at FNL, but also mentioned he will visit Florida more. He has not made the rumored switch that has been discussed for weeks now, but is still keeping his options open. He says he is fully committed to the Seminoles, but does not seem close to being done with the process. That is not to say there is a switch in the future, but something is keeping Fowler from completely shutting down his recruitment.
Friday night is the night under the lights (psst…that is why they call it Friday Night Lights). The greatest camp of all the camps occurs on Friday night as the Gators host several of the nation’s top recruits. In attendance will be Dante Fowler, Stefon Diggs, Avery Johnson, Carlos Watkins, Kent Taylor, Derrick Henry, Kelvin Taylor and too many others to name.
What has become one of the most prestigious of these camps, FNL is usually a place where prospects are pushed toward the Gators and the Florida program. It is a great chance for them to see Florida and figure out how they may or may not fit in. There are many rumors out there about what could occur tonight. Among them: could Fowler make the switch from FSU? Do the Gators have the firepower to convince Diggs Florida is the right place for him? And can they keep everyone else away from Kelvin Taylor for another 19 months?