Fox Force Five: 2013 Recruiting Cycle Coming To An End For The Florida Gators

Florida Gators commentary in five parts, as in there’s one, two, three, four, five of them.

It all comes to an end on Wednesday. The Florida Gators will announce their 2013 football recruiting class and that will close to door on another hard-fought cycle. Commits came early and often and, as the class currently stands, things are looking up. The Gators are always a player in the world of recruiting and this year is no different. But coming off of a season when expectations were exceeded accelerates the future and has us looking for big things in 2013—on the field and off.

Jaynard Bostwick

Here are just a few of the stories still being written.

1. Mainland (Daytona Beach, FL) linebacker Quinton Powell was a Gator and then he wasn’t. In the weeks following his decommitment, he again became a possibility for the Gators. Then suddenly James Hearns was out of the picture and many thought Powell was a lock to choose the orange and blue again. That may have been the case as he was down to Florida and Southern Cal. Well, Powell is no more. Over the weekend, he was told by head coach Will Muschamp that the Gators don’t have a spot for him. Powell was disappointed, but also understands the business side of recruiting and college football. Florida has moved on and now Powell will too.

2. West Centennial (Port Saint Lucie, FL) defensive tackle Jaynard Bostwick will announce at 8:00am on National Signing Day. The DT will decide between Alabama, Florida and Miami. Bostwick’s high school coach has said that Bostwick thinks highly of all three and that nothing would surprise him. Considered an early Miami lean, some think the Gators now have the best shot. Bostwick would be a fine addition along the defensive line.

3. Also on the defensive line is Immaculata (Somerville, NJ) defensive end Tashawn Bower. Bower is committed to Auburn, but it’s considered to be a very, VERY soft verbal. He has received a Letter of Intent from the Gators and will announce a decision on Wednesday between Auburn and Florida. Behind the scenes, the Florida coaching staff if very confident they can get Bower to make the switch. Many believe he will end up in a different shade of orange and blue and come to Gainesville in the end. Don’t count out the Tigers just though as Bower never technically decommitted.

4. Might as well stick with the defensive line for one more. East Mississippi CC (Scooba, MS) JUCO defensive tackle Jarran Reed is down to Alabama and Florida. The Gators may hold the advantage and are hoping Reed will join his former teammate Darious Cummings in Gainesville. Reed isn’t a lock, but with the Gators pushing hard, the stars are aligning for Florida.

5. Also announcing on NSD will be New Smyrna Beach (New Smyrna Beach, FL) wide receiver James Clark. Clark is down to Clemson, Florida and Ohio State and will announce his decision at 9:00am. For a while, it seemed the Buckeyes posed the biggest challenge to the Gators, but that may now be the Tigers. Clark would make a great addition to an already impressive wide receiver class.

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: Jarrad Davis Flips From Auburn To Florida; Gators Add OLB

Over the last week, the Florida Gators are up one outside linebacker. Last weekend, the Gators added Matt Rolin, but lost Quinton Powell. This past weekend, Florida went back on the positive side, getting Jarrad Davis to switch his commitment from Auburn to Florida.

Davis comes in a mold similar to Powell’s. He is an athletic linebacker that will need to fill out before making an impact at the next level. 247Sports lists him as the No. 30 OLB in the 2013 recruiting class. He has steadily moved up that ranking as he was at one point down at No. 59.

Davis comes to Florida from Kingsland, GA (Camden County) and is regarded as the final linebacker the Gators will take.

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: Florida Gators Add OLB Matt Rolin, OT Trenton Brown, OT Roderick Johnson

The Florida Gators 2013 football recruiting class grew substantially over the weekend. The Gators added three prospects to their commitment list, including the return of offensive lineman Roderick Johnson. Along with Johnson’s return to the good guys, the Gators brought aboard outside linebacker Matt Rolin and offensive lineman Roderick Johnson (pushing me even further behind when it comes to catching up on recruiting reports).

Matt Rolin - Florida Gators

Matt Rolin–a 6’4″, 210-pound outside linebacker out of Ashburn, VA (Briar Woods)–was originally committed to South Carolina. He decommitted on Sunday, announcing the news via Twitter. Rolin stated that he had to do what was best for him. What was best came shortly after as he announced his intentions to become a Florida Gator. Rolin is a four-star prospect according to 247Sports. The site ranks him as the nation’s No. 131 recruit overall and the No. 12 outside linebacker. (Update: Just one day after Rolin committed, the Gators lost outside linebacker Quinton Powell.)

Trenton Brown comes to the Gators from Georgia Military College (Milledgeville, GA). The massive—he’s listed at 6’8”, 350 pounds—Brown is projected to play offensive tackle at the collegiate level. Brown had previously informed Florida head coach Will Muschamp of his decision, but made his commitment public on Sunday. The offensive lineman will enroll in January and have two seasons of eligibility remaining. 247 ranks him as the nation’s No. 21 overall JUCO prospect and the No. 3 JUCO offensive tackle.

The Gators’ final commitment from Sunday is no stranger to those following Florida’s 2013 football recruiting class. Roderick Johnson first committed to the Gators on March 25. He continued to make visits and receive interest from several schools and on August 12 made the decision to reopen his recruitment. It all came full circle on Sunday when the 6’5”, 315-pound offensive tackle committed to the Gators once again. Less than two weeks ago, Johnson listed Florida and Florida State as his top two. We have to be happy the orange and blue won out once again.

With about two months left in the 2013 recruiting cycle, the Gators’ class stands at 23 commitments. Look for Florida to continue the momentum it current has. The Gators currently sit at No. 3 in 247’s team rankings, just behind USC and Alabama.

2013 Football Recruiting: Quinton Powell Commits To Gators; Florida Adds 4-Star Linebacker

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.

Powell becomes the third linebacker in the Gators’ seven-man 2013 recruiting class. It’s definitely a position of need and Will Muschamp and staff seem to be filling that need nicely.