2012 Football Recruiting: Florida Gators Experience The Ups And Downs Of National Signing Day

Will Muschamp and the Florida Gators didn’t quite bring in the nation’s second-best class, but it was close and there’s still a chance for it to improve. At this moment, the Gators’ 2012 recruiting class ranks as high as third (Rivals) and as low as fifth (Scout). Even with National Signing Day coming to an end, Florida waits on one final prospect – Stefon Diggs. Diggs won’t sign until February 10, so we have plenty of time to reflect on the day the just was.

Overall, the Gators have a good class, but NSD left many wondering what could have been. Josh Harvey-Clemons choosing Georgia wasn’t a surprise, but his grandfather’s reaction was. Tracy Howard himself told us he was 100% ready to sign with Florida before visiting Miami. That one trip completely changed his world and Howard will play for the Hurricanes. Jake Meador, Schyler Miles and Vincent Valentine were all prospects expected to go elsewhere and they all did, but any of the three would have been a welcome addition to the class. Like some of the other signings, Leonard Williams to USC wasn’t shocking, but there was hope there. Go back a few months and you would have thought Avery Young was a lock. That all changed and after a blunder by whoever runs Georgia’s athletic site, Young signed with Auburn. And finally, there’s Nelson Agholor. It had long been thought the star athlete was down to the Gators and Trojans. As NSD approached, USC was rumored to be the leader. With each passing day it seemed unlikely Florida would gain his commitment. In the end, he headed west.

Reading that paragraph once is one time too many, but was it really all that bad? On NSD alone, the Gators added Dante Fowler Jr. and Raphael Andrades to the class. It’s also worth noting that Florida didn’t lose anyone. Then there’s Diggs, who many think the Gators will add. And, oh yeah, don’t forget that the recruiting cycle doesn’t just consist of NSD. All four major recruiting services have Florida’s class ranked among the nation’s top five. Top-five class, three five-star prospects (which according to Rivals ties Florida with Alabama, Stanford and USC for the most) and a real shot at another is something to be happy with. And we are; we definitely are even if there are questions.

Did Muschamp get the numbers he wanted? Did the Gators fill holes on the depth chart? Is there enough depth? When will Florida finally have a full roster again? Are the players the Gators did get being overshadowed by NSD despite the addition of a top recruit and another at a position of need?

Those of us that follow recruiting have a tendency to focus on who our team didn’t get when we really should look at who they did. Some of those questions above can be answered. The Gators could use more bodies and have a need at wide receiver and offensive line. Depth is easy to answer, but hard to do so accurately until we see how injuries impact the roster. There were definitely some misses, but also some hits. This is a good class, but one that could use more names. Four or five years from now we’ll look back and evaluate how it panned out and the success it had on an individual and team basis. For now, we wait for Diggs. NSD is over, but the door might not be shut just yet on the Gators’ class.

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