Gators Chaz Green Named To FWAA 2011 Freshman All-American Team

Florida Gators offensive lineman Chaz Green was named to the FWAA 2011 Freshman All-American Team on Monday. Green was the only Gator to make this season’s list.

Although offensive line play was questioned most of the year (you could even go as far as to say it was constantly criticized), Green was perhaps the most consistent performer of the bunch. When healthy, the redshirt freshman showed the potential he possesses to become a dominant offensive lineman. His health will be of the utmost importance for Florida in 2012 and beyond. Protecting the Gators’ quarterbacks was a serious issue in 2011 and Green’s role – guardian of the blind side – may be the most critical moving forward.

If others along the offensive line can find their hidden potential as well, the unit has a chance to be something special. That said, as the last two seasons showed us, it will be more than just an uphill battle for the line.

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Chaz Green, De’Ante Saunders Named All-SEC Freshmen

On Thursday, Florida Gators’ offensive tackle Chaz Green and safety De’Ante Saunders were named Freshman All-SEC performers. Two of the bright spots of Florida’s hard-to-stomach 2011 season, Green and Saunders are definitely worthy of the honor.

Green was limited during the season, but managed to start eight games for the Gators. During his time on the field, Green proved he was ready for the rigors of the typical opponents Florida faces. One of the lone consistent performers on the offensive line, Green appeared to live up to his massive potential and gives the Gators at least one member of the line they can pencil in as a starter in 2012.

Saunders surprised many when he was named a starter early in the season. An underrated recruit, “Pop” played in 11 games, starting nine times. Early in the season, the safety went through growing pains as many members of the secondary struggled to find their footing. Saunders was a pleasant surprise as the season progressed and locked down one of the defensive backfield positions. His experience in 2011 will prove valuable throughout the rest of his career.

The Offense: Florida Gators 33 – Tennessee Volunteers 23

As with last week, the game recap comes in parts. Offense up first, defense next, special teams after that, and then some final thoughts.

The Florida offense isn’t on any sort of torrid pace with fireworks at every turn, but so far it has been consistently solid. In the 33-23 win over Tennessee, the Gators put up 347 total yards. That’s not overly impressive. Instead, it could be called average, but it was enough. Enough for Florida to not only win its third-straight game, but to jump out to 1-0 in SEC play. That puts the Gators a game clear of SEC East rivals Tennessee and Georgia early in the season. These are the wins that mean the most.

Although finishing them was tough, Florida put together a number of successful drives to get out to an early lead. The Gators scored on their first four drives to lead 16-0 in the second quarter. The Vols, on the other, hand, weren’t able to score until their fifth drive of the game. Florida would do some of the same in the second half, finding the end zone on their first two drives to go up 30-7. Although Tennessee made the score closer late, the Vols were out of it thanks to timely scoring by the Gators’ offense. If the red zone offense had clicked, the score could have gotten out of hand. That aspect to the offense definitely left something to be desired, but chances are it’ll be one of the things worked on most during the week.

In his second season as the starter, John Brantley has already looked much more comfortable as a quarterback. It’s still early in the season, but Brantley has raised his rating by more than 30 points over 2010. Against Tennessee, he registered his highest rating of the season at 167.4. With two touchdowns and no interceptions, Brantley appeared ready to run Charlie Weis’ offense against SEC opponents. His stats won’t awe you, but they don’t have to. Weis has turned Brantley into a game manager and so far so good. When he has to make throws he can. His touchdown pass that wasn’t a catch because Deonte Thompson’s right foot hit out of bounds just before his left foot came down was one of the better throws we’ve seen from Brantley. For now, he’s making the right decisions and helping the Gators’ offense move the ball. He – and the entire offense – will need to improve play in the red zone, but that can come. Let’s rephrase that, it needs to come. Less than two weeks from now, Brantley will face Alabama’s defense. Enough said.

The run game wasn’t as explosive as it had been, but it was nearly as efficient. Weis stuck with the starters against Tennessee and gave 35 carries to Chris Rainey, Jeff Demps and Trey Burton. Rainey led the way with 108 yards on 21 carries for a good, but modest for him, 5.1 yards per carry. Demps added 48 on 10. The long of the day was only 28 yards, but sometimes that’s alright. The offense moved the ball and did what it had to when it needed to. It was good to see tough yards gained and Rainey carry such a load. There was a point where exhaustion seemed to overtake no. 1, but he came back from it and pressed on. Rainey may have to get used to being the focal point of the offense; he’s suddenly one of the better offensive weapons in the nation. After three games, Rainey is only three rushes and 60 yards from matching last season’s totals and he’s nearly halfway to his career-best 652 rushing yards he posted in 2008. As a running back, Rainey is no longer a change-of-pace type. He’s become an every-down back in Weis’ offense.

As mentioned above, the passing game was efficient, but not dynamic. Unfortunately, a wide receiver hasn’t stepped up and that’s mostly because they still haven’t been used all that much. Brantley only completed 14 passes, but just three went to receivers. Thompson had two for 26 yards and Quinton Dunbar had one for one. Those aren’t great numbers. The backs are making up for the lack of a go-to receiver and look great doing so, but we still don’t know what we’ll see when Florida needs to stretch the field. Rainey broke the Vols’ back on his 83-yard touchdown scamper and Burton and Demps each had four receptions, but add in the tight ends and all non-backs had four total catches. That will need to change. The offense is working for now, but all dimensions of it will need to be running almost flawlessly for the rest of the schedule.

The offensive line continues to improve and seems to have its starting five set. Chaz Green, Jon Halapio, Jonotthan Harrison, Xavier Nixon and Dan Wenger have started every game and are beginning to come together as a cohesive unit. Tennessee only managed one sack and one other hit on Brantley. That’s a plus for the line and a definite step in the right direction. Facing a better defense, the line played well and opened holes for the running game. Short yardage can still be worked on and overall the line still has room to grow, but a step forward is not a step backward. That’s about as obvious as obvious can be, but it’s worth pointing out that this unit is improving.

Coming up next: the defense.

Florida Gators Offensive Line – 2010 vs. 2011

One Eyed Willy and I finish up the Florida offense with the offensive line. To read past installments, click each position: quarterbacks, running backs and fullbacks, wide receivers, tight ends.

2010: Marcus Gilbert – RSR, Maurice Hurt – RSR, Carl Johnson – RSR, Mike Pouncey – SR, Matt Patchan – JR, William Steinmann – JR, James Wilson – RJR, Nick Alajajian – SO, Xavier Nixon – SO, Sam Robey – RSO, David Young – RSO, Cole Gilliam – RFR, Chaz Green – FR, Jon Halapio – RFR, Jonotthan Harrison – RFR, Kyle Koehne – RFR, Ian Silberman – FR
Preseason Rating: B
Postseason Rating: D
I’ll start this one off by saying One Eyed Willy and I don’t dislike Florida. It’s quite the opposite. We love the Gators and are as diehard as you can get. However, we’re also very realistic fans who unfortunately can come across as negative from time to time. We joke that I’m the positive side to Willy’s negative, but we can both have our moments. Keep that in mind when reading these position comparisons. We aren’t the “rah rah” types that will go blindly into the future thinking Florida can do no wrong. We love the Gators and support them until the bitter end, but we also analyze practically anything and everything and sometimes that means pointing out areas which can be (or need to be) improved. We don’t apologize for these doses of realism; we’d like you to take a look at the whole picture when discussing your team and not just the fact that you’ve been a fan as long as you can remember. That’s a prelude to saying the 2010 Florida offensive line gets a D.

Let’s start by running down the starter numbers: Mike Pouncey – 13 games, Marcus Gilbert – 13, Maurice Hurt – 11, Carl Johnson – 11, Xavier Nixon – 8, Jon Halapio – 7, Jonotthan Harrison – 1, James Wilson – 1

Look at that and things don’t seem all that bad. Four players started 11 games or more and only eight total started any games. That would make you think the Gators had a relatively stable offensive line that stayed healthy for the most part. Well, see what had happened was…
First off, Matt Patchan didn’t play and Wilson only appeared in two games. The move to center by Pouncey was a disaster at times and only average at others. Hurt and Halapio were inconsistent and the line as a whole struggled to find balance. This is yet another position that can blame its performance on a number of things. From injuries to inconsistent play to schemes, nothing seemed to, for lack of a better term, click. While John Brantley wasn’t the quarterback we all hoped he’d be during his first year as the Gators’ starter, he was given very little time to even think in many situations. The offensive line didn’t give up some jaw dropping number of sacks – 27 total on the season (and four of those came in a game in which Florida beat Vanderbilt by 41 points) – but also didn’t provide a secure pocket for the quarterbacks to work out of.
It was a rough season for the line and one that hardly got better as it progressed. 2011 needs to be a turning point for the unit or the offense may struggle to get started early in games.
2011: William Steinmann – SR, James Wilson – RSR, Dan Wenger – RSR, Xavier Nixon – JR, Matt Patchan – RJR, Sam Robey – RJR, David Young – RJR, Nick Alajajian – RSO, Cole Gilliam – RSO, Jon Halapio – RSO, Jonotthan Harrison – RSO, Kyle Koehne – RSO, Ian Silberman – SO, Chaz Green – RFR, Tommy Jordan – FR, Trip Thurman – FR
Preseason Rating: C
I hate giving a unit a C. I really do. I debated this unit for quite some time. Should I give the 2010 version a D? Should I give the 2011 one the same grade? It would have been extremely easy to give 2011 a B instead of C, but I had to go with my gut on this one.
The 2011 offensive line has potential, but must stay healthy and consistent. Yes, they get a C, but if they finished 2010 with a D, lost the only players that started more than eight games, and added nothing more than a transfer and two freshmen that are very likely to redshirt, giving them another D would have been reasonable as well. However, because of that potential, they’re bumped a grade.
There are a few keys to the line and since we like to make lists around here, I’ll go ahead and make another one:
• The returning players started a total of 17 games in 2010. That isn’t a lot. Not a lot by any means. The unit has to get through its growing pains quickly. Quickly as in the first two games of the season.
• Patchan can be great. He’s a lineman with a mean streak. Unfortunately, he just can’t stay healthy. If Patchan can stay on the field for an entire season guess is there’s one spot we don’t have to worry about.
• This is the last hurrah for Wilson. This is it. He has one last chance to prove he’s the player many thought he could be. This is it. Put up time.
Chaz Green has been said to be an absolute warrior. We’ll see him on the field for the first time this season and we may see him a lot. He could steal a position and not let it go for a few years.
• IS THERE A CENTER?!? Harrison was moved to the position and Dan Wenger transferred in. Why? Because the position is wide open and the main reason is because Sam Robey hasn’t claimed it as his own. Two years ago we heard of the possibility of the Pounceys both playing guard because of this young lineman who was doing so well in practice that he could bounce a potential All-American from the position. Today, the Pounceys are gone and Robey still hasn’t been named the starter. This will be his fourth season with the team. He’s not in the same territory as Wilson, but he’s getting dangerously close.
The line plays an unbelievably important role in the offense and is the key to allowing plays to develop. In 2010, it didn’t come together as expected despite having four seniors across it. This season, the seniors on the roster are a question mark and that will make you lose some sleep. What Charlie Weis and Frank Verducci do with the line could be one of the most important things to follow during the offseason. It won’t take us very long to see how it all went and how it will all go. This is the definitive “keep your fingers crossed” unit.

New Florida Gators Jersey Numbers for 2010

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.

Breaking Down the Florida Gators’ 2010 Recruiting Class – Part 2

Previous breakdowns: Part 1
Jonathan Dowling
ATH – 6’3″, 178 lbs. – Bradenton, FL – Southeast
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.
Quinton Dunbar
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.
Chris Dunkley
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.
Dominique Easley
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 and put himself in a great position to see the field early in his college career.
Matt Elam
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.
Sharrif Floyd
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.
Chaz Green
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.

The Long Snapper (1/28/10)

The rumors were true in part.  Demar Dorsey is no longer a part of Florida’s 2010 recruiting class.  The Gators and Dorsey have parted ways.  It doesn’t appear as if the defensive back has committed to FSU or if he’ll end up at USC, but there are very slim odds he’ll be a Gator in the end.  The common belief is that the Florida coaching staff wanted Dorsey to give his commitment 100% to the Gators by not taking his final few visits.  He wouldn’t do so and both have agreed to move on.  Smart move by Florida to part ways with a player it looked like they were destined to lose much closer to National Signing Day anyway.  Dorsey is a big talent and would be a welcome addition to the class, but he has also been someone rumored to be headed somewhere else for quite some time.  As One Eyed Willy recently mentioned to me, Dorsey seemed very pro-Gator at the Under Armour All-American Game and then a week later when Matt Elam recommitted to Florida, not so much.  Hmm.
On that note, Tampa’s Michael McFarland will no longer be asked to grayshirt for the 2010 season.  With the spot in the class occupied by Dorsey, McFarland was expected to stay in Tampa for the fall and not join the Gators until the spring semester of 2011.  With that spot back open, McFarland was contacted by Florida coaches and asked to join the rest of the 2010 recruiting class and head up to Gainesville this summer.  Good news for a kid at a position where the Gators can use all the depth they can get their hands on.  I’m also guessing Auburn upping their pursuit of McFarland had at least something to do with coaches dropping the grayshirt request.
So how does this class of classes end for the Gators?  Your guess is as good as mine, but Seantrel Henderson, Jordan Hicks, and James Louis seem all but gone.  There’s still a chance with each, but if you believe all you’ve read recently, they all seem headed elsewhere.  The names you’ll hear the most are Adrian Coxson, Chaz Green, and Christian Jones.  Coxson and Green seem likely Gators.  Jones a little less such, but definitely someone who is thinking hard about it.  However Florida ends, this is truly a legendary class.
Former Jefferson (Tampa, FL) and FSU starting offensive lineman Daron Rose will not end up at USF after all.  Rose – a highly sought-after recruit years ago – had planned on spending his final year (if you can call it that, he will be suspended for the first three games of the season wherever he ends up) with the Bulls.  Now with the coaching change, who knows?  USF is out for Rose and, let’s be honest, so is any real hope to salvage a football career at this point.
I know, I know.  This is the third mention of FSU in today’s column.  Not something most around these parts want.  But this is for good reason.  Myron Rolle is back.  The Seminoles safety turned Rhodes Scholar.  If you want someone your kids can look up to, look no further.  Rolle is at the Senior Bowl this week where he’s trying to convince NFL scouts a year off didn’t affect his ability to play the game.  I’m sure he’ll be a welcome addition to whichever team he ends up with.

Recruit Profile: Athlete Christian Green

Name: Christian Green

Position: ATH
Height: 6’2”
Weight: 200 lbs.
High School: Tampa Catholic (Tampa, FL)
Possible Destination: Florida, FSU, Georgia
TBG’s Gator Probability: 25%
Might as well get to Chaz Green’s Tampa Catholic teammate next.  This Green (no relation) is the Crusaders quarterback, but projects as a wide receiver at the college level.  There is some talk he could also possibly be moved to the defensive backfield, but right now it appears as if receiver is what he’s being recruited for the most.
Green is no stranger to the wide receiver position.  As a freshman he got an All-State honorable mention after being on the receiving end of 10 touchdowns.  Although he’s been primarily a quarterback since then, he has lined up at receiver on occasion and seems destined to be a star at the position.  Green has good speed for someone his size and has the tools to develop into a physically aggressive receiver.  Once he learns the ins and outs of playing wide receiver, there’s no reason to think Green can’t be a great one.
The #58 recruit in the Rivals100 has narrowed down his choices to Florida, FSU, and Georgia.  There’s still a chance he could end up a Gator, but it seems like the other two may be out in front.  For a while now, Green has been deemed a nice-to-have, but one who probably won’t end up in orange and blue.  Initially, there was talk of him being headed to FSU, but that shifted toward Georgia not long after.  He could really end up at any of the three, but Florida appears to be the long shot of the group.

Recruit Profile: Offensive Tackle Chaz Green

Name: Chaz Green
Position: T
Height: 6’6”
Weight: 290 lbs.
High School: Tampa Catholic (Tampa, FL)
Possible Destination: Florida, Ohio State, Tennessee, USC
TBG’s Gator Probability: 50%
This is one that should be signed, sealed, and delivered.  For months all you’d read about was how Green was a lock to commit to Florida.  He may take his time and take some visits, but don’t worry because he would be a Gator in the end.  Now that doesn’t seem like such a sure thing.  In fact, Tennessee may have actually taken the lead.  Green has links to the Vols – both his parents are alumni – and he likes the shot at playing early.  So a player who seemed destined to be a Gator could end up at one of Florida’s main rivals.
Green is one of the offensive linemen that would be comfortable at any position it seems.  He’s an athletic freak for someone of his size and could probably add more weight without losing his skills.  The one knock on him could be that he’s not mean enough, but I’m sure that will come.  Get beaten by an All-SEC defensive lineman just once and Green will develop the nasty quick enough.
It’s hard to see how things end up with Green but the future may not be bright for Gator fans.  As the process has gone on, he’s been less sure about ending up at Florida.  There’s still plenty of time left though and you never really know until a letter of intent is signed.

Top 10 Florida Recruiting Targets

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.