2013 Football Recruiting: Florida Gators NSD Ends With Two Commits

If you watched any portion of National Signing Day, you saw coverage dominated by late-risers in the recruiting rankings, as the likes of Alabama, Ole Miss, Ohio State, and others dominated the late NSD decisions.

You didn’t see as much from the Florida Gators (The number 1 recruiting class on ESPN at the beginning of the broadcast) as you thought you would have. And, despite the fact that many of you would categorize that as “Boring,” it doesn’t necessarily suggest anything to make the Gators’ recruiting class anything less than great.

Let’s look at the Gators’ commitments on National Signing Day. Will Muschamp’s day started well with defensive tackle Jay-nard Bostwick from Port Saint Lucie, Florida near Miami. The Gators won this battle against mainly Miami and Alabama.

Below is Bostwick’s commitment. Listen to the interview after if you don’t think that playing in the SEC impacts some of these recruits.

In Bostwick, Florida gets a somewhat raw defensive tackle who has only been playing football for a few years. At 280 pounds, Bostwick already has some of the size needed to be a DT in the NFL, and the next few years will be spent building more muscle (Jeff Dillman), while adding technique (Bryant Young).

And here are some highlights from Bostwick’s junior year:

While many of Florida’s commitments were sending in their LOIs, there was a rumor that Tashawn Bower, an Auburn commit had sent his LOI to the Gators. He was widely thought by many to be headed to either Auburn or Florida, but in the end, none of those rumors proved to be true. And, well, Bower chose LSU.

The next news for the Gators came in the afternoon when another DT, this time a JUCO from East Mississippi Community College, Jarran Reed picked the Gators over Ole Miss and Alabama. EMCC continues to be very good to the Gators, where Florida gets DTs Reed and Darious Cummings this year, and where they got immediate-impact Damien Jacobs from last year.

After National Signing Day, the Florida Gators signed the No. 2 punter in the nation Ryan Townsend, who had been previously committed to Ohio State. And not long before that, OL/TE Trevon Young determined that he wished to be a Gator when he decided against a scholarship offer to play basketball, his true passion, at Eckerd College. Young is VERY raw, so we’ll see how his development at Florida goes.

The Florida Gators’ 2013 recruiting class, should end up at a final number of 30, the most in school history. But the Gators didn’t just add depth for no reason. With recruits at nearly ever position on the team, the Gators filled their needs well with talent that could serve as a building block for future Will Muschamp teams. Though time will tell, this years recruiting class looks like it could end up being one of the bests in school history.

Dante Phillips Denied Admission To Florida; Defensive Tackle Looking Elsewhere

Four-star defensive tackle Dante Phillips has been denied admission to Florida. The Venice, FL (Venice) DT was cleared academically by the NCAA, but not by the University of Florida. He has been informed that he will not be allowed to enroll and subsequently won’t play for the Florida Gators.

Although there’s a small chance Phillips could still end up at Florida (the path would probably mean heading somewhere to improve his grades before joining the Gators for the 2013 season), that seems extremely unlikely at this point. Miami has reached out to the defensive tackle, but he has mentioned his preference to play in the SEC.

“Florida is a great program; I love the school, but it’s time to open my recruitment. I’m just ready to play football. I want to show Florida what they missed out on. I’d like to go to a school in the SEC. That’s my preference.” – Dante Phillips, 2012 Defensive Tackle

While similar situations have occurred in the past, they aren’t as frequent this late in the game. The deadline to enroll for Summer B classes is Tuesday at 11:59pm.

One high profile similarity was Frostproof, FL (Frostproof) running back Travis Henry. It was rumored that Florida was Henry’s first choice, but he wouldn’t be able to qualify academically. He was cleared by the NCAA however and spent four seasons in the Tennessee backfield. The difference, of course, is that Henry wasn’t a Florida signee.

At this point, Florida doesn’t replace Phillips (the 2012 class has long been signed); they simply move on without him. Junior college transfer Damien Jacobs becomes the only defensive tackle to join the Gators as part of the class.

Gators Defensive Tackle Nick Alajajian Has Wrist Surgery

Senior Nick Alajajian underwent wrist surgery on Tuesday. The Florida Gators defensive tackle had been having trouble with his wrist throughout spring practice. With the Orange and Blue Debut having come and gone, now was the perfect time for Alajajian to have the surgery and have the time to get healthy for fall practice.

Already a senior, Alajajian’s career at Florida seems to have gone by almost too quickly. Having spent his first three years as a reserve offensive lineman, Alajajian made the switch to defensive tackle in preparation for the 2012 season.

He has appeared in 32 games and got his first start in the Gator Bowl following the conclusion of the 2011 season. Although Alajajian will provide depth at DT, his path to significant playing time won’t be any easier. He shares the position with Sharrif Floyd, Dominique Easley, Omar Hunter, Leon Orr and Damien Jacobs. JaFar Mann and Dante Phillips will join the Gators in the fall.

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Damien Jacobs Pulls Off A Stunner: JUCO DT Signs With Florida Gators Over Tennessee Volunteers

Recruiting can rip your heart out or pleasantly surprise you just as easily. On Wednesday, Florida Gators’ fans were treated to the good kind of surprise when JUCO defensive tackle Damien Jacobs pulled off a stunner. Jacobs—a long-time Tennessee Volunteers’ commit—chose the good guys instead and signed with Florida. For more on Jacobs’ shocker, head over to Alligator Army.