Publisher Profile

THE INSIDER AUTHORITY ON GATOR SPORTS

  • Geoff Collins, Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, Gainesville, Florida

    Geoff Collins is eager to get to know his defense /Gator Country photo by Nick de la Torre

Florida Gators: Defensive needs
and players to watch

  • Home
  • Feature
  • Florida Gators: Defensive needs and players to watch
Written by Andrew Spivey, February 10, 2015, 0 Comments,
Print Friendly

It’s time to turn the page from 2015 to 2016 for the Florida Gators in recruiting and what better way to start the class of 2016 then with an outlook on what head coach Jim McElwain and his staff need in 2016.

This is going to be a two part series on Monday we talked about offense so let’s go to the defensive side of the ball now.

These are the numbers that I believe Florida needs to hit and are not reflected of what McElwain and his staff have in mind but usually these number goals translate from one coaching staff to another.

Anyway let’s dive right in.

 

Defensive end

Number needed: Florida needs two defensive ends in this class because Jabari Zuniga could easily move inside as he continues to grown in the strength and conditioning program. 

Players to watch out for:

Shavar Manuel (6-3, 262, Bradenton, FL IMG Academy) is probably the top defensive end in the country for 2016. FSU and Miami have done a great job of recruiting him but I expect Florida to get right in the mix here. Manuel has been to Florida once already.

Jordan Woods (6-3, 235, Ocala, FL Trinity Catholic) grew up a Gators fan and has been on Florida’s campus a ton in the past and has been frequent visitor to Florida home games in the past. Florida has the lead here but FSU is in the mix.

Rahshaun Smith (6-2, 236, Bradenton, FL IMG Academy) is another five star defensive end that is an incredible player. Florida has a lot of work to do here though.

 

Instate talent: It’s a very good year for defensive ends in the state of Florida and the Gators should have no problem filling their needs here.

 

Defensive tackle

Number needed: Florida could get away with just signing one defensive tackle in 2016 depending on if anyone transfers away or goes pro early.

Players to watch out for:

Dexter Lawrence (6-5, 290, Wake Forest, NC High) grew up rooting for Florida and the Gators have the early lead for Lawrence. Lawrence is also familiar with defensive line coach Chris Rumph.

Nyles Pinkney (6-3, 290, Seabrook, SC Whale Branch) is a player that talked a lot about Florida last fall and even visited the Gators for a game. Florida’s new staff will have to get in touch with him to continue the relationship.

 

Instate talent: It’s a down year for defensive tackles in the state of Florida in 2016 so the Gators will have to look elsewhere to fill their needs.

 

Linebackers

Number needed: Florida sign must three linebackers in the class of 2016 and signing four wouldn’t be a bad thing at all. This is a position that Florida must hit on in 2016.

Players to watch out for:

Devin Bush (6-0, 215, Pembroke Pines, FL Flanagan) his father played at FSU but he says the Noles are not his favorite right now. Miami and Florida have made a good impression on him early on.

Shaq Quarterman (6-0, 239, Miami, FL Oakleaf) is a Miami commit but grew up a Florida fan. Florida’s last staff didn’t pursue him a lot but that could change with Randy Shannon and company.

Tre Lamar (6-3, 250, Roswell, GA High) picked up an offer from Florida recently and says he will visit the Gators this spring. Lamar has no favorites right now.

 

Instate talent: It’s a good year for linebackers in state and Florida should be able to pick up a few good prospects in state at linebacker.

 

Cornerbacks

Number needed: Florida needs to get two cornerbacks in the class of 2016 because you have to expect Vernon Hargreaves III to go pro early so depth will be an issue in 2016.

Players to watch out for:

Chauncey Gardner (5-11, 190, Cocoa, FL High) is a former Florida commit and still has a lot of interest in the Gators. Gardner doesn’t have a relationship with the new staff though.

Tyler Byrd (5-11, 160, Naples, FL High) is another former commit but is now committed to Miami. Byrd has a lot of interest in Florida still, but will the Gators get him on campus again is the biggest question.

Craig Watts (5-10, 173, St. Petersburg, FL Gibbs) is a prospect that Florida was after very hard under the old staff and the new staff has already visited him since being hired.

 

Instate talent: This is an extremely deep position in the state of Florida this year and the Gators should be able to load up here. Randy Shannon could be huge in South Florida with defensive backs.

 

Safeties

Number needed: This is another position where signing two players would be great Florida in 2016 as the Gators signed one in 2015.

Players to watch out for:

Saivion Smith (6-2, 175, Bradenton, FL IMG Academy) is one of the best safeties in the country but Clemson seems to be the leader here. Smith has visited Florida several times already.

Romeo Finley (6-0, 196, Niceville, FL High) is an absolute beast at safety and is someone that Florida visited several times during the month of January. Florida needs to continue to push hard for him.

 

Instate talent: Florida has a lot of good prospects here as well and Florida should be able to land a prospect or two here.

Andrew Spivey

About Andrew Spivey

Andrew always knew he wanted to be involved with sports in some capacity. He began by coaching high school football for six years before deciding to pursue a career in journalism. While coaching, he was a part of two state semifinal teams in the state of Alabama. Given his past coaching experience, he figured covering recruiting would be a perfect fit. He began his career as an intern for Rivals.com, covering University of Florida football recruiting. After interning with Rivals for six months, he joined the Gator Country family as a recruiting analyst. Andrew enjoys spending his free time on the golf course and watching his beloved Atlanta Braves. Follow him on Twitter at @AndrewSpiveyGC.

http://www.gatorcountry.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/Geoff-Collins-2-150x150.jpg Andrew Spivey FeatureRecruiting ,,,,,
Print Friendly

It’s time to turn the page from 2015 to 2016 for the Florida Gators in recruiting and what better way to start the class of 2016 then with an outlook on what head coach Jim McElwain and his staff need in 2016.

This is going to be a two part series on Monday we talked about offense so let’s go to the defensive side of the ball now.

These are the numbers that I believe Florida needs to hit and are not reflected of what McElwain and his staff have in mind but usually these number goals translate from one coaching staff to another.

Anyway let’s dive right in.

 

Defensive end

Number needed: Florida needs two defensive ends in this class because Jabari Zuniga could easily move inside as he continues to grown in the strength and conditioning program. 

Players to watch out for:

Shavar Manuel (6-3, 262, Bradenton, FL IMG Academy) is probably the top defensive end in the country for 2016. FSU and Miami have done a great job of recruiting him but I expect Florida to get right in the mix here. Manuel has been to Florida once already.

Jordan Woods (6-3, 235, Ocala, FL Trinity Catholic) grew up a Gators fan and has been on Florida’s campus a ton in the past and has been frequent visitor to Florida home games in the past. Florida has the lead here but FSU is in the mix.

Rahshaun Smith (6-2, 236, Bradenton, FL IMG Academy) is another five star defensive end that is an incredible player. Florida has a lot of work to do here though.

 

Instate talent: It’s a very good year for defensive ends in the state of Florida and the Gators should have no problem filling their needs here.

 

Defensive tackle

Number needed: Florida could get away with just signing one defensive tackle in 2016 depending on if anyone transfers away or goes pro early.

Players to watch out for:

Dexter Lawrence (6-5, 290, Wake Forest, NC High) grew up rooting for Florida and the Gators have the early lead for Lawrence. Lawrence is also familiar with defensive line coach Chris Rumph.

Nyles Pinkney (6-3, 290, Seabrook, SC Whale Branch) is a player that talked a lot about Florida last fall and even visited the Gators for a game. Florida’s new staff will have to get in touch with him to continue the relationship.

 

Instate talent: It’s a down year for defensive tackles in the state of Florida in 2016 so the Gators will have to look elsewhere to fill their needs.

 

Linebackers

Number needed: Florida sign must three linebackers in the class of 2016 and signing four wouldn’t be a bad thing at all. This is a position that Florida must hit on in 2016.

Players to watch out for:

Devin Bush (6-0, 215, Pembroke Pines, FL Flanagan) his father played at FSU but he says the Noles are not his favorite right now. Miami and Florida have made a good impression on him early on.

Shaq Quarterman (6-0, 239, Miami, FL Oakleaf) is a Miami commit but grew up a Florida fan. Florida’s last staff didn’t pursue him a lot but that could change with Randy Shannon and company.

Tre Lamar (6-3, 250, Roswell, GA High) picked up an offer from Florida recently and says he will visit the Gators this spring. Lamar has no favorites right now.

 

Instate talent: It’s a good year for linebackers in state and Florida should be able to pick up a few good prospects in state at linebacker.

 

Cornerbacks

Number needed: Florida needs to get two cornerbacks in the class of 2016 because you have to expect Vernon Hargreaves III to go pro early so depth will be an issue in 2016.

Players to watch out for:

Chauncey Gardner (5-11, 190, Cocoa, FL High) is a former Florida commit and still has a lot of interest in the Gators. Gardner doesn’t have a relationship with the new staff though.

Tyler Byrd (5-11, 160, Naples, FL High) is another former commit but is now committed to Miami. Byrd has a lot of interest in Florida still, but will the Gators get him on campus again is the biggest question.

Craig Watts (5-10, 173, St. Petersburg, FL Gibbs) is a prospect that Florida was after very hard under the old staff and the new staff has already visited him since being hired.

 

Instate talent: This is an extremely deep position in the state of Florida this year and the Gators should be able to load up here. Randy Shannon could be huge in South Florida with defensive backs.

 

Safeties

Number needed: This is another position where signing two players would be great Florida in 2016 as the Gators signed one in 2015.

Players to watch out for:

Saivion Smith (6-2, 175, Bradenton, FL IMG Academy) is one of the best safeties in the country but Clemson seems to be the leader here. Smith has visited Florida several times already.

Romeo Finley (6-0, 196, Niceville, FL High) is an absolute beast at safety and is someone that Florida visited several times during the month of January. Florida needs to continue to push hard for him.

 

Instate talent: Florida has a lot of good prospects here as well and Florida should be able to land a prospect or two here.

Read previous post:
Dec 6, 2014; Gainesville, FL, USA; Florida Gators head coach Jim McElwain is introduced as head coach during a press conference at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Florida Gators Thoughts of the Week: February 3 – February 10

Thoughts of the week focuses on the steps Jim McElwain is using to rebuild the Gators.

Close