Florida Gators: Defensive recruiting board post summer

Football season is back in full force as the Florida Gators and high schools have both officially started fall practice in preparation for the upcoming season.

This also officially closes the summer portion of the Florida Gators recruiting season, as prospects will now visit the Gators to either watch practice or to take in a game this fall.

Now that the Florida coaching staff has had the opportunity to look at prospects in camp and on visits the coaching staff has a better idea of where they stand with the top prospects in the country.

GatorCountry.com now brings you the latest recruiting board for the offense and defensive side of the ball heading into the fall.

This is Gator Country’s opinion of the board and not anyone else’s and now that we have taken a look at the offensive side of the ball, let’s go to the defensive side of the ball.


Defensive end

Target number: 2

Committed: Jaquan Bailey (6-3, 235, Jacksonville, FL Raines) and Eric Mitchell (6-1, 228, Miami, FL Central) are both taking visits to other schools besides Florida. Right now neither of these prospects are solid to the Florida Gators. Bailey has visited the Louisville Cardinals and Virginia Tech Hokies as of late and Mitchell plans to take visits this fall.

Top targets:

Brian Burns (6-5, 217, Plantation, FL American Heritage)- The Georgia Bulldogs are the leaders here but Florida State, Florida, Alabama and the LSU Tigers are all in the mix still. Defensive line coach Chris Rumph did a good job with Burns during his visit to Florida in July but the Gators must get him back on campus to catch Georgia.

Antonneous Clayton (6-4, 218, Vienna, GA Dooly County)- Simply put this is a two team race between Florida and the Auburn Tigers with the Florida State Seminoles on the outside looking in at this point. Right now I would give the slight lead to the Auburn Tigers, but it’s very close due to Clayton’s relationship with the Gators.

Terrell Hall (6-5, 251, Washington D.C. St. John’s College High)- Hall just recently decommitted from the Ohio State Buckeyes and Alabama looks to be the team to beat at this time. Hall has said that he would like to visit Florida this fall but until that happens, I’m saying Alabama for Hall.

Shavar Manuel (6-3, 262, Bradenton, FL IMG Academy)- Manuel has taken several visits to Florida and while most believed that Florida State was the leader here, the defensive end says that Florida and LSU are the schools that he would most likely sign with if today were signing day. Right now I give Florida the slight edge because of Coach Rumph, but it’s very close.

Jachai Polite (6-4, 230, Daytona Beach, FL Mainland)- Miami and Florida are battling it out for Polite, who just picked up a Florida Gators offer at Friday Night Lights. Polite has a committable offer to both schools but he says that he isn’t ready to decide yet.

Florida State Seminoles commit Janarius Robinson (6-4, 224, Panama City, FL Bay)- Robinson is a mystery because he calls himself a Florida State commit, but he says he has a top-ten list of schools. Alabama is likely the team in the best shape to flip Robinson at this time because he has yet to visit Florida despite having plans to visit Gainesville several times. Florida must change that if they want to flip Robinson.



Defensive tackle

Target number: 2

Committed: Florida has zero defensive tackle commits at this time.

Top targets:

Antwuan Jackson (6-2, 304, Ellenwood, GA Cedar Grove)- Auburn is the clear-cut leader here, but there is some question to whether or not Auburn will have room for Jackson when he makes his decision after the season. Florida is also pushing hard for Jackson and a visit this summer really helped the Gators chances here. Ohio State is also another team in the mix here.

Dexter Lawrence (6-4, 340, Wake Forest, NC High)- Lawrence is a guy that hates doing interviews and rarely gives out much information, but he does talk very highly of the Florida Gators although he has never visited Gainesville. Lawrence is a homebody, so North Carolina is the likely landing spot for him unless the Gators can get him on campus and make him feel comfortable.

Jordan Woods (6-3, 245, Citra, FL North Marion)- I’m going to get a lot of questions as to why I put Woods in the defensive tackle category and it was simply because I believe he grows into a defensive tackle in college and I believe Florida is planning for that. Woods has Florida at the top of his list despite not saying it publically at this time and a decision could come at anytime now.




Target number: 3-4

Committed: Vosean Joseph (6-2, 210, Miami, FL Norland) and Jeremiah Moon (6-4, 210, Hoover, AL High) are both very solid to the Florida Gators due to their relationship with linebackers coach Randy Shannon and defensive coordinator Geoff Collins.

Top targets:

Aaron Hansford (6-2, 210, Washington, DC St. John’s College High)- Hansford told reporters at the Opening that he wanted to visit the Gators but he has yet to do so. He’s one to watch this fall for a visit to a game.

Jeffrey McCulloch (6-2, 235, Houston, TX Aldine Davis)- The Texas Longhorns are the leaders here but McCulloch did make a visit to Florida this spring and he still talks highly of the Gators and Shannon. Florida needs to get him back on campus again.

Miami Hurricanes commit Zach McCloud (6-2, 215, Lantana, FL Santaluces)- McCloud visited Florida in July and had a good visit but it wasn’t enough to flip him from the Canes at this time. Florida State and Auburn are also both trying to flip McCloud from Miami and this is a recruitment that will have to be watched all the way until signing day.  

Florida State Seminoles commit Emmett Rice (6-3, 195, Miami, FL Norland)- Rice is very close to Vosean Joseph and has made a trip to the University of Florida already this summer and has said he plans to visit the Gators again this fall.



Target number: 4

Committed: Chauncey Gardner (5-11, 190, Cocoa, FL High), C.J. McWilliams (5-11, 164, Miami, FL Southwest), Jayvaughn Myers (6-1, 175, Dade City, FL Pasco) and Aaron Robinson (6-1, 173, Deerfield Beach, FL High) are all solid to Florida except McWilliams who visited Miami on Sunday. McWilliams is a prospect to watch closely over the next few months because he’s a guy that could flip from Florida. Gardner, Myers and Robinson are all solid to the Gators and recruiting for Florida big time.

Top targets:

McArthur Burnett (6-1, 180, Pahokee, FL High)- Burnett is the most likely candidate of the bunch because he decommitted from Miami shortly after his first Florida visit. Burnett wants to wait a little longer to make a decision but the Gators are the team to beat.

Kristian Fulton (6-0, 175, Metairie, LA Rummel)- Fulton pushed back his decision from this summer and right now the LSU Tigers are the likely destination for Fulton. Fulton likes Florida and Texas A&M a lot but I don’t think it will be enough to get him out of Louisiana.

Auburn Tigers commit Jamarcus King (6-2, 180, Coffeyville, KS JUCO)- King is best friends with Florida commit Branton Autry and plans to visit the Gators for an official visit this fall. King likes Florida Gators cornerbacks Kirk Callahan a lot.

Demetris Robertson (6-0, 180, Savannah, GA Savannah Christian School)- Robertson made his first visit to Florida under McElwain for Friday Night Lights and he liked the academics a lot in Gainesville. Robertson is scheduled to return to Florida this fall. Stanford is the team to watch right now.



Target number: 2

Committed: Quincy Lenton (6-0, 195, Meridian, MS High) and Jeawon Taylor (6-2, 192, Montgomery, AL Park Crossing) both say they are very solid to the Gators at this time and neither have other visits planned at this time.

Top targets: at this time Florida is not pursuing any other safeties for this class.


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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.