As of Monday the NCAA new mandated summer dead period begins and won’t end until July 13th so Gator Country decided it would be a good time to get everyone caught up on where the Gators stand at each position.
Over the next week we are going to take a look at each position and get everyone caught up with who’s in the class and who may end up in the Class of 2015.
One thing we are also going to add to each position is a quick look at who to keep an eye on for the upcoming Class of 2016.
First up in our week-long series was the quarterback position. In the second edition we’ll stay in the backfield and take a look at the running back position.
The Gators have yet to land a commitment at the running back position but are looking to add one or two backs to the Class of 2015.
Running back Ray-Ray McCloud (5-9, 176, Tampa, FL Sickles) stands at the top of the board right now and it’s a Florida/Clemson battle for the Tampa prospect.
McCloud visited Florida during the month of June and he’s likely to be in attendance at Friday Night Lights in July, which would make the fifth time he has been on campus since March.
McCloud’s family is in favor of him being at Florida because of the distance to campus and also the relationship they have with Will Muschamp and his coaching staff.
McCloud says he will announce his decision whenever it feels right so a summer announcement could come but it’s looking like it won’t be until the fall. If I was making a prediction right now, I would say that the Gators land McCloud.
The next highest guy on the board would be Miami running back commit Dexter Williams (5-11, 195, Orlando, FL West Orange) who surprised everyone by committing to Miami back during the spring.
Williams is close with Florida commit Jalen Julius and the two have made plans to visit Florida on several occasions this summer but just haven’t made it in. Getting Williams on campus is huge and if the Gators do get him on campus then the chances of flipping him go up.
As of right now I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see Williams flipping to Florida — or somewhere else — as I’ve been told that even Miami doesn’t feel comfortable about keeping him in the class.
Athlete Jaason Lewis (6-4, 246, Virginia Beach, VA Ocean Lakes) is another name on the board at the running back position and Lewis says he will visit Florida either this summer or in the fall for an official visit.
Lewis is a former UCLA commit and right now the Gators chances aren’t great here as Lewis will likely want to stay closer to home but as the saying goes, get him on campus and see what happens.
Running back T.J. Simmons (6-0, 195, Lakeland, FL Christian) committed to UCLA on Monday but at this time we are told that the Gators wouldn’t take his commitment. However, if Florida happens to miss out on a few higher targets, Simmons could be an option going forward.
If Florida was to push hard for Simmons then I believe the Gators could get a visit and be in the mix to flip the Bruins commit.
Running back Jacques Patrick (6-1, 224, Orlando, FL Timber Creek) is a name that will always be on the Gators’ board but quite frankly Patrick hasn’t shown much interest in Florida in quite some time. Patrick however will visit Florida for Friday Night Lights in July. If Florida is going to gain any traction in Patrick’s recruitment in must come while he’s on campus as Patrick is looking to make a decision in October. Florida State is the team to beat at this time in my opinion.
Running back Nyheim Hines (5-8, 178, Garner, NC High) is another guy that says he will visit Florida in July but he has also been a guy that has backed out on a lot of visits already.
Right now Clemson and Duke are the leaders for Hines — who has great speed — but if Florida decides to push hard for him then we will see how Hines responds.
Look ahead to 2016
The 2016 class is loaded and the Gators will once again be looking to add one or two running backs in the class.
Running back coach Brian White and offensive coordinator Kurt Roper have already offered six running backs for the Class of 2016.
Two to keep an eye on
Running back Tony Jones Jr. (5-11, 195, Bradenton , FL IMG) is a prospect that was offered at Will Muschamp’s camp and he admitted that Florida is his leader as he grew up rooting for the Gators.
Running back Tavien Feaster (5-11, 192, Spartanburg, SC High) visited Florida in June and left impressed by what he saw from Florida. Clemson is the early leader for the stud running back who has been clocked in the 4.4 range but Florida will remain in the hunt for Feaster.