The University of Florida is off to a blazing start for the 2012 recruiting class. National Signing day is just under five months away, yet with 17 verbal commitments, the Gators have filled a good majority of their 2012 recruiting class.
According to ESPNU, new Florida head coach Will Muschamp currently has the fourth-best recruiting class in the country. With several top prospects remaining on the board, this recruiting class will likely end up in the top five nationally.
The Gators are likely to sign between 22-25 total players in this class depending on injuries and transfers. With 17 prospects already verbally committed, that leaves only 5-8 available slots remaining.
Here is a look at the 17 prospects currently committed to the Gators. Verbal commitments are non-binding until a prospect signs his national letter of intent on National Signing Day on Feb. 2.
Matt Jones, (6-3/215, Seffner/Armwood) – As a junior, Jones amassed 1,300 yards on 136 carries and scored 23 touchdowns. Jones also recorded 11 catches for 209 yards and another three receiving touchdowns. According to Tom Lemming, Jones is rated the No. 2 “big-back” in the country. Jones suffered a torn meniscus during a pre-season 7-on-7 tournament and is expected to miss the first two games of the season.
Mike Davis, (5-11/195, Stone Mountain, Ga/Stephenson) – As a junior, Davis rushed for 1,200 yards and 14 touchdowns despite splitting time with USF signee Willie Davis. Davis is ranked as the No. 17 running back in the country by ESPNU.
Latroy Pittman, (6-1/198, Citra/North Marion) – Pittman, who was the first player to commit to Florida for the 2012 class, made the pledge over a year ago. Pittman is ranked as the No. 15 wide receiver in the country and the No. 105 player overall by ESPNU. Pittman has also become a key recruiter for other uncommitted prospects.
Colin Thompson, (6-5/255, Warminster, Pa/Archbishop Wood) – As a junior, Thompson recorded 13 receptions for 208 yards and four touchdowns. Thompson is also an excellent in-line blocker. ESPNU has Thompson ranked as the No. 1 tight end and No. 84 player overall.
Jessamen Dunker, (6-6/315, Boynton Beach/Boynton Beach HS) – Dunker is rated a four-star prospect by ESPNU. He is ranked the No. 7 prospect at his position and the No. 30 player overall.
D.J. Humphries, (6-6/275, Charlotte, NC/Mallard Creek) – As the only five-star prospect currently committed to Florida, Humphries is the cornerstone of this recruiting class. Ranked as the No. 1 tackle prospect and the No. 7 player overall by ESPNU, Humphries will enroll in the spring and have a chance to contribute immediately.
Dante Phillips, (6-6/275, Venice/Venice HS) – Phillips is ranked as the No. 16 offensive tackle and the No. 112 player overall by ESPNU. Phillips however is being recruited by Florida to play defensive tackle. At 6-foot-6 he does seem tall for a defensive tackle but his mean streak is what the Florida coaches like.
Quinteze Williams, (6-4/295, Tyrone, GA/Sandy Creek) – This strong side defensive end is ranked as the No. 21 prospect at his position by ESPNU. With his size he will undoubtedly be a candidate to move inside to tackle.
JaFar Mann, (6-4/293, Stone Mountain, GA/Stephenson) – Mann, who is teammates with running back commit Mike Davis, is ranked as a three star prospect and the No. 27 defensive tackle in the country by ESPNU.
Jeremi Powell, (6-2/200, Largo/Pinellas Park) – Powell is ranked the No. 24 outside linebacker by ESPNU. As a junior Powell recorded 15 sacks and two defensive touchdowns. The athletic linebacker also added 22 receptions for 478 yards and four touchdowns as a wide receiver.
Lorenzo Phillips, (6-2/205, Patterson, LA/Patterson HS) – Phillips is ranked as the No. 10 outside linebacker and the No. 140 player overall by ESPNU. As a junior, Phillips earned class 3A all-state honors. He also recorded 78 tackles and 23 tackles-for-loss.
Antonio Morrison, (6-3/225, Bolingbrook, IL/Bolingbrook HS) – Morrison is ranked as a three-star player and the No. 39 outside linebacker in the country according to ESPNU, even though he is being recruited to play middle linebacker for Florida. As a junior Morrison tallied 84 tackles, 11 tackles-for-loss and seven sacks.
Brian Poole Jr., (5-11/187, Bradenton/Southeast) – Poole is ranked as the No. 9 corner and the No. 134 player overall by ESPNU. The four-star prospect is physical enough to play safety but athletic enough to be a lockdown corner on the next level.
Willie Bailey, (6-2/170, Hallandale/Hallandale HS) – Bailey is ranked as the No. 24 corner in the country by ESPNU. This one time Miami commitment could end up at safety if he adds some weight.
Rhaheim Ledbetter, (5-11/195, Shelby, NC/Crest) – This hard hitting safety is ranked four-stars and the No. 9 player at his position according to ESPNU. As a junior Ledbetter was named county co-player of the year. He is also teammates with Jonathan Bullard a four-star defensive end who is also considering Florida.
Marcus Maye, (6-1/200, Melbourne/Holy Trinity) – Maye is ranked as the No. 13 safety in this class by ESPNU. Maye garnered offers from Florida State, Miami, LSU, Alabama, Auburn, and Tennessee among many others.
Austin Hardin, (5-11/200, Atlanta, GA/Marist) – Hardin is ranked as the No. 2 kicker prospect in the country by ESPNU. Hardin was 13-of-20 on field goals as a junior, but all seven misses were from 50-yards or longer.
Gator Country Recruiting Coordinator Derek Tyson can be reached at Derek@GatorCountry.com. You can also follow him on Twitter at DerekTysonGC.