As of last Monday the NCAA’s new mandated summer dead period began 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.
Last week we took a look at the offensive side of the ball and this week we will look at the defensive side of the ball and get everyone caught up on 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 defensive line position that includes the defensive end and defensive tackle position and next up is the linebacker position.
Right now Florida doesn’t have a commit at the linebacker position but the Gators are looking to add 3-4 in the class after not signing a linebacker in the Class of 2014.
The Gators have several top targets on the board and here are a few guys that could fill the Class of 2015 at the linebacker position.
Linebacker Jeffrey Holland (6-1, 225, Jacksonville, FL Trinity Christian) has Florida and Auburn as his co-leaders and that will stay the case until he decides in January. Holland is scheduled to visit Florida for Friday Night Lights but, again, how Florida fares in the season will play a major factor in his recruitment. Right now, I say Florida is the pick for Holland.
Linebacker Roquan Smith (6-0, 203, Montezuma, GA Macon County) has visited Florida several times and plans to return again either in July or in the fall. Smith and Adonis Thomas are good friends and have talked about playing together in college. Smith likes Georgia a lot, as well as Florida, and this one won’t be over until he takes his official visits.
Linebacker Adonis Thomas (6-4, 217, Lawrenceville, GA Central Gwinnett) is scheduled to announce his decision on August 1st and will choose between Florida and Alabama. He has a visit to Alabama scheduled for July but the Gators are the favorite here. Thomas could very well visit Florida for Friday Night Lights and if he does that will only distance Florida’s lead on Alabama.
Linebacker Darrien McNair (6-2, 219, Ocala, FL Trinity Catholic) is committed to Mississippi State but if Florida started pushing hard for him then a flip is very likely. McNair is very close to several Florida players and if the Gators make a push, I think he flips but there is an issue with having room in the class for him.
Linebacker Tevon Coney (6-0, 221, Palm Beach Gardens, FL High) has Florida and Notre Dame as his top two schools and he wants to announce by the end of the summer. Coney is scheduled to visit Florida for Friday Night Lights and that’s a good sign for Florida. In the end, I think if Florida has a spot for Coney then he’s a Gator but he may settle with Notre Dame.
Linebacker Derrick Graham (6-4, 220, Wauchula, FL Hardee Senior) was just recently offered by Florida after Will Muschamp’s camp and the Gators like him as a tight end and linebacker. Graham is a take for Florida right now but I think he will wait a while to decide.
Linebacker Jerome Baker (6-1, 206, Cleveland, OH Benedictine) announces his decision between Florida, Ohio State and Tennessee on Friday. Baker has a lot of people in favor of him picking Ohio State but he does have a very good relationship with D.J. Durkin and that helps Florida more than I thought. Baker believes that Florida and the coaches fit him well and he called Gainesville home away from home. I’m picking Florida for Baker right now.
Look ahead to 2016
Florida has five known offers out to 2016 linebackers including two top in-state targets at the position.
Linebacker Shaquille Quarterman (6-0, 239, Orange Park, FL Oakleaf) recently committed to Miami but the Gators still remain an option as he is only entering his junior season. Quarterman is someone that Florida will continue to push for in the future.
Linebacker Devin Bush Jr. (6-0, 206, Pembroke Pines, FL Flanagan) is the son of a former FSU player but the Noles have yet to offer him. Bush plans to visit Florida either in July or in the fall and that visit will start the process of building the relationship between the two parties.