Now that the Class of 2013 recruiting class is over, GatorCountry.com will talk about some of the behind scenes stuff that went on this past year.
After breaking down the offensive side of the ball in Part I of the series, GatorCountry.com will take a look at the story behind Florida’s newest defenders.
As much as Florida wanted to land Montravius Adams, the Gators were really never close to signing him. Adams loved Bryant Young, but for some reason, he was never truly interested enough for Florida to have a great chance at him.
Florida landed Jay-nard Bostwick on signing day, but Bostwick was committed to the Gators for several months silently. The key was Bostwick’s parents felt the best about the Florida coaching staff and its ability to take care of Jay-nard.
While Caleb Brantley signed with Florida, his recruitment was crazy as he was one of the first commitments, but he wavered all the way until National Signing Day.
Brantley went to Tallahassee for his visit and was kicked out due to him cheering for Florida, but that didn’t solidify him to the Gators.
In Orlando at the Under Armour game, he de-committed again, because he was talking a lot about other teams to Florida commitments and they kind of forced Brantley’s hand. But after a stern talk with Muschamp, he was back in the class again and signed.
One name that kept coming up behind the scenes that nobody talked about was Scott Pagano, who signed with Clemson.
Pagano was calling for a while and as late as January trying to set up an official visit, but the staff wasn’t interested in Pagano and never moved on the visit.
Jarran Reed’s decision went down to the wire, and while he flirted with Alabama, the coaching staff at Florida felt great about landing him.
Reed has two friends at UF, plus immediate playing time open, and that was a big reason as to why he committed to Florida. While he committed on signing day, he gave the coaching staff a silent during his official visit to Gainesville in January.
The weird recruitment of Tashawn Bower went down to the wire and he eventually signed with LSU, but the night before he actually committed to Will Muschamp over the phone.
There were reports he signed his Letter of Intent to Florida, but that wasn’t the case. Bower had a last minute change of heart to go to LSU over Florida.
Carl Lawson was another prospect many fans talked about, but the Gators were never really interested in him due to off-the-field issues.
However, Lawson did try to set up a visit to Florida with Adams after the Under Armour game, but Florida didn’t allow that.
Demarcus Walker was committed to Alabama for several months, but when Jeremy Pruitt left, he started calling Florida a lot.
But it was never meant for his visit to Florida to get out in the public as he was trying to do everything quietly. Once it was out there, things got tough on him.
Walker never had interest in Florida State, but the trust factor with Pruitt was enough to land him in Tallahassee, despite him telling Muschamp he wanted to be a Gator.
Alex Anzalone flirted with Florida several times and picked other schools over the Gators twice.
After showing up at Friday Night Lights last July, Anzalone returned for an unofficial visit for the LSU game and committed to Muschamp privately. But after visiting Notre Dame again, he recommitted to the Fighting Irish.
However, Anazalone was never comfortable with that decision and Brian Kelly potentially leaving. Also, the thrashing Notre Dame received from Alabama helped push Anzalone to Florida.
The situation with James Hearns is an easy one he couldn’t qualify, so Florida had to move on.
Trey Johnson wanted to be a Gator badly and if the staff would have pushed for him, he would have been in the Class of 2013.
But Muschamp and Co. weren’t impressed with him enough and moved on to Jarrad Davis, who committed to the Gators.
Florida really liked Quinton Powell and wanted him apart of the class until he de-committed, and then things changed.
Powell wasn’t forced to decommit, but he was told that if he was visiting other schools, the Gators would shop for other linebacker. Powell decided to move on.
Matt Rolin was another prospect Muschamp flipped and that was in large part was due to Florida keeping in constant communication with Rolin.
Even after Rolin hurt his knee, the staff stayed in touch when South Carolina didn’t, and that helped land Rolin in Gainesville.
The Gators were never truly interested in Matthew Thomas from the get-go.
Florida’s coaches were on and off on their feelings with Mackensie Alexander as they didn’t like his drama, but they liked his ability as a player.
Alexander almost committed last spring, but after he didn’t and Hargreaves committed, things went down from there because Alexander didn’t feel wanted.
Jalen Ramsey was telling Florida the right things all along despite being committed to Southern California, but when Pruitt went to Florida State things changed.
The Ramseys and Pruitt had a good relationship, and he was the first coach to offer Jalen which turned out to be the key point in his recruitment.
Leon McQuay III despite being a good player Florida was never truly pushing for him for a lot of reasons. One reason was the Gators thought Neal, Washington and Harris were better and also that McQuay came with drama from the outside.