Florida’s 2020 recruiting class is rolling along with the commitment of wing Niels Lane. Hailing from New Jersey this is yet another out of state player the Gators have secured a commitment from and considering how hotly contested the dense recruiting ground of New Jersey and the surrounding area is this is no small feat. Lane is also close friends with Florida’s last recruit from New Jersey, Scottie Lewis, who definitely helped with this recruitment. Touting all that Florida has to offer Lewis was a huge help in landing his friend Lane and while it’s entirely unlikely they will get the chance to play together the fact he was still hyping Florida indicates some excellent program strength.
The 84th ranked play in the class, Lane chose the Gators over Texas and Miami with the Longhorns considered to be the Gators’ toughest competition. Lane now joins forward Osayi Osifo and wing Samson Ruzhentsev in what’s shaping up to be an excellent class.
Lane is listed at 6’5” though that has been his listing for quite some time and people who have watched him recently say he’s more like 6’6” or even 6’7”. As a sophomore he was measured with a 6’11” wingspan so he’s got excellent length no matter how tall he actually is and he’ll have the versatility to play either the shooting guard or small forward position. Known mostly for his defense he uses his length extremely well to bother opposing ball handlers and he’ll come away with a lot of steals. His length and athleticism also contribute on the glass where he’s an excellent rebounder for his position and can help out his frontcourt by stepping in and securing missed shots. Offensively he’s a slasher who finishes with power around the rim. Particularly good in transition where he can let him athleticism shine he’ll be good for plenty of highlight reel dunks in his time at Florida and will be sure to electrify the O’Dome whenever he elevates. There is definitely some work to be done on his jump shot which is understandable due to his major wingspan. Historically, players with long arms have a bit more trouble with long-range shooting and take longer to develop it and that may be the case with Lane. Even without an elite jumper he’s an effective player but if he can get a consistent jumper, watch out.
With Lane, Ruzhentsev, and Osifo all committed for 2020 there is a clear focus for Mike White and his staff and that’s length and athleticism. Florida has been outsized and overmatched athletically in a lot of matchups recently and it seems like they’ve had about enough of that. All three commits so far are plus athletes with good positional size and that should definitely help in the rough-and-tumble SEC and in the annual matchup with Florida State where the Seminoles always roll out multiple freak athletes.
It’s not a certainty how many scholarships will be available for the Gators but I’m expecting four so there could still be some more action shortly. Mike White and his staff have proved once again they can get their guy with the commitment of Niels Lane and it will be exciting to see who is next.