GC VIP Stadium Road Audibles — 6/24/19 Edition

Something I’m working on this summer is comparing the talent levels of the two-deep at Florida to other teams on the schedule or around the country. You should see it on the main Gator Country site in the not-too-distant future.

One thing that’s tempting for me is to re-rank the Gators based on how they’ve actually turned out rather than go with their recruiting rankings from high school. For many of the guys on the top two levels of the depth chart, we’ve actually gotten to see them on the field in the collegiate setting. We know a lot more about them than the scouts did years ago before they matriculated to UF.

I don’t have the time to re-rank the two-deeps of all of the teams I’ll be doing comparisons with, though, so I still stick with the 247 Composite figures. However just for readers of Stadium Road Audibles, I’m going to go through Florida’s projected starting lineup and tell you what my re-ranks would be. Today, I begin with the offense.

I stick to 247’s rules of thumb on prospect grades: 5-star means a potential first round NFL Draft pick, 4-star means impact player, 3-star means reliable starter, and 2-star means role player.

Feleipe Franks
High school: high 4-star
Re-rank: low 4-star

Franks has not yet reached his ceiling, but his body of work isn’t stellar yet. His 2017 was not good, and the first two months-plus of 2018 were up-and-down. Only in the last four games did he hit his stride, and that’s not a large sample size. He has the potential to be a true impact starter, which is why I put him in the low 4-star range, but he does fall from his lofty high school perch because it’s not a sure thing just yet.

Lamical Perine
High school: mid 3-star
Re-rank: mid 4-star

Perine blossomed last year as a back who succeeded in rushing, receiving, and blocking. If the explosiveness he flashed against FSU and Michigan continues, he could go even higher.

Van Jefferson
High school: mid 4-star
Re-rank: Same

Jefferson is the best route runner on the team and became Franks’s favorite target for a reason. Last year he even improved his yards per catch rate by three or four over what he did at Ole Miss. The offense style and depth at his position means he won’t catch 80 balls for 1,100 yards, but don’t mistake that for a lack of skill. If Franks can stop overthrowing him on longer routes, he’ll reach a new level.

Tyrie Cleveland
High school: high 4-star
Re-rank: high 3-star

Cleveland was a deep ball specialist in his first two years. Last year he was finally asked to be a complete receiver, but the results were mixed. Spring ball reports say he really put it together, but we’ll have to see that to bring him back into the 4-star range.

Josh Hammond
High School: low 4-star
Re-rank: high 3-star

Hammond has been a reliable, if unspectacular, target for the past few years. He was second on the team in catches and yards last year. He’s not shown real star potential, though the offenses he’s been in haven’t really given him the opportunity.

Kemore Gamble
High school: low 4-star
Re-rank: high 3-star

Gamble was just north of the 4-star cutoff as a high schooler, and I might put him just below it now. He probably doesn’t have the prowess in the pass game to warrant a full-on 4-star rank, though he’s been a good blocker by and large. He’ll get more of a chance to prove himself this year without veterans in his way as was the case last year.

Stone Forsythe
High school: mid 3-star
Re-rank: Same

None of us have really seen enough of Forsythe to be able to give him a strong re-ranking. He has been a career backup over the last three years, but he was backing up a former 5-star recruit Martez Ivey and future second round NFL Draft pick Jawaan Taylor. Him being unable to beat out those older guys doesn’t necessarily say anything about him. We’ll know more this fall.

Brett Heggie
High school: mid 3-star
Re-rank: high 3-star

Heggie has shown promise, working his way into the starting lineup in 2017 and looking pretty good there for a redshirt freshman. He was only good for a redshirt freshman, though, and injuries have set him back since then. He played a bit last year, but he was not an upgrade over the starters at guard likely because he’d missed so much practice time in the new blocking systems to those injuries. He has 4-star potential, and hopefully he comes through on it. For now, I can only go to high 3-star.

Nick Buchanan
High school: low 3-star
Re-rank: mid 3-star

The 3-star rank means “reliable starter”, and that’s what he’ll end up being. It took him a long time to be even solid in the middle last year, though it was his first year playing center. By the end of the season, he was not among the two biggest concerns on the line. He gets a slight upgrade for that, but he’s not going to challenge for any of the All-SEC teams.

Chris Bleich
High school: high 3-star
Re-rank: Same

I can’t do much with him for the same reason as Forsythe — he just hasn’t played enough meaningful snaps — but it speaks highly of Bleich that he’s worked his way into the starting lineup as a redshirt freshman. The exodus from last year’s line did help, but there are other guys who could be here who aren’t.

Jean Delance
High school: mid 4-star
Re-rank: mid 3-star

Delance also hasn’t played a whole lot and as a tackle sat behind Ivey and Taylor. I have to drop him a star level, though, because he didn’t completely lock down his right tackle spot until late in the spring. Even now there are some who hope Richard Gouraige can overtake him in fall camp. That’s not the definition of a 4-star, much less a comfortable mid 4-star. Plus, Forsythe was the first tackle off the bench a year ago and never had his starting role in doubt in April. Delance has the opportunity to prove his worth this fall, but I certainly can’t put him above Forsythe at present.