Written by Daniel Thompson, Recruiting Guru for Gatorsfirst.com
Since Urban Meyer became the coach of the Gators in 2005, the Gators have had one of the most prolific offenses in the country. A large portion of his success his due to the staff's ability to recruit and develop playmakers at all positions. Whether, it has been Tim Tebow at QB, Percy Harvin at WR, Jeff Demps at RB, Aaron Hernandez at TE or the Pouncey twins on the Offensive Line, the Gators have had some of the biggest, fastest and strongest players in the country.
However, during Urban Meyers tenure there have been some questions at WR and RB, whether it was lack of a power running back that is a downhill runner or the lack of a true deep-threat wide receiver.
Moreover, the Gators are losing Riley Cooper and David Nelson as Wide Receivers, Aaron Hernandez at TE and the biggest loss, Tim Tebow at QB.
The 2010 recruiting class, which is ranked number 1 in the country, will try to help fill some of these voids.
Trey Burton -- (6'2, 203 lbs from Venice, FL) Trey Burton was one of the first commitments to the Florida Gators back in July of 2008. Trey has considered a dual-threat QB, relying heavily on running. Trey is a 3-star prospect that will require a lot of assistance from QB coach Scot Loeffler, as he is not the most precise passer and does not have the strongest arm. He is still a little lanky and will need to add some size. Some have compared him to Tim Tebow...I don't. He will need to redshirt this season and may not play until he is a RS Junior. However, Trey is one of the Gators best recruiters, including the staff, and will be an emotional leader even if he is not the best prospect. Due to Trey being a bit of a project, look for the Gators to recruit and sign two QBs in 2011. Gators are interest in quite a few QB's including probable 5-star Christian LeMay, probable 4-stars Everett Golson and Teddy Bridgewater.
Mack Brown -- (5'11, 185 lbs from Lithonia, GA) Mack Brown committed right in front of my eyes (as I was the first to report here: http://bit.ly/5Hb9pE)) at Friday Night Lights. Mack Brown is one of Urban Meyer's favorite recruits as the Gators have struggled in Georgia and Mack Brown is one of the first pure downhill running backs Urban has been able to pull a commitment from. Mack Brown has great size and great speed for his size. He also is great after contact and will be even better after he adds a few pounds. Mack Brown has had a hamstring problem for the past season and re-aggravated it at the Under Armour All-American Game, but should be just fine for the summer.
Quinton Dunbar -- (6'3, 170 lbs from Miami, FL) Quinton Dunbar is big &X& wide receiver. An &X& receiver, also called a Split end, lines up at the line of scrimmage opposite the tight end. They usually run deep routes and with the goal of clearing the Cornerback and hopefully a safety. The Gators used Riley Cooper this past season and Louis Murphy the season before that. The Gators lacked some production at the X receiver slot this year, mostly due to Riley Cooper lacking some breakaway speed. Quinton Dunbar will probably not help solve his problem, however. He is a bit lanky and not very strong. He is still needs some help with route running and will need to hit the weight room when he gets to Gainesville. He does decent speed and jumping ability will allow him to catch in coverage and in jump-ball situations.
Chris Dunkley -- (5'10, 164 lbs from Pahokee, FL) Chris Dunkley committed to the Gators at the Under Armour All-American game, although he has been considered a Gator silent since Friday Night Lights. Chris dominated the competition at FNL this past summer. While he is a little small, he can still add some size to 177-180 pounds. He is a very fast WR and has great agility. He will likely play in the Slot next year, catching a lot of dump offs, screens and crossing routes.
Solomon Patton (5'10, 175 lbs from Mobile, AL) Solomon Patton performed outstandingly at the Under Armour All-American game and will fit perfectly into the Gators offensive scheme. He is a very shifty runner, has great strength for his size and is a dynamite returner. He also runs great routes and catches with his hands not his body. In my opinion, he will be a much more complete Brandon James, who will make a big mark on offensive, as well as special teams.
Gerald Christian (6'3, 220 lbs from West Palm Beach, FL) Gerald Christian is a big, muscular TE similar to the Patriots Benjamin Watson or Antonio Gates from the San Diego Chargers. He has good speed and has great strength which will make him tough to matchup to, as well as tackle. He will be relied on this season to replace some of Aaron Hernandez's touches, as Desmond Parks, Freshman Michael McFarland and QB/TE Jordan Reed are the only TE's on the team. He could be a 3-4 year starter for the Gators and will make a large impact on Special teams.
Michael McFarland (6'6, 230 lbs from Tampa, FL) Michael McFarland is very tall, but still very raw. He played on a pretty weak Blake High School football team, but still performed well. He runs a 4.75, which is good for a tall TE, but he will need to probably redshirt this next season and spend a considerable amount of time in the gym. He has big hands and will be a mismatch problem as well. Time will tell on how good McFarland will be in the end, but he is definitely a project.
Ian Silberman (6'5, 257 lbs from Fleming Island, FL) Ian Silberman is a great kid. I got to know Ian when I worked in the University of Florida Football Recruiting Office; he is a very well-spoken and smart young man. Ian is a premier tackle, but will still likely redshirt this season. He comes in lean, similar to Matt Patchan (before he lost a lot of weight due to Mono), but strong. He will need to add 20-35 pounds to be a good sized tackle. He has a great football stance and has long arms. He also has a good feet movement and will be hard to push out of his blocking stance.
These are the current commitments on the offensive side of the ball. The Gators are still pursuing another WR and/or WR/RB (Dillon Baxter) and another offensive lineman.
Stay tuned for part 2, which analyzes the defensive side of the ball later this week.
Follow me on Twitter at @DK_Thompson .
This is part 1 of 3, which will cover the Florida Gators recruiting class. Part 1 will deal with Offense, Part 2 will deal with Defense and Part 3 will deal with Athletes/Special Teams .
You can find the original article here: http://gatorsfirst.com/index.php/fl