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February 13, 2014
Class of 2014 Signee Breakdown III
CLASS OF 2014 WRAP-UP
Though the Letters of Intent have been signed and faxed in, Inside the Gators isn't quite ready to move on from the class of 2014 just yet. Today, in order give a more complete look at the Florida signees, Matt Hamilton shares his expert opinion on Florida's signing class.
All evaluations were based off each player's Rivals.com highlight film. Scouts usually need at least three full game tapes of a player to get a full evaluation of his skill set, strengths, weaknesses, and tendencies. More so, scouts prefer the tapes not to be from consecutive games. Highlight tapes only show off a few physical traits and some tendencies as far as technique is concerned.
It is important to keep in mind things like practice habits and character go a long way in determining recruits' success.
Having said that, here is what I observed from watching their highlight tapes
PART III: DEFENSIVE ENDS & SECONDARY
To this point in his career as a head coach, defensive skill players (ends, linebackers and secondary) are far and away Muschamp's strength as a recruiter. You don't have to look further than the gems of his last two classes, Vernon Hargreaves III, Jonathan Bullard, and Dante Fowler Jr., to see that. I include defensive ends in this group, as I consider pass rushers another skill position. Even with all of their struggles as a team last year, the Gators' defense was still 5th in the nation and total defense and 4th in yards per play allowed at a mere 4.36. As the young talent on the defense continues to develop, they should only get better, and if any of these freshmen can make an instant impact, it's scary to think what this group is capable of next season.
OVERALL: This is once again Muschamp's strongest group, headlined by the secondary. Between this class and last year's, opponents are going to struggle to throw on this team for years to come. Muschamp also added significant DE depth, which is especially important considering Bullard and/or Fowler could be gone if they take the steps I anticipate them to in 2014. This defense is going to be insanely good in a few years.
Overall Thoughts on the 2014 Class: In my opinion, though last year's may have been rated higher, from top to bottom this was Muschamp's finest class in the three years I have been evaluating them. While it lacked some of the bigger names and featured a lot of linemen (which may not excite people), the staff just made this team a whole lot better from top to bottom for years to come. They added the explosive offensive players they desperately needed, two excellent quarterback prospects, re-stocked the offensive line, and loaded up in the secondary. I also feel like some of these kids were underrated to be honest. While David Sharpe still needs some work, I feel he is a better prospect than D.J. Humphries was and Ryan Sousa may only be a slot receiver, but he has a chance to be one of the best in college football at an increasingly important position. At the end of the day, this class will likely be defined by the success of its quarterbacks. If Will Grier can develop mentally and cut down on some of his carelessness with the football, I think it is in good hands. Grier, Sharpe, Sousa, and Tabor all have the tools to be very special players in my eyes. Not that they're the only ones in this class, as I think some of these players are just very raw and need some time but have phenomenal physical abilities, but those four jumped off the tape the most.
Matt Hamilton was a former student assistant for the quarterbacks at Missouri, coach at the high school level in Connecticut, intern scout for the Detroit Lions and currently works at NFL Films breaking down film for use on the show Playbook on NFL Network.