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UF Not Finishing Fast

Florida will have a highly-ranked signing class when the smoke clears.  You can be sure of that.  So there’s no need to weep and wail in the Sunshine State today.  But the Gators could have had The Best Class In America with a strong finish today.  To date, that’s not happened.

First, the Gators lost out on Valdosta linebacker Josh Harvey-Clemons who chose Georgia.  In-state cornerback Tracy Howard followed by selecting Miami.  Then old nemesis Lane Kiffin snuck into the Sunshine State and made off with two of the state’s top players, both of whom were considering the Gators — receiver Nelson Agholor and defensive tackle Leonard Williams.

Florida did convince defensive end Dante Fowler to flip-flop from Tallahassee to Gainesville and — as noted above — UF will still wind up with a primo class.  But, oh, it could have been so much more.

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10 Days Out: The 10 Best Uncommitted Prospects Considering SEC Schools

We’re 10 days from National Signing Day… do you know where your school’s top targets are?

Josh Ward — the man who runs our Recruiting Page and does radio hits across the Southeast on that topic — has put together his list of the 10 best players who are uncommitted but still considering SEC schools… 10 days out.  Rather than put it just on our Recruiting Page, we thought we’d stick it right here on the homepage.  Take it away, Josh.

 

1. WR Dorial Green-Beckham – Springfield, Mo.

Considering: Alabama, Arkansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas

Green-Beckham might be the best prospect in the country regardless of position. This looks to be an Arkansas-Missouri battle because of his desire to stay close to home. He visited Arkansas this past weekend. Can Missouri overcome the Razorbacks’ late push? Green-Beckham would be nice for Missouri to take into SEC play.

 

2. DT Eddie Goldman – Washington, D.C.

Considering: Alabama, Auburn, Florida State, Miami

Goldman could be the nation’s top defensive tackle prospect. He’s done a good job of keeping his thoughts private during the recruiting process after he wrapped up his official visits in November. Now Goldman, who’s relied on his mother’s guidance throughout the entire process, just has to make a decision.

 

3. DE Darius Hamilton – Ramsey, N.J.

Considering: Florida, California, Miami, Rutgers

Hamilton will be a Gator if he decides to play in the SEC. He visited Rutgers this past weekend with several of the top prospects in New Jersey. Did the Scarlet Knights do enough to convince Hamilton to stay home? He still plans to visit Miami this weekend before he makes his final decision.

 

4. CB Tracy Howard – Miramar, Fla.

Considering: Florida, LSU, Florida State, Miami

Miami is making a late push and has appeared to secure an official visit for the upcoming weekend. Howard is coming off a trip to the Gators. Florida coach Will Muschamp would love to add a talent like Howard to his defensive backfield. Don’t count out the Seminoles, either. This recruitment could be far from done.

 

5. Stefon Diggs – Olney, Md.

Considering: Auburn, Florida, California, Ohio State

Diggs could make an instant impact at wide receiver for any team in the country. He’s visited Auburn and Florida in the last two weeks and came away raving about each school. Diggs plans to visit Ohio State this weekend before he makes a final decision. Can Urban Meyer continue his recruiting magic in Columbus?

 

6. Nelson Agholor – Tampa, Fla.

Considering: Florida, Florida State, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Southern California

No one seems to know which school Agholor will attend. Florida is considered a favorite by some. But he still has a trip to USC and Lane Kiffin will push hard to convince Agholor to join an offense that is set to take off. Florida State is trying to make a late push but it might be too late.

 

7. LB Josh Harvey-Clemons – Valdosta, Ga.

 

Considering: Florida, Georgia, Florida State

It looked to be down to Florida and Georgia before Harvey-Clemons visited Florida State this past weekend. Now the Seminoles seem to have a legit shot at landing one of the nation’s top linebackers. Remember, Florida State pulled a stunner in 2009 when it landed cornerback Greg Reid from Harvey Clemons’ Lowndes High School. Florida and Georgia will fight to keep history from repeating.

 

8. DE Leonard Williams – Daytona Beach, Fla.

Considering: Auburn, Florida, Florida State, Miami, Southern California

We’ll find out what Williams truly thought of his visit to USC this past weekend. Auburn and Florida have continued to remain in the picture for Williams, who plans to take his final visit to Miami before he makes a decision. Does Florida State have a real shot? Maybe, but it could be a numbers issue for the Seminoles as well.

 

9. OL Avery Young – Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

Considering: Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Miami

We won’t know Young’s decision until signing day. But Miami is in contention following his official visit to South Beach this past weekend. Predictions have landed Young at each of the four schools he’s considering. Don’t be surprised by any decision from Young, who just last week wasn’t seriously considering Miami.

 

10. DE Arik Armstead – Elk Grove, Calif.

 

Considering: Auburn, California, Notre Dame, Oregon

Auburn is hopeful Armstead will decide to move across the country to play college football. His brother, Armond Armstead, plans to transfer from USC to play at the same school as Arik. Would USC release Armond to Cal or Oregon, a Pac-12 rival? That seems unlikely.

 

By Josh Ward

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Bullard Gives Big Boost To Florida’s Class

Defensive lineman Jonathan Bullard from Crest High School in Shelby, N.C., committed to Florida during the U.S. Army Bowl on Saturday.

Bullard, who chose Florida over South Carolina and Clemson, is considered a five-star prospect and the 20th-best player in the nation by Rivals.com.

Florida’s class ranking for 2012 made a big move after receiving Bullard’s commitment. Florida’s class is ranked third nationally by Rivals, fourth by Scout.com and fifth by 247Sports.com.

And that position in the standings could improve, according to Scout recruiting analyst Andrew Bone.

“We mentioned UF as a school who can possibly challenge for No. 1 come signing day,” Bone wrote on Twitter.

That’s because Florida remains in contention for several top prospects, including wide receiver Nelson Agholor, defensive end Darius Hamilton, athlete Josh Harvey-Clemons and offensive lineman Avery Young.

Alabama continues to set the pace. The Crimson Tide’s class is currently ranked No. 1 by Rivals, Scout and 247Sports.

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SEC Recruiting Headlines – 1/5/12

1. Here’s what Channing Ward is thinking heading into his college announcement tonight.

2. There’s an expectation that running back Wes Brown could choose Maryland tonight.

3. Coach Will Muschamp has been the biggest factor in the recruitment of wide receiver Nelson Agholor.

4. Kicker Nick St. Germain of Marietta, Ga., is headed to South Carolina.

5. This news was expected: Davante Bourque has decommitted from LSU.

6. ESPN has a recruiting breakdown for the prospects making their announcements tonight.

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