Both on and off the field, it was a great weekend for the Florida Gators. The new look offense appeared to be much improved in the spring game, and Florida recruiting had a big day as well, adding three new commitments.
Four-star receiver Ahmad Fulwood is the headliner. Out of Jacksonville (Fla.) Bishop Kenny, the 6'4, 200-pound receiver is a consensus top-10 receiver nationally, and one of the best in Florida. He holds offers from Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Clemson, Georgia, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, South Carolina, Texas A&M, USC and West Virginia.
The receiving corps at Florida is quite bare, and some recruiting experts tweeted that Fulwood would immediately be in UF's two-deep if he could bypass his senior year and play for the Gators in 2012. I'm of the opinion that the statement says more about the sorry state of UF's receiving corps than it does about Fulwood. That's not to knock Fulwood, it's just that Fulwood would probably not be an impact freshmen at most high-profile schools.
Fulwood's biggest asset is likely his size. There aren't many (any?) high school cornerbacks who can body with him for the ball. He is a long strider, and is more fast than quick. He'll get separation downfield, and his opportunities underneath and over the middle will largely be because of his length and his strength, which should continue to develop. I see Fulwood as a very solid four-star with a high floor, but I don't consider him a five-star recruit.
Fulwood is the second receiver commit of the 2013 class, joining Rodney Adams of St. Petersburg (Fla.) Lakewood. Expect Florida to take at least four receivers.
Florida is certainly happy to have Fulwood in the fold, but it also knows that this recruitment will be a battle to the end. Clemson looms large, and some still consider the Tigers the favorite to land Fulwood.
Joining Fulwood was Lithonia (Ga.) Martin Luther King High School's Joshua Outlaw. Outlaw plays offensive line for King, and claims offers from Arkansas, Auburn, Clemson, Georgia, Louisville, N.C. State, Rutgers, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia Tech. He credited Florida with offering him early, well before he received interest from the Georgia Bulldogs. He's an athletic prospect at 6'4 and 275 pounds. I like the way that Outlaw bends and moves. He'll need to add weight, as is the case with many offensive line recruits. I'd like to know Outlaw's birth date, because if he is a younger 2013 recruit, there is a chance that he could continue growing and potentially become an offensive tackle, which would be quite interesting because he already looks to have decent length for his frame. Otherwise, he'll play guard and will likely not see the field until the 2015 season after a red-shirt 2013 and a year of reserve duty in 2014. If Outlaw has his way, however, he'll be playing sooner than that:
"I felt comfortable at Florida, and it was home away from home," Outlaw told the AJC. "It's not too far and it's not too long of a drive, I felt comfortable with the coaching staff, and I like my chances of early playing time."
Outlaw rating is a mix of three and four stars by the major services. I believe he should be a four-star recruit. Outlaw is the second offensive line commitment for the Gators, who are expected to take at least four offensive linemen in the class of 2013.
Finally, Florida landed a commitment from cornerback recruit Tre Bell. Bell stars for Jersey City (NJ) St. Peter's Prep. He comes in at 5'11, 175 pounds. Bell claims other notable offers from Michigan, Mississippi State, Nebraska, Notre Dame, N.C. State, Rutgers, South Carolina, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
Bell has the size Will Muschamp is looking for in his cornerbacks. He plays both off and press coverage for St. Peter's, diagnoses and closes quickly. And Bell is definitely a willing tackler. Bell doesn't appear to have elite speed. Bell probably won't be able to play on a island, and will need safety help over the top, which means he profiles as decent No. 2 cornerback in the SEC. He is Florida's third defensive back recruit of the 2013 class, joining Keanu Neal and Nick Washington.
The Gators now sit at 14 commitments in the class of 2013. That's a huge number at this early juncture, and Florida intends to take as many as 11 more in the coming 10 months.
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