Florida football recruiting 2013: Gators look to strengthen top-10 class

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Despite a class that would draw no complaints almost anywhere else, the Gators are still a bit behind their SEC competition.

Currently ranked at 8th in the country by the 247sports composite, the Gators have themselves the beginnings of another extremely impressive recruiting class. Head coach Will Muschamp and his staff have secured commitments from three 5-star recruits, a number that gets more impressive when you realize that only Virginia has even two.

Most schools dream of putting together what the Gators already have in August. Most schools also don't play in the SEC, where recruiting at this rate is to merely keep up with the Joneses -- or Sabans and Richts, in this case. Despite that lofty 8th place ranking, Florida is only 4th among SEC teams in the recruiting rankings, trailing Alabama, Tennessee and Georgia, with Texas A&M and Ole Miss not far behind.

New Gators & Top Stars

Since August, the Gators have added four new recruits. Three of them actually committed on the same day -- five-star wide receiver Ermon Lane, four-star cornerback Chris Lammons and four-star safety Quincy Wilson all decided to join the Gators together. All three are Florida natives, and the Gators won a big victory by getting them to stay in-state. Of these three, the most obvious recruit of note is Lane -- rated second among wide receivers nationwide, the 6'3, 193-pound Lane grades out at .9896 on the 247sports composite.

The fourth player that the Gators got in August was Mount Pleasant (SC) Wando guard Nolan Keheller, a three-star recruit and among the top 20 at his position in 2014.

Even before bringing in Lane, the Gators were already doing quite well -- the other headliners of their 2014 class would be Miami (FL) Central running back Dalvin Cook and Davidson (SC) Day quarterback Will Grier. Despite their different positions, both are rated five-stars on the 247sports composite, both are considered in the top three of their positions, both are rated among the top 30 high school players nationwide and both should prove to be impact players in Gainesville. Between Cook, Grier and Lane, the Gators have some tantalizing and explosive offensive talent for the years to come.

On defense, the Gators can look forward to adding two other top 20 players at their position, having gained four-star Hollywood (FL) Chaminade defensive tackle Khairi Clark and four-star Cross City (FL) Dixie cornerback Duke Dawson.

Up next?

As the saying goes, "if you get them on campus, anything can happen."

That's Florida's hope with five-star defensive ends Da'Shawn Hand and Lorenzo Carter and five-star cornerbacks Adoree' Jackson and Jalen Tabor. All four are out-of-state prospects. All four have legitimate interest in Florida. And yet, I don't believe that Florida actually leads for any of the four.

But if UF gets them in on official visits, as is expected, anything can happen. This is particularly true if the Gators have another 11-win season, like they did in 2012.

While those four five-stars are not extremely likely, the Gators are in good shape for four more four-stars:

Jamal Adams, of Texas, is still very high on Florida. Offensive tackle David Sharpe, of Jacksonville, still seems to be high on Florida over Georgia and Clemson. Florida sources are still confident about the Gators' chances with Palm Beach receiver Travis Rudolph. And linebacker Dwight Williams, of California, is still a very real option for UF.

If the Gators can go four-for-four on the four-stars, add one more, and then strike gold with one of the five stars, while keeping their current commitments, they would almost certainly secure a top-five class.

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