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Florida football recruiting: Gators planting flag in rival territory

Thanks to defensive backs coach Travaris Robinson, a Miami native, Florida is doing as well as it ever has in Dade, Broward and Palm Beach County.

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With the commitments of Chris Lammons, Ermon Lane and Quincy Wilson, Florida's recruiting, which had started somewhat slow in the class of 2014, is now taking off. The Gators now have 15 commitments, and five are from South Florida. Florida's resurgence in South Florida is in large part thanks to the work of defensive backs coach Travaris Robinson, who is the Gators' main recruiter in the area. The grabs of Lammons and Lane were particularly impressive, as they both hold offers from the Miami Hurricanes, and Miami has been a hot recruiting team of late. Lane is even the cousin of Michael Barrow, Miami's linebackers coach.

Monday's new Gators: Chris Lammons Ermon Lane Quincy Wilson

Let's review Florida's current class. After, some top remaining targets will be highlighted.

Current verbal commitments

Dalvin Cook, Miami (Fla.) Central High School: Cook is one of the top players in the country. A stout running back with freakish athleticism, he keeps improving on his skills as a running back. Cook has an excellent blend of size and speed. He flipped from Clemson to Florida on April 6. Alligator Army has more on the flip and what it means for the Gators. He is a consensus five-star recruit and if he keeps maturing physically, he could emerge as the top running back in Florida.

Will Grier, Davidson (NC) Day School: Grier is a 6'3, 180-pound quarterback from Davidson (NC) Day School. He is a consensus four-star recruit and one of the top pro-style quarterbacks in the country. Grier holds offers from schools across the country.

Khairi Clark, Hollywood (Fla.) Chaminade Madonna Prep: Clark is one of the best defensive tackle recruits in the country. A consensus four-star recruit, he has a good blend of quickness and power when he is in good shape. Clark is now working to get back to his early 2012 playing weight, and with hard work, his weight should not be a problem once in Gainesville. Clark chose Florida over Miami and Florida State, among others.

Duke Dawson, Cross City (Fla.) Dixie County High School: Dawson is a very physical defensive back. At 5'11 and 180 pounds, he is likely to play corner but could also play safety. Dawson is a consensus four-star recruit and also holds offers from Florida State and Wisconsin.

J.C. Jackson, Immokalee (Fla.) High School: Jackson is an electric athlete with excellent strength. The 5'10, 185-pound Jackson was committed to Florida State as a receiver, but wants to play defensive back, and flipped to Florida, as the Gators want him on defense.

Dontae Angus, Philadelphia (Pa.) Germantown: Angus is a 6'6, 290-pound offensive tackle recruit. Lightly recruited and just a three-star as of mid-August, Florida took a chance on him. Since the Gators offered, Angus has received additional BCS offers from West Virginia and Purdue.

Taven Bryan, Casper (Wy.) Natrona County: Bryan is a developmental offensive tackle recruit at 6'5 and 260 pounds. He reportedly has excellent athleticism, and if Florida can put 40 or so pounds on him, the consensus thee-star could pay off for the Gators in a big way. More on Bryan here from Alligator Army.

Benjamin Knox, Deland (Fla.): Knox is a 6'5, 260-pound offensive line recruit. He is not yet rated by any of the major recruiting services, but does claim offers from Iowa, Louisville and Utah.

Nolan Kelleher Mount Pleasant (S.C.) Wando: Kelleher is a large offensive line prospect at 6'6 and 300 pounds. The consensus three-star could play either guard or tackle at the next level. He chose the Gators over Clemson. Florida has recruited the Carolinas very well in recent years.

Travaris Dorsey, Jacksonville (Fla.) Raines: Dorsey is a 6'3, 305-pound guard. He is rated as a consensus three-star and also claims offers from Tennessee, North Carolina, Louisville and Georgia Tech.

C'Yontai Lewis, Tuscaloosa (Ala.) Northridge: Lewis is an interesting tight end recruit. At 6'5 and 208 pounds, the consensus three-star is very athletic, but raw both in terms of playing tight end, and physically. He does have the chance to be very good if he works at his craft and adds muscle.

Justus Reed, Clearwater (Fla.) Central Catholic: How much faith does Florida have in Reed? A talented edge rusher, Florida accepted Reed's commitment even though a higher rated recruit was planning to commit to the Gators later in the week. That recruit's spot went to read. At 6'3 and 215 pounds, Reed is a consensus three-star recruit.

Florida's top targets

According to Hutchins, Florida is poised to take around 20 to 24 commitments in the class of 2014. That means there are between five and 12 spots remaining, allowing for some attrition from the current crop. Let's have a look at who the Gators are pursuing.

  • Lorenzo Carter: The five-star defensive end out of Norcross (Ga.) has Florida in his top group, along with Georgia, Alabama, LSU, Notre Dame, Florida State and Oregon. Many consider him the top pass rusher in the country. Despite his insistence that he is open, most in the industry have him pegged for Alabama as of August. For more on Carter, check out my scouting report from March.
  • Jamal Adams: Adams is a sensational safety who offers a ton of versatility in the back end. Florida would seem to hold a sizable lead over the in-state Texas Longhorns for this five-star. Be sure to read Wescott Eberts's scouting report of Adams.
  • Adoree' Jackson: Florida has a realistic shot at landing the talented corner out of California. However, the five-star doesn't plan to decide until National Signing Day, and USC is a major player for his signature. Don't miss Derrell Warren's scouting report on Jackson.
  • Jalen Tabor: A big corner in the mold that Florida looks for, Tabor is also considering Maryland and Florida State. I currently expect the D.C. product to stay home and play for Maryland, thanks to his relationship with Mike Locksley. Make sure to read up on Tabor via his SB Nation scouting report.
  • David Sharpe: Florida is way out in front for the four-star offensive tackle out of Jacksonville, with Georgia being the only other realistic contender at this point.
  • Dwight Williams: Williams will be another battle between USC and Florida. Right now, the Gators seem to be the favorite over USC for the four-star coverage linebacker from California. Derrell Warren has more on Williams with his scouting report.
  • Travis Rudolph: Receiver has been a trouble spot for Florida over the last few years. In 2012, Florida took five to address the problem, and in 2013, it's looking to bring on Travis Rudolph to pair with Ermon Lane. A former Miami commitment, Rudolph is rated four-stars and is very good. Florida will battle Alabama and Florida State for his signature, and most think the Gators are in the driver's seat. See all the things Rudolph can do with the football in his SB Nation scouting report.

National Signing Day is still 25 weeks away. Verbal commitments are non-binding and change frequently.

For more on Florida Gators recruiting, visit Alligator Army.

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