Now that spring practice is about to kick off at high schools around the nation over the next several weeks, now is a good time to take a closer look at the consensus top 50 prospects in the Sunshine State.
It goes without saying that in most cases the 247 Sports Composite is the most accurate barometer, except when there is such a small sample size (three services) and one ranking – if it is far enough off the norm – can throw a wrench in the works.
As for the three services this cycle, normally I find myself most in agreement with ESPN in this round of rankings. I will say though that 247, by far, is the service that best covers the state. They had an analyst at two Florida camps (Elite and FNL) and the in-state camps, combines, and 7v7 tournaments. No other service can say that.
I’ve never considered myself an analyst, but I have seen quite a few of the prospects listed below in person. Therefore, below several of the prospects, I have shared some thoughts.
The final column is how we currently see them trending with the Florida Gators.
0-1 – Move on | 2-3 – Gators are on the outside looking in | 4-5 – Gators are being mentioned but aren’t a favorite | 6-7 – Gators are a legitimate option | 8-9 – Florida is in the lead pack, maybe the favorite | 10 – Committed to Florida or a near lock
|3||CB||Jaheim Singletary ||8||4||2||6|
|I still think he is a little high, while without question he is a top 10-15 prospect in-state and has the tools to be top five, he didn’t show as well last year as he did the year before. It will be interesting to see how he responds his senior season.|
|6||ATH||@Sam McC">Sam McCall||9||6||7||2|
|This isn’t ‘sour grapes’ because he is pledged to Florida State, I said while he was leaning to UF, but before he committed, five-star (back then) and now, is too high for him. I can see four-star status, but top 10 in-state this is a reach.|
|7||DE||Marvin Jones Jr.||3||10||10||4|
|247 had him ranked with the Florida prospects earlier this week when he was still attending Navarre (Fla.), but then moved him back to the Alabama rankings when he returned to his high school in Mobile (Ala.), so that is why you see him on the Composite (which I put the table together on Tuesday).|
|10||TE||Jaleel Skinner ||13||9||16||1|
|16||ATH||Azareyeh Thomas ||14||16||8||8|
|17||CB||Earl Little Jr.||11||27||11||5|
|This is starting to look a whole lot like it did with Tyreak Sapp last year, in that Rivals significantly overrated him to bein the process – based on seeing him at their camp, in which the video they shared to promote him was him actually holding during every rep – and then had no choice but to keep him ranked above where he legitimately should be in order to justify the early ranking. Armella is good, but not No. 1 overall good.|
|Admittingly I have only seen him at 7-on-7 and camps, but in those settings, he was all but impossible for opposing defensive backs to handle. I am most surprised that ESPN has him as low as they do after he starred at the UC Report Combine they attended in the spring.|
|He will be interesting to watch develop. I had a chance to stand next to him last month when he visited, but didn’t camp, at Florida, and if he goes 200-pounds, it's by the skin of his teeth.|
|22||DT||Dominick James ||17||32||35||5|
|24||LB||DeMario Tolan ||29||25||23||3|
|While every other major program showed interest, and many offered, Florida never really had him in their sights. It will be worth watching to see how he and UF commit EJ Lightsey compare 2-3 years down the road|
|Even though he is still rehabbing from a knee injury, No. 74 is way too low if you have seen his film, but the low 20s may be too high if we are being honest just because of the uncertainty surrounding him.|
|26||WR||CJ Smith ||46||15||42||10|
|28||OT||Tony Livingston ||32||28||52||10|
|He is hard to make a call on. When we saw him in the spring he was too light for the line, but not overly athletic enough for tight end. Then he visited the last week of July, but didn't see him work out. Where does he fit in right now as he enters his senior season? If he is in the 250s trying to play tight end, this is probably a little too high for him. If he is in the 270s getting work in along the line, it's probably about right.|
|When I talked to him several months ago, when UF was looking good for Skinner and in the running for Delp, he said he was talking to the Gators, but not a lot, and I questioned if he was really on the board. Obviously a commitment to Alabama changed my way of thinking.|
|35||CB||@Cameron Mil">Cameron Miller||20||48||89||4|
|After I included him in my 15 in-state prospects to keep an eye on earlier this month, he later told me that UF has been in contact. We’ll see if it leads anywhere.|
|36||ATH||@Chris Grav">Chris Graves||31||63||48||3|
|Though he gave up football to turn professional in track months ago, a high ranking from ESPN keeps him in the Composite.|
|43||DT||@Brandon Cl">Brandon Cleveland||62||40||53||2|
|I am somewhat surprised by the ESPN ranking considering that they have seen him in person at the Orlando Combine. With his reshaped body, backed up by last year's performance, he should be in the top 30 range.|
|49||OL||@Trent Ram">Trent Ramsey||58||46||49||4|
|The number of times they are the outlier||11||7||17|
FLORIDA COMMITS IN THE STATE OF FLORIDA RANKINGS
|#68||Francois Nolton Jr.||35||44||NR|
|The number of times they are the outlier||0||1||6|
|The number of times they ranked the commit highest||1||5||1|
|The number of times they ranked the commit lowest||2||0||5|
With Shemar James moving back to Alabama, it's not entirely out of the question that Florida could strike out entirely when it comes to signing in-state prospects in the top 20.
Now, keep in mind, I said it isn't out of the question, that doesn't mean it is likely as the Gators are still in very good shape with No. 4 Kamari Wilson and No. 16 Azareyeh Thomas as well as being in the running for No. 3 Jaheim Singletary and No. 20 Jayden Gibson and hanging on by a thread for targets such as No. 1 Shemar Stewart, No. 7 Marvin Jones Jr., No. 15 Nyjalik Kelly and No. 17 Earl Little Jr.
The issue is, even if the Gators hit on all four of the kids they are really in the mix for – and that's unlikely at this time – it would still be an abysmal in-state sighing class.