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February 10, 2014
Class of 2014 Signee Breakdown I
CLASS OF 2014 WRAP-UP
Though the Letters of Intent have been signed and faxed in, Inside the Gators isn't quite ready to move on from the class of 2014 just yet. Today, in order give a more complete look at the Florida signees, Matt Hamilton shares his expert opinion on Florida's signing class.
All evaluations were based off each player's Rivals.com highlight film. Scouts usually need at least three full game tapes of a player to get a full evaluation of his skill set, strengths, weaknesses, and tendencies. More so, scouts prefer the tapes not to be from consecutive games. Highlight tapes only show off a few physical traits and some tendencies as far as technique is concerned.
It is important to keep in mind things like practice habits and character go a long way in determining recruits' success.
Having said that, here is what I observed from watching their highlight tapes
PART I: OFFENSIVE SKILL PLAYERS
This is my third year breaking down Florida's Signing classes, and the biggest thing that stood out to me in my previous two years was the lack of standout skill players on the offensive side of the ball. Yes Muschamp has brought in some quality talent like Kelvin Taylor, Matt Jones and Ahmad Fulwood, as well as some promising offensive linemen, but what really has held the Gators back (in addition to injuries) is the lack of a truly explosive players offensively. And as a result, they ranked 116th in the country, averaging just over 10 yards per completion and 111th in the nation averaging just 4.79 yards per play.
OVERALL: Muschamp and his staff came up with a huge class of playmakers in 2014. The star ratings don't tell the whole story with this one. He added at least one dynamic athlete at every single skill position offensively. He added two impressive QB recruits that could push for reps immediately, a home run back in Powell, and versatile weapons at WR and TE. For an offense that lacked big plays, this class could be the remedy. The biggest question left is how long before these recruits are able to develop and make that impact? I'm interested to see how the staff proceeds feeling the pressure to win now, as I think a number of these kids, while they may not be fully ready for this level, can contribute majorly for stretches right off the bat.
Matt Hamilton was a former student assistant for the quarterbacks at Missouri, coach at the high school level in Connecticut, intern scout for the Detroit Lions and currently works at NFL Films breaking down film for use on the show Playbook on NFL Network.