The Four Recruits That Could Save Florida's Recruiting Class
It's never easy after a coach leaves, whether the end result be a firing or taking a position somewhere else. One of the areas that suffers the most during this transition period is undoubtedly recruiting. Schools will often lose recruits or miss out on others due to the coaching situation being in flux.
That's where the Florida Gators stand right now. With just under a week until National Signing Day, Florida is looking at the possibility of having one of its worst recruiting classes ever. Currently, 247Sports has the 2015 Gators class ranked at 77th — and that's after adding another three-star recruit. However, there's still an opportunity for new head coach Jim McElwain to come out of his first recruiting cycle with flying colors. Here are the four recruits that could turn this class around.
Martez Ivey, OT (Apopka, FL)
Ivey, long considered to be one of the top-two recruits in the nation, has been on Florida's radar for a long time. He's the nation's top offensive lineman and that's arguably the biggest area that the Gators need to build up during this recruiting cycle, especially at Ivey's position. What makes him so special is his incredible athleticism and the fact that he can add size. He's got great quickness and acceleration for an athlete that stands at 6'5" and 275lbs. For the Gators to get someone of Ivey's magnitude would not only bolster the offensive line immediately, it would bolster the locker room as well to know that there are still top recruits who believe in this program.
Byron Cowart, DE (Seffner, FL)
Cowart is another guy that has long been coveted by the Gators. But since Will Muschamp's departure there has been some real debating on where Cowart will finally land. Ever since Muschamp was hired to be Auburn's defensive coordinator he has been hot on the tails of every big recruit he was scouting at Florida, with Cowart at the top of his list. Cowart is one of the most powerful defensive ends to come around in a while. Florida has been a defensive stalwart the past few years and a prime destination for prized recruits on that side of the ball. Be that as it may, Cowart has been leaning toward Auburn and Muschamp evermore closely recently.
CeCe Jefferson, DE (Glen Saint Mary, FL)
Jefferson, like Cowart, is one of the most prized defensive recruits in the 2015 class. What stands out about Jefferson is his football IQ; he always seems to make the right decision based on whatever matchup he's given on the opposite side of him. Also like Cowart, Jefferson has also been pulled in a different direction since Muschamp was let go, but not to Auburn. Instead Hugh Freeze and Ole Miss have jumped in on the Jefferson Sack Factory and are trying to bring in the dominating defensive end west to Oxford. There's a lot to like about Jefferson, and if Florida could land him and Cowart in the same class you could be looking at the SEC's top defensive line in the country soon.
Jordan Cronkrite, RB (Miami, FL)
Missing out on Dalvin Cook last year was a big disappointment for the Gators, so it goes without saying that Jim McElwain and staff must land an elite rusher this go-around. Cronkrite could very well be that guy. Once considered a favorite for his hometown Miami Hurricanes, Cronkrite backed off his verbal commitment from the school in September and has been trending towards Gainesville ever since. He may not have great size, but he makes up for it with his acceleration and his agility. Florida loses Matt Jones to the draft, but still has Kelvin Taylor and Adam Lane in the backfield. However, I think Cronkrite could still make a bid to get in the mix for some playing time if he chooses to sign with the Gators.