THE University of Florida: B+
There are a ton of college football fans that will look at the Gator 2011 Recruiting Class and the overall rankings and assume that Urban Meyer’s resignation killed the class. It obviously played a role in how things panned out because Florida did lose a few recruits and Coach Muschamp had only a few weeks to light up the recruiting trail. These were all challenges that had to be dealt with and planned around. All things considered Muschamp and his staff did a great job of keeping the creme of the crop in the class together and turning out a pretty solid group of new Gators. Being able to hold on to commitments from quarterback Jeff Driskel and wide receiver Ja’Juan Story went a long way, and the late addition of defensive back Marcus Roberson was a really nice snag. We give Florida a slight bump up in grade for the effort put forward under difficult circumstances (and we are homers). Honestly though, Muschamp showed great poise today by only taking 18 guys. It showed his willingness to only accept the best. He probably could have filled out the class but by being patient and recognizing that their is a small senior class leaving next year he can then load up with some top-tier talent next year. Smart move Coach…smart move.
BourbonMeyer got to thinking about how we’d grade the top three rivals of the Orange & Blue on their national signing day efforts.
The Pups: A+
Georgia and Mark Richt seem to always put together a stellar recruiting class, they are a lock to be in the Top 10 almost every year. But somehow that doesn’t ever truly translate into SEC Championships and lately wins in Jacksonville. But this grade isn’t about the regular season it’s about the offseason. UGA lands a top tier recruiting class with the following MAJOR additions: defensive back Corey Moore and linebacker Kent Turene were great pick ups for the pups. But landing Isaiah Crowell at tailback really puts a stamp on the class. Georgia needed a top running back really badly and they got a great one. But again the question remains, can Coach Richt get these guys to perform? I think his job’s on the line. Make this class into winners or you could be done. And Richt may only have one more year left to prove it.
The Vols: A-
Tennessee pulled in what we would have liked to have called the “can’t get a 10, then boink five 2’s” recruiting class, but almost half of their class is rated at four stars by many services (so there went that idea). This is probably a top 15 class for Coach Dooley, he pulled in 27 recruits and somehow convinced them to “volunteer” to live in Knoxville. Congratulations. Ugh! Dooley poured it on late with defensive back Byron Moore’s commitment coming in on Monday night and then on Wednesday morning they added offensive lineman Antonio Richardson to the class. Kudos to them, but one class isn’t going to get them back to the SEC Championship. I don’t see it translating immediately on the field.
Florida State: A++
Gator fans should be worried. Really worried. FSU handed us a nasty loss to end our regular season in 2010, and now they have put together an impressive recruiting class. Jimbo Fisher proved that he can recruit even better without the dead weight (bad choice of words) of Bobby Bowden weighing him down. The ‘noles stepped up their efforts nabbing three guys that the Gators coveted; namely defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan, defensive back Nick Waisome, and running back James Wilder Jr. The class is tremendous. The Gators and Canes should be on notice….FSU has some pieces.