Urban Meyer was putting together another top rated recruiting class before his not so abrupt resignation, and to his credit, in Will Muchamp’s first few days as head football coach he shored up and reaffirmed many of those commitments. But over the last three weeks three highly touted defensive recruits have jumped ship. Four-star linebacker Ryan Shazier (Plantation, FL) left the Gators for the Big Ten and Ohio State, and four-star defensive end Jeoffrey Pagan (Asheville, NC) waffled again on his commitment to the Gators. The most recent defection from the class is four-star cornerback Nick Waisome (Groveland, FL) and to make his decision even worse he pledged his allegiance to the much hated Florida State Seminoles. So with Waisome’s departure, UF has lost their best three defensive recruits in less than 20 days. Isn’t this a little strange? The top three defensive recruits bail on a head coach who has built his entire career on lock down defenses. Most Gator fans knew that a coaching change would mean some recruits would defect, but it is really interesting that thus far it’s mainly been on the defense side of the ball.
On offense, Coach Muschamp has been able to get four-star running back Mike Blakely and four-star quarterback Jeff Driskel to reaffirm their verbal commitments, and four-start wide receivers Javares McRoy and Ja’Juan Story are also still listed as Gator commitments. So offensively the Gators still have a core set of talent incoming in this 2011 Class.
Currently the Offensive and Defensive Coordinators and many of the assistant and position coaches have not been decided for the new regime. Most of those announcements (we all know some decisions have been made already) won’t be finalized or made public until the completion of the bowl season. Let’s just hope Coach Muschamp can go after a few of the talented undecided recruits (whether verbally committed or not) while keeping the rest of the current Gator commitments in house.
The recruiting cupboard is far from being bare but the Gators have some serious needs now on defense.