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Signing Class Positional Grades - Offense

With the Class of 2016 in the books, today Inside the Gators awards grades to the offensive signing class on a position-by-position basis.



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Grade: A-

Breakdown: After being unable to land a quarterback in the class of 2015 and seeing Will Grier decide to transfer out, the Gators were desperately seeking a quarterback to fit their pro-style offense in this recruiting cycle. They were able to land two-star Kyle Trask in the summer after watching him throw in both the spring and during their Friday Night Lights camp in July. The Gators were then able to flip Rivals100 quarterback Feleipe Franks from LSU late in the fall as well. The Florida staff benefitted from both prospects being early enrollees as well.

Greatest Get: Four-star Feleipe Franks has a lot of characteristics that Jim McElwain looks for in a quarterback. He has a big frame and a strong arm and has a chance to very good in Gainesville with a little coaching.

Biggest Miss: At two quarterbacks the Gators likely hit their depth number they wanted. However there were a few other signal callers the Gators flirted with as well. Five-star Jacob Eason was the biggest name they just missed on after a late official visit right before the early enrollment deadline.


Grade: A+

Breakdown: The Gators inked two Rivals250 members in 2015 and continued their strong haul at the position in 2016 - landing two more four-star signees. The Gators are bringing in two bruising backs in Mark Thompson and LaMical Perine. Thompson is already on campus as a midyear graduate and has ideal size to run between the tackles. Perine also has good size, but also has the speed to hit the edge and also can catch the ball out of the backfield. Florida should be very excited for the future of their backfield.

Greatest Get: With his mix of size and the fact that he is already on campus and in the weight room has to give this one to Thompson. The Gators lose Kelvin Taylor to the NFL draft and are left with two sophomores, so Jim McElwain should be excited to add some experienced legs.

Biggest Miss: None. Florida had their running backs need filled early on the recruiting calendar and after landing their two top targets, they backed off other prospects at the position.


Grade: A+

Breakdown: Wide receivers coach Kerry Dixon had to be one happy man on National Signing Day after Florida pulled in five four-star rated wide receivers. Highlighting that group is Rivals100 wide receiver Tyrie Cleveland, who the Gators flipped from Houston on Wednesday. The Gators were also able to hold on tolong time commit Rick Wells after late pushes from South Florida and Virginia Tech. The Gators also have Dre Massey, Josh Hammond, and Freddie Swain currently enrolled on campus and working out with the team.

Greatest Get: Landing four-star wide receiver Tyrie Cleveland was the icing on the cake of perhaps the best overall class of Florida wide out signings since the Steve Spurrier era. With his mix of size and speed, he should have no problem making an early impact for a Gators offense which desperately needs true playmakers.

Biggest Miss: Landing five four-star wide receivers isn’t something to mope around about, but the Gators did miss out on a few other targets as well. The biggest was Rivals100 wide receiver Nate Craig-Myers who committed and signed with Auburn on Signing Day.


Grade: F

Breakdown: With the departure of Jake McGee, Florida has a lot of young, unproven talent on the team at the position. Though it wasn't a huge area of need, the Gators still wanted to add at least one tight end.

Greatest Get: None

Biggest Miss: The Gators had a few targets on the board but only really pushed for one tight end in the 2016 cycle in the later months and that was four-star Nick Eubanks. The Gators were the odds on favorites heading into the final stretch of his recruitment, but he surprised many and committed to Michigan on a mid-week official visit.


Grade C-

Breakdown: Florida was able to land three linemen to add to their collection of youngsters currently on the roster. At the center position the Gators landed Under Armour All-American center Brett Heggie. The Gators also flipped three-star offensive guard Jawaan Taylor from Miami in the final month before Signing Day. Florida also has three-star offensive tackle Stone Forstyhe currently on campus now as an early enrollee. The issue is that the Gators whiffed on top target after top target down the stretch.

Greatest Get: Heggie was impressive during his week in Orlando at the Under Armour practices. He’s got good size, at around 315-pounds, and is very strong for an incoming freshman as well.

Biggest Miss: The Gators made a strong run at four-star guard John Simpson going down to the wire letting the Gators know it would be Clemson just 15 minutes before his announcement and signing ceremony. The Gators really weren’t finalist for any other linemen.