National Recruiting Analyst Chad Simmons takes on Florida's 2012 recruiting class. Simmons gives us…
Gators Impressive Week one Recruits Weigh In
My Thoughts On Opening Night: Gainesville (FL) was buzzing all day yesterday as the Gator Nation was eagerly awaiting for the Will Muschamp era to begin. A new day has begun in Florida football as Will Muschamp will write his own chapter in Gator history. OC Charlie Weis one of the Best. I liked the way offensive coordinator Charlie Weis came out and attacked the edges early with both Jeff Demps and Chris Rainey in the flats. It was clear the defense was not giving up anything deep and wanted to force Florida to throw underneath and work their way down the field. Some will say there goes Brantley again with the dump pass. I say there goes Brantley taking control of the offense. I really like the way he threw that pass out in front of Demps/Rainey as they were able to catch it in full speed. What impressed me the most was the patience of Charlie Weis and his ability to take what the defense gives you. It will be interesting to see what happens when defenses try to account for Demps/Rainey in the flat. Brantley with Solid Week One. The second series on offense Weis decided to take a shot deep with Quinton Dunbar and they missed. When you dont convert deep on first down and freshman fullback Hunter Joyer misses a block on 2nd down for no gain you force yourself into third and long situations. After a timeout Brantley threw his best ball of the night on 3rd and 11 on an out pattern to Frankie Hammond all the way across the field. Brantley was confident and stepped into the throw and delivered a strike. Later on the same drive he hit Jordan Reed on a frozen rope. Easley Stone Cold Beast Status. The entire off season I have heard time and time again about Dominique Easley being the best defensive linemen on the entire team. He showed it early and often Saturday night as he was in simple terms unblockable the entire night. He has tremendous burst, quickness and plays with great leverage almost always beating the offensive linemen to the spot. With seemingly perfect pad level each play Easley was about as disruptive as you could be up front. If this kid continues to progress throughout the season he will be very special at a critical mass position. Lerentee McCray with Solid Night. Another player I continued to hear great things about entirely all camp was Lerentee McCray. It did not take long for McCray to show his stuff last night as the first defensive snap he and freshman cornerback Marcus Roberson can flying in to make the games first tackle. McCray has been given new life in the Will Muschamp defense. He played with more confidence, speed and showed an aggressive style nature about him that we have not see before. McCray can be a huge bonus for this defense and really take some pressure of Jenkins and Bostic as league play begins in two weeks. Dan "Stone Cold" Quinn. Overall I thought the defense played great allowing only 11 first downs on the night and a total of 30 rushing yards on 30 carries. Florida Atlantic tried to run up the middle with no success whatsoever and Bostic/Jenkins/McCray showed great quickness to the edge taking away any options of the opposing teams ground game to get going. On the night Florida Atlantic averaged 1.0 yards per carry. The Gators defense flashed it's teeth Saturday night allowing only 137 yards of offense with 107 coming through the air. This was done without two starters in defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd and cornerback Jeremy Brown. The only knock I have on the night is the defense created zero turnover's. I wonder if the theme this week in practice will be "smart decision's" regarding turnovers and penalties. Team Stat Comparison Florida Atl Florida 1st Downs 11 30 3rd down efficiency 2-13 7-10 4th down efficiency 1-2 0-0 Total Yards 137 468 Passing 107 271 Comp-Att 14-27 25-36 Yards per pass 4.0 7.5 Rushing 30 197 Rushing Attempts 30 33 Yards per rush 1.0 6.0 Penalties 5-45 9-65 Turnovers 0 3 Fumbles lost 0 0 Interceptions thrown 0 3 Possession 28:39 31:21 Offensively the Gators ended the night with 468 yards on offense with 271 coming through the air and 197 on the ground. Demps and Rainey showed me exactly what I thought they would show. Jeff Demps has world class speed and Chris Rainey can make you miss in a phone booth. The three turnovers were concerning and those will be addressed by coach Muschamp and Weis. Five Star D.J. Humphries. D J Humphries: "Man those Gators looked great. I love the new pro-style offense they are running and they moved the ball so fast. I was telling my dad I wish I could use all five of my official visits to Florida." Humphries is one of the most important pieces to the puzzle in 2012 and plays the all important offensive tackle position. He has been a Gator for a long time and is working behind teh scenes to try and bring in the very best possible talent to play with. D.J. Humphries is a true ambassador for Florida football. WR Latroy Pittman Ready to Go. Latroy Pittman: "I loved everything I saw last night. I was with Maye, Phillips, Powell and I just can't wait to get up there and start playing." Pittman from Citra ( FL) North Marion High School is a big physical wide receiver that Charlie Weis likes to have in his offense. He will only continue to get better as well as faster. Pittman is working extremely hard this season to improve all aspects of his game. His stock continues to climb in the recruiting rankings. Hardin Enjoys Swamp. Austin Hardin: "I thought the Gators looked back on track and made plays in all three areas of the ball on defense, offense and special teams. My favorite part was just to be back around the coaches and team. It was also cool to meet some of the other commits like Latroy, Jeremi and Marcus." When talking about the 2012 recruiting class few people mention kicker Austin Hardin but they should. Hardin has a chance to has as much or more of an impact than anyone in this class based off the position he plays. Davis will Play Early. Mike Davis: "Gators played a great game and showed me allot last night. I love the offense and how much they run the ball and they looked sharp. I am very excited about getting down there and can't wait to run in that offense. Demps and Rainey can strike at anytime." Mike Davis has been impressive two weeks into the season with over 250 yards through two games and four touchdown's so far. He has a nice overall package of agility, power and nice vision. He has a chance to come in and play early if he can adjust to college life. Ledbetter Excited about Future with Gators. Rhaheim Ledbetter: "Man all I am going to say is that defense is looking nasty and I can't wait to be a part of it." The 5'11 200-pound safety from Shelby (NC) Crest Senior High School is another ambassador for the Gators as he is constantly talking to recruits and trying to bring in the very best players possible. Ledbetter is another player that is all Gator through and through. Nick Washington one of the best for 2013. Nick Washington: "I thought they played good. I liked the offense they ran and the defense was on lockdown." Washington a defensive back from Jacksonville (FL) Trinity Christian High School is one of the very best defensive backs in the 2013 class. Washington checks in at 5'11 and 180-pounds and has speed, awareness and a high football IQ. 2013 LB Keith Kelsey. Keith Kelsey: "I think they played pretty good, the offense looked like they improved and I really like the defense." Kelsey is a local standout linebacker from Gainesville (FL) Gainesville High School checking in at 6'2 and 215-pounds. His games is moving in the right direction and will be one to keep an eye on moving forward.
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