Florida Gators: 5 Freshmen Who Will Have An Impact in 2013
5 Freshman Who Will Have An Impact For Florida in 2013
For as long as I can remember, the recruiting process has played a huge part in the Florida Gators' success throughout the years. Scheduled visits are made, players are carefully and skillfully scouted, and things become official come signing day. In recent times, the Gators have had a powerful freshman class coming in each year. They've recruited players with athleticism, agility and adaptability. Most people tend to assume that true freshmen won’t get much playing time or make an impact so early in their college careers. Those assumptions are bogus. The Gators had several freshmen last season who proved those theories incorrect by making a difference.
Freshman running back Matt Jones made a splash late in the season when he turned the heat up and blew through defenders in the game against the Florida State Seminoles. In that same game, vicious defensive lineman Antonio Morrison hit Florida State’s quarterback E.J. Manuel so hard that he was knocked unconscious, which popped the ball out of Manuel’s hands. Defensive ends Jonathan Bullard, Dante Fowler and offensive tackle DJ Humphries were just a few names from Florida’s 2012 freshmen class who also helped the Gators in their 11-2 record. Now they’re returning to the field as sophomores with experience, paving the way for the incoming freshmen to follow in their large footsteps.
Heading into the 2013 season, the Gators have another strong class of freshmen pouring in. Let’s take a look at five freshmen most likely to make an impact.
5. Alvin Bailey
Alvin Bailey is one of the more versatile freshmen for the Gators. Not only is he a capable wide receiver, he can also return kicks and punts. Other than Andre Debose, Florida didn’t have a lot of luck returning punts and kickoffs. Muschamp would be foolish not to take advantage of Bailey’s versatility this season.
4. Caleb Brantley
We see the last name Brantley and the panicking starts. Fear not, Gator fans. This Brantley has no relation to the other one we've come to know. Caleb Brantley will key for the Gators on defense. While the other defensive linemen are good at getting to the quarterback, Brantley is good at stopping the run. I can see him smashing a lot of running backs in the near future.
3. Vernon Hargreaves III
There’s been a lot of talk this offseason about Vernon Hargreaves III. Although he is a talented cornerback, the Gators are already covered with Loucheiz Purifoy and Marcus Roberson at the position. Hargreaves may not be used all season, but I can almost guarantee that Muschamp will find a way to sneak him onto the field sporadically throughout the year.
2. Demarcus Robinson
Aside from Quinton Dunbar, there aren't any other experienced receivers that quarterback Jeff Driskel can count on right now. Driskel will more than likely be throwing to Demarcus Robinson quite a bit this season, and I'm sure knowing that Robinson is already a great wideout to begin with helps.
1. Kelvin Taylor
I hope Matt Jones is watching his back, because Kelvin Taylor might just be breathing down his neck. The freshman running back came out of high school with mind-boggling stats, rushing for over 12,000 yards and 191 touchdowns. Muschamp must be anxious to see what this kid can do. I am right there with him.