A Storybook Season Gone Bad?
Although Florida had an outstanding regular season and ultimately finished 9th in the AP Poll, they couldn’t feel good about their Bowl Game appearance. The Big East is known for being one of the weakest conferences in college football and the Louisville Cardinals with Teddy Bridgewater –who were double digit dogs –put a beating on the Gators to win the ALLSTATE Sugar Bowl, 33-23.
One big blow to the Gators will be the loss of senior running back, Mike Gillislee. Although Gillislee didn’t run the way that he would’ve wanted to in the Sugar Bowl, he had some huge performances against LSU and Florida State. His 1152 yards and 10 rushing touchdowns will need to be replaced.
Along with Gillislee, Florida loses left tackle Xavier Nixon and left guard James Wilson.
On the defensive end, Florida will also take a big hit as they lose 3 starting linebackers: Jon Bostic, Lerentee McCray, and Jelani Jenkins. The safety position also loses defensive back Matt Elam to the NFL. Elam left the program with an 11 tackle performance in the Sugar Bowl.
Florida gets some assistance from JUCO transfer, offensive tackle,Trenton Brown. Brown is a mountain of a man at 6 foot 8, 350 pounds while the Gators also pick up former University of Nebraska tackle, Tyler Moore. This doesn’t make up for the losses on the line but these two players will be of great assistance to starting quarterback Jeff Driskel and should help Florida to beat the NCAAF betting odds in most cases.
Florida was in desperate need of some targets and they got them.
Freshman, Demarcus Robinson, has already signed with Florida and he’s the best of the bunch. He’s ranked as the 7th best wide receiver with a 4 star grading. Robinson possesses great size and speed and is still possibly growing. Look for him to fill out and give the receiving core some much needed support.
Alvin Bailey is fitted to be the slot wide receiver and this 4 star player has the potential to make the big plays despite his wiery frame.
We could be seeing the next Plaxico Burress in 6 foot 4 receiver Ahmad Fullwood. Fullwood has all of the athletic tools to be a TD machine.
A Chip Off the Old Block
Florida has high hopes, as Kelvin Taylor is the top running back in the nation. He already signed with Florida over a year ago. This is the son of former Gator and former NFL superstar, Fred Taylor. Taylor is an overall gifted running back where as his father was a punishing grinder, this Taylor is more of an athlete and smooth runner. Look for this 5 star recruit to make a major impact on this program.
Ranked number 3 in the nation in recruits, cornerback Vernon Hargreavas III should be the player most ready to fit in the Gators’ defensive scheme. Florida really has two 5 star gems on both sides of the ball in Taylor and Hargreavas III. This will be a young but talented team.
It’s very rare that you mention the starting QB last, but Florida has had a brilliant year in recruiting and these players will make Jeff Driskel a better player.
Look for Driskel to air it out more in the upcoming season. He had a respectable sophomore season with 1646 yards, 12 TD’s and 5 INT’s . Driskel is also a QB that can run with the football. He’s coming off of a somewhat disappointing Sugar Bowl, but this is a quarterback that doesn’t make many mistakes and will be a good fit with the incoming freshman.
This is a team that’s a little too young to win it all, but they’ve basically covered their losses with some major talent. You’re looking at another 1 or 2 loss season and another prime-time bowl game invitation. So, the Gators should be a good team to tail once again for your college football picks.