The Florida Gators football team may take a step back this upcoming season after back to back 13-1 seasons. The Gators have lost key players and will face a tougher schedule. However, the Florida Gators appear they might be back to that high level real soon if their 2010 recruiting class is any indicator.
Why are the Gators taking a step back? Florida’s outstanding college quarterback Tim Tebow graduating is a key reason. The Gators lose three of his targets at wide receiver in “seniors Brandon James, David Nelson and Riley Cooper “according to Fox Sports. Florida’s top tight end Aaron Hernandez will give up his senior year for a chance in the NFL draft. On defense, Fox reports the Gators “lost seven starters, including underclassmen Joe Haden (cornerback), Carlos Dunlap (defensive end) and Major Wright (safety).” The Gators also lose star linebacker Brandon Spikes who graduated. All together the Gators lose 15 seniors this off-season. The Gators schedule in 2010 appears to be tougher. The Gators will play Big East rival South Florida, ACC traditional rival Florida State, Alabama and LSU highlight the Gators schedule as do the SEC East rivals the Gators face each season.
Why the Gators are not taking too steps back? The Gators still have Coach Urban Myers, who may take it easy but is still at the University of Florida. The Gators have talent at the Quarterback spot in rising junior John Brantley. Brantley passed for seven touchdowns last season in relief of Tim Tebow. John had a higher completion rate and a higher quarterback rating than Tim Tebow last season. However, it isn’t a fair comparison since Tebow played a lot more than Brantley.
Why the Gators will bounce back quickly? The Gators had a fantastic recruiting class for 2010. “Florida’s class of 28 players, including 11 that enrolled this January, is ranked No. 1 in the nation by both Scout.com and Rivals.com” according to Fox Sports. Chris Dunkley has the best chance of replacing some of the Gators receiving stars they have lost. “Five-star receiver Chris Dunkley” easily highlights the offensive portion of the Gators recruiting class. “Four-star quarterback Trey Burton” will have a chance to develop behind John Brantley. “Four-star running back Mack Brown” will compete to get into the mix for playing time with Florida’s other running backs including Demps, Rainey, Moody, and Gillislee. Defense is what won the recruiting class for Florida. “Florida landed three five-stars players: safety Matt Elam, defensive end Ronald Powell and defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd.” All three are said to have a chance to compete for starting jobs in the fall.
Stats and Roster information Foxsports.com
Schedule information gatortailgating.com