With the SEC season less than three months away, here’s a look at the potential impact freshmen for each team. Recruiting rankings are based on the 247Sports Composite which calculates the average of all four major recruiting websites (247Sports, Rivals, ESPN and Scout.)
Florida Gators – 7-5 (4-4 SEC); 3rd SEC East
2015 Team Ranking
National Rank No. 21
SEC Rank: No. 10
Top Incoming Prospects
- OT Martez Ivey- 5-star, Apopka (Apopka, FL), 6-5.5, 275 lbs, No. 1 OT, No. 2 overall
- SDE CeCe Jefferson- 5-star, Baker County Senior (Glen Saint Mary, FL), 6-2, 275 lbs, No. 2 SDE, No. 7 overall
- RB Jordan Scarlett- 4-star, St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale, FL), 5-10.5, 202 lbs, No. 12 RB, No. 118 overall
- ATH Jordan Cronkrite- 4-star, Westminster Christian School (Miami, FL), 5-11, 198 lbs, No. 16 ATH, No. 268 overall
- RB D’Anfernee McGriff- 4-star, Tallahassee Leon (Tallahassee, FL), 6-1, 230 lbs, No. 21 RB, No. 273 overall
Jim McElwain’s first victory as Florida’s head coach came on National Signing Day. The Gators lost the majority of their recruiting class following Will Muschamp’s departure and McElwain managed to finish with a top-25 national ranking.
Florida benefited from a strong in-state talent pool. The Gators’ class is headlined by Apopka native Martez Ivey, who ranked as the nation’s best offensive lineman and Glen Saint Mary native CeCe Jefferson, the No. 2 overall strongside defensive end. Both players committed on signing day and capped off several weeks of Florida committs that helped boost the class’ overall ranking.
Ivey has a chance to start immediately as the Gators return zero starters from the 2014 offensive line. At 6-5.5, 275 lbs, he will need to add weight in preseason but should be a favorite to start as a true freshman.
Jefferson could also find his way into Florida’s rotation as a pass rusher. The Gators look to replace Dante Fowler Jr. at BUCK pass rusher, and the five-star prospect has the talent and size to excel in the SEC.
Florida’s passing offense struggled in 2014, but its running backs were consistent. Matt Jones is gone, Kelvin Taylor could be in his final season with a productive junior campaign and Adam Lane — despite a breakout bowl game performance — has seen little action.
McElwain managed to add two more running backs to his stable with four-stars Jordan Scarlett and D’Anfernee McGriff. Scarlett had the best 40 time at the Opening last summer at 4.30 seconds. McGriff has the bigger frame and was athletic enough to excel positions.
The first-year coach will need to earn more victories on the field to keep Florida fans happy, however, his recruiting success was his first win as the Gators head coach.