Muschamp finalizes nation’s No. 4 recruiting class

By Joe Morgan

Muschamp finalizes nation’s No. 4 recruiting class

According to Will Muschamp, coaching is not “add water, instant player.”

But with the prospect haul he pulled in on National Signing Day, Muschamp may not need much more than water.

Florida received 20 letters of intent on Wednesday, filling out a 27-member class ranked No. 4 nationally by Rivals. The Gators’ 2012 class ranked third, a nine-spot jump from Muschamp’s first recruiting class at UF.

But unlike the past two years, National Signing Day 2013 was mostly uneventful for Florida. Only two commits waited until Wednesday to pick UF, and the Gators have seven newcomers already enrolled.

“It’s a very committed class,” Muschamp said. “A lot of these guys were guys that have been committed to us a long time and never took other visits. There wasn’t a lot of flash in their recruiting process, and that’s the kind of guys you want.”

In addition to nabbing some of the nation’s highest-ranked prospects, Florida succeeded in addressing needs at linebacker, wide receiver and defensive tackle. The Gators signed at least three players with four-star rankings or better at each position.

Linebacker Alex Anzalone is one of two five-star prospects to sign with UF.

“Those guys want to come in and understand that there’s going to be competition at Florida,” Muschamp said. “I always tell them, ‘We’re going to promise you an opportunity. I’m not going to promise you anything past that.’”

The Gators added five wide receivers, a group headlined by four-star prospects Demarcus Robinson and Ahmad Fulwood. Florida’s top five returning wide receivers combined for 44 receptions and four touchdown catches last season.

“We’ve improved our depth, and I think we’ve improved our talent,” Muschamp said. “(There are) some guys that can come in and compete.”

One position the Gators failed to bolster was quarterback. Following Jacoby Brissett’s transfer to NC State, returning starter Jeff Driskel is the lone Florida signal-caller with game experience.

UF inked three-star quarterback Max Staver but came up short in its pursuit of three-star JUCO transfer Tanner McEvoy, who committed to Wisconsin on Monday. Junior Tyler Murphy will likely serve as UF’s backup quarterback in 2013.

“I don’t have a very high comfort level, obviously,” Muschamp said of the Gators’ depth at quarterback. “Those guys haven’t played a lot, but they’re going to get opportunities this spring to continue to develop within what we do.”

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