• November 22, 2014
  • Welcome!
    Welcome | (Logout)
  • RSS
  • Contact
  • Archives
  • About

Alligator

Class of 2014 looks to bolster meager Florida offense

Print
Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Thursday, January 9, 2014 12:07 am

Florida’s offense will have a new look in 2014.

Offensive coordinator Brent Pease is gone, taking his pro-style offense with him. Replacing them are Kurt Roper and an up-tempo spread offense.

Roper, who comes to UF after coaching at Duke for six seasons, will have a lot of talent to work with in the 2014 recruiting class. The class currently has 12 commits on offense, including one quarterback, three wide receivers and six offensive lineman. Some of them have the potential to make an immediate impact.

The Gator wide receiving corps needs a lot of improvement. Florida finished 2013 ranked 116th in passing yards per completion. Current wide receiver commit Ermon Lane could turn things around quickly.

Lane is the No. 6 receiver in the 2014 class, according to Rivals.com. However, he has wavered on his commitment in the past month, especially after running back Dalvin Cook flipped from Florida to Florida State last week. Lane said during the Under Armour practices that he and Cook have always wanted to play together.

On Wednesday afternoon, Lane posted a picture on his Instagram account (@lane_to_live) of himself wearing a Florida State track suit. If Muschamp can keep him committed, it will be great news for Florida’s passing game.

If Lane does decommit, UF has just two other receivers in the class — Moral Stephens and Ryan Sousa. Neither crack the top 20 in Rivals’ position rankings.

There are also two three-star tight ends in the class — Deandre Goolsby and C’yontai Lewis — who will try to revamp the undeveloped position for Florida.

The Rivals No. 2 quarterback from 2014, Will Grier, has a chance to get reps as a true freshman because of his impressive high school campaign. However, Grier, who is listed at under 190 pounds, will need to put on some weight before running the spread. He will likely redshirt in 2014, but if Jeff Driskel does not stay healthy, Grier might have to play early in his career.

The position with the most obvious lack of depth for the Gators is the offensive line. Florida has just five offensive lineman with starting experience returning in 2014.

UF’s best commit from this group is David Sharpe, whose 6-foot-8, 275-pound frame makes him a menacing offensive tackle. Sharpe played left tackle in high school, and his size and improved footwork could potentially earn him a starting role in 2014.

Last season, redshirt junior Max Garcia needed to move from his natural left guard position to left tackle after Tyler Moore suffered a season-ending arm injury in November. Moving Garcia back to left guard could give Sharpe a prime shot at getting meaningful reps at tackle.

The newest member of Florida’s class is Rivals three-star offensive tackle Kavaris Harkless. Harkless was previously committed to Louisville and was set to enroll this week until news of Charlie Strong going to Texas broke.

He decided to enroll at UF instead and enrolled on Wednesday. Harkless is a versatile athlete who can play both left and right guard, as well as tackle. Harkless is a skilled run blocker, but he needs more consistency in pass blocking.

Nolan Kelleher, Rivals’ 29th-ranked tackle, will fit best at guard. Kelleher has good instincts and run blocks well, but can improve getting off the ball quicker. Kelleher has already enrolled.

Two important prospects, Isaiah McKenzie and Jeff Jones, will both make official visits on Jan. 24. McKenzie can serve as insurance if Lane decommits, and Jones, whose stock is high after an MVP performance at the Under Armour game, can make up for UF losing Cook.

Follow Morgan Moriarty on Twitter @Morgan_Moriarty

Welcome to the discussion.

Loading…