On the heels of finishing with the No. 3 recruiting class in the 2012 cycle, Florida has kicked off 2013 on fire. Entering the weekend, the Gators held four commitments, including three from members of the Rivals250. An outstanding Junior Day on Saturday saw that list swell to 10, eight of whom register as four-star prospects.
Here's what's most impressive: All 10 future Gators hail from the Sunshine State, a potential indicator of Will Muschamp's growing in-state reputation. A season ago, 12 of his 23 signees came from within state borders. He has already nearly matched that total, and, more importantly, addressed several pressing needs.
First, at running back. The Gators signed Belle Glade, Fla., talent Kelvin Taylor, the son of former Florida standout and long-time NFL star Fred Taylor, and Winter Haven, Fla., prospect Adam Lane, a 5-foot-7, 207-pounder who led his high school team to an 11-1 record in 2011. Both have mentioned enrolling early, actions that could compensate for this year's defection of Stone Mountain, Ga., four-star Mike Davis, who signed with South Carolina.
Muschamp also made strides at receiver. After missing on five-stars Stefon Diggs and Nelson Agholor earlier this month, he quickly snapped up St. Petersburg, Fla., wideout Rodney Adams, a 6-foot-1, 166-pounder who could become Florida's deep threat of the future. And Adams could attract a number of others to Gainesville: Stacy Coley out of Oakland Park, Fla., and Taj Williams and Reggie Davis out of Tallahassee are among a number of upcoming in-state talents who are giving the Gators a serious look.
Florida's next four commitments came on the defensive side of the ball.
The Gators added four linebackers -- Quinton Powell, Daniel McMillan, James Hearns and Dillan Lawson -- all of which are punishing hitters with a variety of skills. They should add depth in the middle, bolstering a unit that finished eighth in the nation in total defense last year.
They also added a pair of defensive backs, Nick Washington out of Jacksonville and Keanu Neal out of Bushnell, Fla. Washington boasts the versatility to play either cornerback or safety, and Neal could serve as a safety-linebacker hybrid. Both are rated as four-star recruits and could turn into game-changing SEC performers down the road.
The Gators' other defensive commitment, who gave his verbal in late January after the team's first Junior Day, is four-star defensive tackle Caleb Brantley. Brantley is a high-impact player who was working actively to recruit, pitching the school to current Miami commit Keith Bryant from Delray Beach, Fla., among others.
Finally, though he didn't commit, five-star Lake City, Fla., offensive lineman Laremy Tunsil was impressed with his time in Gainesville. The No. 3 prospect in the class of 2013 would be the crown jewel of Florida's offensive line haul, and while he isn't ready to make a decision, will likely keep Muschamp and Co. in his consideration set until the end. Following the signing of D.J. Humphries, Tunsil could potentially mark the second consecutive season that the Gators landed the nation's top tackle.
It's immensely early, but Florida is off to an excellent start and isn't showing any signs of slowing down. While it landed six commitments on Saturday, Florida will likely have to wait to see the lasting effects -- and rewards -- of an unmistakably successful Junior Day.