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April 14, 2014
Five to Follow: Quarterback
The 2015 recruiting cycle is in full swing and Florida currently sits with six public commitments. The next big event on the calendar as far as prospects are concerned is the spring evaluation period, which runs mid April through the end of May. This week Inside the Gators will unveil a position-by-position look at the top pre-spring targets in our Five to Follow series.
Up today are the quarterbacks.
In Will Grier and Treon Harris, the Gators were able to add two Rivals100 quarterbacks in the class of 2014.
Signing two headliners at a position such as quarterback in one cycle, normally spells doom when it comes to adding a top tier kid the following year. That may not be the case this time around because Florida is severely lacking depth on the roster at the position.
That adds up to the Gators needing to sign at least one signal caller in this recruiting cycle.
Here are five pre-spring top tier prospects to watch at the position.
Inside the Gators' pre-spring top five lists are based on national ranking and of course whether or not Florida is showing interest at this time. One player having an offer this early doesn't necessarily mean he will be a higher priority throughout the process. Therefore it doesn't mean he will be rated higher on our list. What you see here is solely the opinion of the staff of Inside the Gators and does not represent the opinion of the University of Florida or anyone associated with the Gator program.
Kelly Bryant | Piedmont (SC) Wren | 6-foot-4, 204-pounds
What was Said: "I wouldn't say Florida is my leader because I'm really interested in all the school in my top five, but Florida does stand out right now," The Piedmont (S.C.) Wren product said. "They really did make a good impression today."
Related: Kelly names top five
Competition: Clemson, N.C. State, Virginia, and Virginia Tech.
The Skinny: The Gators were a team not named much in the mix for this Rivals100 quarterback much before he took his visit to UF for their spring football game. Though Bryant is high on Florida now it's likely they are behind the closer to home schools of Clemson and North Carolina State. The Gators will definitely be sending offensive coordinator Kurt Roper by Bryant's school early on in the evaluation period.
Watch video highlights of Bryant by clicking here.
Deondre Francois | Orlando (Fla.) IMG Academy | 6-foot-1, 192-pounds
What was Said: "They are after me the hardest still," said Francois of the Gators. "That doesn't mean they are in first place or anything, but they are the school trying to talk with me the most."
Related: Francois takes top QB honors
Competition: Florida State, Ohio State, and Tennessee.
The Skinny: The Gators did a really good job of getting involved with this three star signal caller early. Though the Gators are the school recruiting him the hardest he still has interest in other places. Early on it's looking like this will come down to a Florida-Florida State battle.
Watch video highlights of Francois by clicking here.
Torrance Gibson | Plantation (Fla.) American Heritage | 6-foot-4, 195-pounds
What was Said: "It was good," said Gibson of his visit to UF. "I met all the coaches and got to talk with their new offensive coordinator (Roper). I just wanted to build a connection and a relationship with him because I haven't met him much. I would like to build a nice relationship with him."
Related: Rivals100 quarterback hits the road
Competition: LSU, Ohio State, and Tennessee.
The Skinny: Though the Gators at one time told Gibson he is their top guy at the quarterback spot it seems they are putting their efforts elsewhere at his position. Yes Gibson visited Gainesville earlier this spring, but it doesn't seem the visit really helped the Gators cause. Gibson is one of the most prolific athletes in the state of Florida, but it doesn't seem like he will be staying in state to continue his football career.
Watch video highlights of Gibson by clicking here.
Lamar Jackson | Boynton Beach (Fla.) | 6-foot-2, 185-pounds
What was Said: "Florida has been talking to me some mainly Joker Phillips. He said he knows I can run the ball but he wants to come by this spring to see the throwing side of my game."
Related: RCS Miami recruiting notes
Competition: Clemson, Florida State, Nebraska, and West Virginia.
The Skinny: Jackson has an impressive arm for being so skinny and also shows good touch on most of his throws. Being a running quarterback Jackson will need to focus more on the passing side of his game going forward. Though Jackson has raw talent he will need a few more names to fall of the Gators big board before he earns his offer.
Watch video highlights of Jackson by clicking here.
Dwayne Lawson | Tampa (Fla.) Hillsborough | 6-foot-6, 215-pounds
What was Said: "Florida, UCF, Tennessee and Ohio State," said Lawson of his top four. "You could say Florida and Tennessee are sticking out of those schools as well. Things can always change though."
Related: Bay area quarterback has four standouts
Competition: Tennessee, Ohio State, and UCF.
The Skinny: The feeling for some time has been that Francois is the Gators top target. However Lawson is right there with Francois on the Gators board. Lawson has a strong arm to go with his long frame and is one of the top passers in the state. Lawson isn't planning to make his commitment anytime soon but Florida looks to have set themselves up to be a real player here.
Watch video highlights of Lawson by clicking here.