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April 18, 2014

Impact Analysis: Rivals100 corner Lewis commits

On Thursday Washington (D.C.) Gonzaga Rivals100 cornerback Marcus Lewis pulled the trigger and pledged his verbal commitment to the Florida Gators. After visiting Gainesville earlier this spring and naming the Gators his leader, it really seemed almost like a matter of time before Lewis took the plunge for the Orange & Blue. Inside the Gators takes a look at this big addition to the 2015 class with this Impact Analysis.

The Commitment: Gator Nation can credit defensive backs coach Travaris Robinson, who has forged a strong bond with the four-star defensive back, for landing what is to this point the most highly rated commitment in this recruiting cycle. The 6-foot-1, 180-pounder visited the Swamp earlier this spring and has since been very impressed with the defensive back tradition Florida is building. Another big factor in this addition is current Florida early enrollee Jalen Tabor, who is close with Lewis, and has been in his ear about joining him in Gainesville.

What It Means To The Class: After a haul, which included four Rivals250 cornerbacks in the 2014 recruiting cycle, the Gators really don't have a huge need for that position in 2015. With the addition of Lewis, combined with 2014 signees Duke Dawson, Jalen Tabor, J.C. Jackson and Quincy Wilson the Gators look to be set at the postion for the foreseeable future. Perhaps the Gators will look to add one more signee to the "No Fly Zone", but it would likely have to be someone who is extremely high up on their board, because otherwise, the need just isn't there.

Analyst Reaction: "Lewis definitely has the skills to play corner, but could also play safety at the next level, which is something that could get him on the field early at Florida. The Gators did a good job of adding depth in the secondary, here getting someone who plays many spots for his high school team and has a lot of tools to offer on the field. Lewis was an early commitment to Virginia Tech, but then backed off that pledge and narrowed down to Florida, Notre Dame, Clemson and a few others. In the end it was his friendship with 2014 five star Jalen Tabor and relationships with Will Muschamp and Travaris Robinson that won him over. One interesting thing looking back is that Joe Haden is what got Tabor to Gainesville and then from there you have Tabor brining in Lewis, so it's safe to say the Gators are starting a nice DMV area pipeline with cornerbacks."- Adam Friedman Mid-Atlantic Recruiting Analyst

Impact At Florida: One spot the Gators won't have to worry about over the next few years will be the cornerback position. Over the last few recruiting cycles the Gators have been fortunate to land quite a few of their top targets in the defensive secondary - including the likes of Vernon Hargreaves III, Keanu Neal and Marcus Maye. Florida defensive backs coach Robinson has to be incredibly excited with all the toys he will have at his disposal over the next few years.

Sr. Brian Poole
Though he is the most experiencedreturning corner according to class, he is currently fighting for the nickel back spot. By the end of 2014, he might be no better than fifth on thecorner depth chart.
Jr. Vernon Hargreaves III
VH3 will be a junior in 2015, will this be the final season for the potential All-American?
Soph. Duke Dawson
He makes up a lack of top end speed with his size and physical nature. He might just be starting the 2014 season opener.
Soph. Jalen Tabor
The skill set is there, with some comparing him to Marcus Roberson, but he might be a little behind Dawson early on.
Soph. J.C. Jackson
If he is really no better than the fourth, fifth or sixth cornerback for the coming season, could he be better utilized on offense, where he excelled in high school.
RS Fr. Quincy Wilson
With both Dawson and Tabor getting a jump on him by enrolling early, will Wilson be needed enough to avoid a redshirt this season?
Fr. Marcus Lewis
Yet another highly rated, much sought after cornerback added by Muschamp and Robinson.

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