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Florida Gators on track for worst recruiting ranking in Rivals era




The Florida Gators' recruiting class took a hit Wednesday night when it lost a commitment from four-star defensive back Elijah Blades, a top-150 prospect.

Blades had been committed to UF since June, and the Gators are still in the mix, along with USC, Oregon, Nebraska and Georgia.

The bigger story is that a recruiting class that didn't look great to begin with got worse - and then missed out on another target when four-star offensive lineman Kai-Leon Herbert committed to Miami.

With Blades' decommitment, the Gators fell eight spots in 247Sports' composite rankings, from No. 23 to No. 31. ESPN is the only major scouting service that puts UF in the top 30 (at No. 20); 247Sports has the Gators the lowest, at No. 35.

UF's class has 14 commits (six four-star prospects, eight three-star prospects). It's ranked 11th in the SEC, behind South Carolina, Kentucky, Mississippi State and Arkansas. It's also below North Carolina, Michigan State, Louisville and Maryland. 

A lot can, and will, change before Wednesday's signing day. It's worth noting that coach Jim McElwain salvaged his first recruiting class by landing two five-star prospects (Martez Ivey and CeCe Jefferson), two four-star recruits (Jordan Scarlett and Jordan Cronkrite) plus breakout receiver Antonio Callaway all on or just before signing day in 2015.

Barring a similar finish, UF seems headed for a class with its worst ranking of the Rivals era, worse than its No. 21 finish in 2015. Since 2002, the Gators have only had four classes outside the top 10 in 247Sports' composite rankings. This year would be the fifth - and the third in a row.

[Last modified: Thursday, January 26, 2017 11:08am]


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