User ID
Password
  Forgot User ID
or Register Today!
VegasInsider.com
Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us on Google+ VI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds
Home
NFL
NBA
NHL
MLB
NCAA FB
NCAA BK
Golf
Auto Racing
Horses
More
Betting Tools

 
Florida signs 5 WRs, goes heavy on lines

New Sportsbook.ag customers: Make your 1st bet, get your 2nd bet free, 100%, winnings paid in cash.
Join Now

Already have an account? Click here to view new Exclusive Rewards!

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) - Florida's signing class was heavy at a few positions.

Advertisement
None more important than receiver.

The Gators landed one of the nation's top recruiting classes Wednesday, a 28-player group that included seven defensive linemen, five offensive linemen and five receivers.

The additions back up coach Will Muschamp's philosophy of building along the lines of scrimmage. They also show how eager the Gators were to upgrade the team's receiver position.

Alvin Bailey, Ahmad Fulwood, Marqui Hawkins, Demarcus Robinson and Chris Thompson were among those who signed national letters of intent, giving Florida its deepest - and probably most needed - receiver contingent since 1997.

``You've got to improve,'' Muschamp said. ``When you say filling needs, you talk in terms of depth and talent. And those are the two things you've got to be able to address. I think we've taken a step forward in both situations. We've improved our depth and I think we've improved our talent, (added) some guys that can come in and compete.''

The Gators need help.

Florida lost two of its top four receivers from last season. Starter Frankie Hammond graduated and tight end Jordan Reed, who led the team with 45 receptions, left early for the NFL. And considering the Gators had three wideouts among their top 11 pass-catchers, it was clearly an area of concern.

The newcomers should bolster the position, maybe even immediately.

``We'll find out in August,'' Muschamp said. ``It's hard to say. I mean, it's hard to ever say. Y'all know my philosophy: The closer you are to the ball, the harder it is to play as a freshman. It's just the game's a lot faster, a lot bigger. The further out, wideout is obviously a place, corner, where you can play because your natural instincts take over and the game's a little slower on the perimeter as opposed to when it gets closer.''

Robinson, a 6-foot-2, 200-pounder from Fort Valley, Ga., is considered the best of the group. He enrolled last month and will take part in spring practice that begins in March.

Robinson caught 53 passes for more than 1,000 yards and 15 touchdowns as a senior at Peach County High.

Bailey, a 6-foot, 170-pound slot receiver, had 40 receptions for 658 yards and nine scores as a senior at Armwood High in Seffner.

Fulwood, a 6-foot-4, 200-pound Jacksonville native, caught 88 passes for 1,821 yards and 34 touchdowns the last two seasons at Bishop Kenny High despite playing through injuries.

And Fulwood's size will be a nice addition for a team that had five scholarship receivers - and none taller than 6-1.

``It's always a matchup issue when you have bigger receivers that can run vertically down the field and he certainly can,'' Muschamp said. ``He's got tremendous ball skills down the field.''

Hawkins and Thompson could take more time to develop.

Still, Florida hasn't had a group of receivers with this much promise in years. The much-ballyhooed 1997 class included Travis Taylor, Darrell Jackson, Brian Haugabrook, Steve Shipp and Mike Gipson. Taylor and Jackson went on to have decent NFL careers. Shipp ended up as one of the program's biggest busts. Haugabrook played sparingly in four seasons, and Gipson moved to defense.

The Gators have been thin at receiver for years.

They've only had one receiver catch more than 40 passes in a season since Percy Harvin in 2008. And none of the team's recent wideout recruits - most notably Chris Dunkley, T.J. Lawrence, Ja'Juan Story, Javares McRoy and Stephen Alli - panned out in Gainesville.

The Gators are hoping for more from Bailey, Fulwood, Hawkins, Robinson and Thompson, especially considering the team's passing offense ranked 114th last season.

``All of those (receivers) and everybody we signed in this 28 will have an opportunity to contribute to our football team, and they'll determine how much,'' Muschamp said. ``I tell them at every home: `You're the one that will determine how much you play. Not me.'''

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2014
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

  
HEADLINES
Marshall: Tech Trends - Week 2
Rose: Top 25 Betting Recap - Week 1
Nelson: Arizona at Texas-San Antonio
Nelson: 4th Quarter Covers - Week 1
News: College Betting Recap - Week 1
News: Aggies' Hill gets Heisman bets
Texas A&M jumps to No. 9 in Top 25
Spurrier: RB Davis likely to play vs. ECU
Kelly: 5 Irish players remain out for now
MORE HEADLINES
 
Why Buy Picks From VegasInsider.com
NCAAFB College Football Handicapper Sports Picks Records
NCAAFB Hot Streaks
4-0 Guarantees, 7-2 Picks TY
4 Straight College FB Wins
+663 Net Profits This Year
3-0 Saturday, 6-2 This Year
7-2 Record L9 Picks
4-1 Last Saturday
5-1 Over/Unders TY
3-1 CFB Picks Saturday
2-0 Guaranteed Play Record
3-1 NCAA FB Record Sat.
3-0 L3 Picks, 4-0 Totals TY
NCAA FB College Football Expert Sports Picks- Arizona Wild Cats at Texas- San Antonio Roadrunners
2014 CFB SEASON PICK RECORDS
Money Leaders
Handicapper Money
Michael Black + 663
Bruce Marshall + 555
Stephen Nover + 470
Last Week's Leaders
Handicapper Money
Michael Black + 663
Bruce Marshall + 555
Stephen Nover + 470
Percentage Leaders
Handicapper Pct
Scott Pritchard 100 %
Stephen Nover 78 %
Andy Iskoe 75 %
Guaranteed Leaders
Handicapper Money
Stephen Nover + 400
Antony Dinero + 293
Joe Nelson + 200
Over-Under Leaders
Handicapper Money
Stephen Nover + 400
Bruce Marshall + 400
Tony Stoffo + 390
Member Leaders
Handicapper Money
Tony Stoffo + 300
Bruce Marshall + 180
Vince Akins + 100
MORE PICK RECORDS
  
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 10% off a Live Odds subscription, SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, and receive access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!
VI Daily Fantasy