Gators Net Top Class for 2010 Season
A little more than a month after it seemed Florida's football program could be staring at an uncertain future, Gators fans are smiling again.
Signing day for high school recruits left Florida with the consensus top class, even though coach Urban Meyer announced in late December that he was resigning because of health concerns and then decided instead to take a leave after the team's appearance in the Allstate Sugar Bowl.
One of Wednesday's major developments came when new Southern California coach Lane Kiffin landed USA TODAY's offensive player of the year, tackle Seantrel Henderson. "USC is just where Seantrel felt the most comfortable," said his father, Sean Henderson.
Meyer recently said he plans to coach during spring practice. The class he'll welcome as he prepares for the 2010 season includes some of the nation's top individual talent, including defensive end Ronald Powell and defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd.
"I'm not sure I've seen a defensive front as good as this one," Meyer said.
Recruiting analyst Tom Lemming said it was "the best defensive class I've seen in my 31 years doing this."
Texas, which lost last month's Bowl Championship Series title game, signed another strong class, one rated as high as second by some recruiting analysts. The new Longhorns include linebacker Jordan Hicks and defensive lineman Jackson Jeffcoat, son of former Dallas Cowboys defensive lineman Jim Jeffcoat.
National champion Alabama corralled a top-five class, including standout cornerback DeMarcus Milliner.
New Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly, who turned low-rated classes into big winners at Cincinnati, brought in a class generally considered to be ranked in the high teens.