Will Muschamp's first National Signing Day as the head coach of the Florida Gators was definitely an interesting one.
Let's take a look at what went down football-wise in Gainesville Wednesday.
- Florida locks up 18 commits - While the Gators have the smallest recruiting class in the SEC, it certainly isn't the weakest. UF's latest haul ranks No. 14 on Rivals.com.
- The secondary is set for 2011 and beyond - Ahmad and Will Who? All kidding aside, the Gators signed five defensive backs, including a surprise commitment from four-star CB Marcus Roberson, and should be solid in the secondary for the next three to four years.
- The line of scrimmage has big problems - Florida only signed two offensive lineman and one defensive end. Making matters worse, the Gators' 2010 lines lose players to graduation and they weren't that good to begin with. Tough times ahead. Offensive and defensive line coaches Frank Verducci and Bryant Young have their work cut out for them. Let's just say they'll be earning their paychecks and then some if the lines are anything better than above average in 2011.
- The Gators have some catching up to do - According to the Rivals.com rankings, Florida ranks as the No. 14 class in the country and the sixth-best in the SEC. Meanwhile, rivals Alabama (No.1), Florida State (No. 2), Georgia (No. 5), and Tennessee (No. 12) fared better. The "Big Three" look poised to get some revenge for Meyer's recent dominance, so expect some extra juice in next season's rivalry matchups and beyond.
- Florida is a destination school - Even with the tumultuous time following Urban Meyer's resignation, Florida still put together a very good class. As Pat Dooley of The Gainesville Sun noted, "Actually, it's probably a little better than the norm (for a first-year class)."
- Urban Meyer done with UF - In one of National Signing Day's non-recruiting news stories, Meyer severed financial ties with the Gators due to his involvement with ESPN. "The University of Florida has been a big part of my personal and professional life for the past six years," Meyer said. "And while I will no longer be able to continue with the university, I will continue to support the many friends I made during my time there." Meyer had planned on serving in an advisory role in the athletic department.
- Will Muschamp is a gamer - Face it. The guy's confident, he's very focused, and he's driven. Muschamp performed admirably in his short recruiting window and he was proud of his staff's accomplishment. He noted in his press conference (see below) that he doesn't pay attention to stars and rankings, but instead evaluates players on his own. He certainly has the personality and the skills to succeed as Florida's head coach. Let's see how far he goes.
- This is still Meyer's team - As Pat Dooley of The Gainesville Sun points out, 14 of this year's 18 recruiting class members committed to the Gators when Meyer was head coach. Muschamp's goal will be to make that transition and to get the locker room to accept his style and mentality. This will be a difficult transition, so don't expect a BCS title in his second year like Meyer accomplished. This transition will take time, but in the end, I see Muschamp having plenty of success in Gainesville.
That does for what GatorRaid.com learned on National Signing Day. Keep an eye on GatorRaid.com for a special "National Signing Day" edition of Gator Raiders!
Here is Muschamp's National Signing Day press conference, courtesy of Gator Vision.