GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- With National Signing Day in the books, GatorBait.net stops to take a look at how Florida met its needs at each position. Today, we examine the wide receiver position.
Wide receiver Ahmad Fulwood is the tallest of the five receivers the Gators added in the 2013 signing class.
With only five scholarship receivers on the roster heading into the spring and one who can't play (Solomon Patton, broken arm), Florida absolutely had to land receivers in the 2013 signing class.
Even with a signing day miss on New Smyrna Beach receiver James Clark, the Gators did a good job at the position, signing five receivers.
The negative to the receiver signing class is that only one was able to enroll early, so Florida will have just five scholarship receivers available for spring practice.
Still, the group as a whole has a nice mix of different skill-sets and players who can play right away and more developmental-type prospects.
Demarcus Robinson was the steal of the class, with Florida able to pull him away from Clemson at the last second as an early enrollee.
At 6 foot 2, 196 pounds, Robinson has the size and frame to immediately become the go-to target in the passing game if he can pick up the playbook quickly. He will play and play a lot in 2012.
The other four receivers will enroll this summer and look to make an early impact.
Ahmad Fulwood is an even bigger, lankier receiver at 6 foot 4, 200 pounds. He can be the possession receiver Florida needs and the end-zone threat the Gators have really lacked the last few years.
He should also play early and often.
The other three receivers are a little harder to predict in terms of playing time in 2013.
Alvin Bailey is a 5-foot-11, 175-pound speedster who could be more likely to make an impact as a return man than a receiver initially. He'll play in the slot and can give Florida an explosive threat there.
Marqui Hawkins is another bigger receiver at 6 foot 1, 194 pounds. He's a player who plays better when the pads go on, so he could be a guy to keep an eye on as a potential surprise player in fall camp. He certainly has all the physical attributes to contribute early.
Finally, Chris Thompson is an electric athlete who can stretch the field vertically. He's unlikely to contribute much in 2013 as he bulks up a skinny frame.
The bottom line is that Florida needed both quality and quantity in the 2013 receiver class, and Will Muschamp and the Gators appear to have secured both.
A thoroughly disappointing passing game losing its top target from a year ago will absolutely need at least one of these freshman to play in 2012.
Really, the Gators would be best off if two can contribute significant snaps and catch at least 20 passes next season. That's not quite as certain, but Florida fans should feel good about at least one receiver in the 2013 signing class making major immediate contributions.
In that regard, the class was a success.
Final Verdict: Florida met its needs at the position, but it would have been nice for the Gators to add another early enrollee at the position. Still, there is enough talent here to find at least one big-time contributor. There's also enough talent to build for the future at receiver.