History at the University of Florida says that Will Muschamp can expect a dramatic improvement from his first recruiting class to the second, which will be finalized on National Signing Day in February. Ron Zook got a terrific second year bounce even though his first recruiting class turned out much better than expected. Perhaps no college coach in recent history has gotten more of a second year bounce than Urban Meyer in 2006.
Marcus Gilbert was one of 14 players from Urban Meyer's second recruiting class who started at least one year at the University of Florida.
Meyer’s first recruiting class of 17 produced only one two-year starter and just four one-year starters. Eight of that class either transferred out or were dismissed from the team before their eligibility expired and there were two medical hardships and one non-qualifier.
Compare that to his 2006 class which included future All-Americans Tim Tebow, Percy Harvin, Brandon James and Brandon Spikes. That class of 25 produced 14 starters including one 4-year, six 3-year and four 2-year starters. The numbers are more astounding when you consider six were either dismissed or transferred and two took medical hardships.
Muschamp will be able to take a full class of 25 signees this year and with early enrollment could add another 5-6 to the class that will count back toward his first class, which numbered only 18. If Muschamp can get the same kind of second year bounce that both Zook and Meyer got, it could form the foundation of championship teams in the future. Zook’s 2003 recruiting class was the foundation of the 2006 national championship team coached by Meyer and Meyer’s 2006 class was the foundation for the 2008 national champions.
Here is a look at Meyer’s first two recruiting classes:
THE CLASS OF 2005
2-year starters: Louis Murphy
1-year starters: Kestahn Moore, David Nelson, Jonathan Phillips, Ryan Stamper
Transferred/dismissed: Avery Atkins, Kalvin Baker, Nyan Boateng, Jon Demps, Daryl Gresham Jr., Josh Portis, Eric Sledge, Ronnie Wilson
Medical hardships: Simon Codrington, Eddie Haupt
Did not qualify: Brian Ellis
All-SEC: Ryan Stamper
Avery Atkins, cornerback: Started the FSU game as a true freshman, then left school because of personal problems in the spring. Never returned to UF and died of a drug overdose at his home in Daytona Beach. Had nine tackles and one interception in his one-year career.
Kalvin Baker, linebacker: Took a redshirt in 2005, transferred out.
Nyan Boateng, wide receiver: Played as a true freshman in 2005, catching four passes for 77 yards, then transferred to California.
Simon Codrington, offensive tackle: Redshirted in 2005, played in six games in 2006, then took a medical hardship.
Jon Demps, linebacker: Tore an ACL in game five in 2005, then got into trouble and stayed in trouble. Dismissed from the team.
Brian Ellis, tight end: Did not qualify.
Daryl Gresham Jr. Took a redshirt in 2005, got in one game and had a tackle in 2006. Transferred out.
Eddie Haupt, center: Had ACL surgery before the 2005 season, played in three games in 2006, then one in 2007 before a shoulder injury ended the season. Took a medical hardship.
Kestahn Moore, running back: Solid four-year contributor on two national championship teams whose best season was 2007 when he ran for 578 yards and caught 12 passes for 77. Finished his career with 1,281 rushing yards for 13 touchdowns and 38 catches for 231 yards and three touchdowns. Played in 53 games with 21 starts.
Dorian Munroe, safety: After a redshirt season in 2005, he was a valuable backup at safety and a demon on special teams in 2006 and 2007, then missed all of 2008 with a torn ACL. Played in 26 games with two starts, with 42 tackles in his career.
Louis Murphy, wide receiver: Finished his career with 77 catches for 1,245 yards and 13 touchdowns. Caught 38 passes for 655 yards and seven touchdowns for Florida’s 2008 national championship team. Vital contributor on special teams on the 2006 national championship team. Played in 48 games with 26 starts.
David Nelson, wide receiver: His career took off in the second half of the 2008 national championship season after he made a commitment to playing special teams. Started as a senior in 2009. Career numbers are 46 catches for 291 yards and seven touchdowns. Caught the game-clinching touchdown pass against Oklahoma in the 2008 national championship game.
Jonathan Phillips, placekicker: Battled injuries for three years but had a great 2008 when he was a Lou Groza Award semifinalist after going 78-79 on extra points and 12-13 on field goal attempts. Scored 133 points in his Florida career.
Josh Portis, quarterback: Was Chris Leak’s backup in 2005 but transferred out as soon as Tim Tebow early enrolled in January of 2006. In 2005, Portis played in six games with 6-11 for 81 yards passing and 163 yards rushing.
Eric Sledge, linebacker: Took a redshirt in 2005, played in one game with no stats in 2006. Transferred to a junior college and then finished his career at Ole Miss.
Ryan Stamper, linebacker: Second team All-SEC in 2009. One of the mainstays on the 2008 national championship team defense, Stamper played in 41 games with 26 starts. Was in on 149 tackles with 13.5 for loss and 4.5 sacks in his career. Intercepted two passes.
Ronnie Wilson, offensive guard: Redshirted in 2005 then made All-SEC Freshman in 2006 even though he missed half the season with a broken ankle. Ran into off the field issues that got him dismissed from the team twice.
THE CLASS OF2006
4-year starters: Brandon James
3-year starters: Jermaine Cunningham, Percy Harvin, Carl Johnson, A.J. Jones, Brandon Spikes, Tim Tebow
2-year starters: Riley Cooper, Dustin Doe, Marcus Gilbert, Terron Sanders
1-year starters: Maurice Hurt, Lawrence Marsh, Wondy Pierre-Louis
Transferred/dismissed: Jarred Fayson, Jamar Hornsby, Trent Pupello, Jacques Rickerson, Chevon Walker, Mon Williams
Medical hardships: Jim Barrie, Bryan Thomas
Signed Major League Baseball contract: Derrick Robinson
Left early for NFL: Percy Harvin
All-SEC: Riley Cooper, Jermaine Cunningham, Percy Harvin, Brandon James, Brandon Spikes, Tim Tebow
All-America: Percy Harvin, Brandon James, Brandon Spikes, Tim Tebow
Markihe Anderson, cornerback: Played in 49 games with three starts. Played mostly as a backup corner and a special teams contributor on two national championship teams. Finished his career with 63 tackles and one interception.
Brandon Antwine, defensive tackle: Battled injuries throughout his career but played in 35 games with four starts. Had 17 tackles and one sack in his career at UF.
Jim Barrie, offensive tackle: His career was marred by injuries. Played in only one game before taking a medical hardship after the 2008 season.
Riley Cooper, wide receiver: Made second team All-SEC in 2009 after catching 51 passes for 961 yards and nine touchdowns. Caught 81 passes for 1,496 yards and 18 touchdowns in his career. Played in 51 games with 27 starts. Special teams contributor on 2006 national championship team and key contributor on the 2008 national champions.
Jermaine Cunningham, defensive end: Second team All-SEC in both 2008 and 2009, Cunningham was a 3-year starter who finished his career with 152 tackles, 34 tackles behind the line of scrimmage and 19.5 sacks. He also had one interception.
Dustin Doe, linebacker: Contributed from day one as a special teams ace on the 2006 national championship team and starting weakside linebacker on the 2008 national champs. Finished his career with 188 tackles including 10 behind the line, 1.5 sacks and two interceptions.
Jarred Fayson, wide receiver: Transferred to Illinois after the 2007 season.
Marcus Gilbert, offensive tackle: Played in 52 games with 30 starts. Finished his career by starting the final 27 games of his college career.
Percy Harvin, wide receiver: First team All-America 2008, Second team All-America 2007, First team All-SEC 2008, Second Team All-SEC 2007. Ran for 1,852 yards (9.5 per carry) and 19 touchdowns and caught 133 passes for 1,929 yards and 13 touchdowns in three seasons. Caught 59 passes for 858 yards and ran for 764 in 2007. Scored a touchdown in every game he played in 2008.
Maurice Hurt, offensive guard: Battled with shoulder stinger injuries his first three years at UF but started five games in 2009 and all 12 regular season games in 2010. Played both guard positions and some at right tackle.
Brandon James, kick returner/running back: SEC Special Teams Player of the Year in 2008, All-America 2008, first team All-SEC 2008 and second team All-SEC in 2009. James left Florida as the most prolific kick returner in school and SEC history with 4,089 yards of kickoff and punt returns. Returned four punts for touchdowns and one kickoff for a touchdown in his career. Also rushed for two touchdowns and caught two touchdown passes.
Carl Johnson, offensive guard: A three-year starter at guard, Florida’s offense in 2008 got cranking when he became the starter at left guard. Started 33 of the final 35 games of his career.
A.J. Jones, linebacker: After a redshirt because of a broken ankle in 2006, Jones appeared in 50 games, making 40 starts. He finished his career with 162 tackles including 15 for loss, five sacks and three interceptions.
Lawrence Marsh, defensive tackle: After an outstanding 2008 season in which he started at nose tackle, Marsh battled injuries the rest of his Florida career. Finished with 18 starts in 40 games with 50 tackles including 7.5 behind the line and four quarterback sacks.
Wondy Pierre-Louis, cornerback: A valuable special teams contributor and part-time starter, Pierre-Louis played in 52 games with 17 starts. He had 71 tackles, three interceptions and scored a touchdown on special teams in the 2006 SEC Championship Game win over Arkansas.
Trent Pupello, tight end: Took a redshirt in 2006, played in two games in 2007 and then transferred to USF.
Jacques Rickerson, cornerback: Played in 19 games in 2007-08 and was dismissed from the team. Finished his career at Alabama State.
Derrick Robinson, cornerback: Drafted in the first round of the Major League Baseball Draft and signed a huge bonus contract. Never played at UF.
Terron Sanders, defensive tackle: Played in 43 games with 28 starts in his career with 62 tackles including nine for loss.
Brandon Spikes, linebacker: First team All-SEC 2007-09, first team All-America 2008-09. Spikes played in 47 games with 39 starts with 307 career tackles including 31.5 for loss, 6.5 sacks and six interceptions, four which were returned for touchdowns.
Tim Tebow, quarterback: Won the Heisman Trophy in 2007 and was a Heisman finalist in 2008 and 2009. All-SEC 2007-09 and All-America 2007-09. Two-time SEC Player of the Year. Finished his Florida career 35-6 as a starting quarterback with 9,285 passing yards for 88 touchdowns and 2,947 rushing yards for 57 touchdowns. Two-time Academic All-America Player of the Year.
Bryan Thomas, safety: Medical redshirt in 2006, played in 17 games in 2007 and 2008 then took a medical hardship. Resurfaced at North Alabama where he played out his eligibility.
Chevon Walker, running back: Redshirted in 2006, played sparingly in 2007 and then transferred to Eastern Illinois.
Justin Williams, wide receiver: Was a backup safety on the 2008 national championship team. Played wide receiver in 2009-10 and caught 11 passes for 103 yards and two touchdowns. Valuable special teams contributor for four years.
Mon Williams, running back: Had 101 yards rushing in 2006. Tore his ACL in 2007 and then transferred to Eastern Illinois.