Florida Football: 2017 Signees Who Could Receive Early Playing Time

The Florida football team will consist of youth and inexperience during the 2017 season. Which class of 2017 signees could receive early playing time?

The Florida football team is going to be young and inexperienced in 2017. A number of positions will be up for grabs and players will be competing for playing time.

Those who make the starting lineup will have some big shoes to fill. That includes players who have only recently joined the team.

With a fantastic finish to this recruiting cycle, head coach Jim McElwain will be able to fill in the gaps and address the missing holes around the team. He’ll also have a new infusion of depth at other positions.

While there are a lot of players in this recruiting class who could receive early playing time, I’m going to choose those who have a higher chance of making that a reality as soon as the 2017 college football season.

Here is a list of players from the 2017 recruiting class who could see the field early in the upcoming season for the Florida football team.

Quarterback Jake Allen

Quarterback Jake Allen has an extremely impressive resume coming into Florida. He won multiple championships in high school, and shows talent way beyond his three-star recruiting rating.

Allen will be in a five-man race to become Florida’s starting quarterback. He’ll be competing with Luke Del Rio, Kyle Trask, Feleipe Franks, and fellow 2017 class member Kadarius Toney.

Allen has great mobility, nice length, and the instincts to play very well at his position. However, Allen will need to gain a little more weight and get his arm strength up. There’s no doubt that, whether he hits the field sooner or later, he will be electric.

His path to seeing the field in 2017 is much tougher than most other incoming recruits, but it’s not impossible to navigate.

If no one manages to impress Jim McElwain over the spring, and Allen has an outstanding showing, he will have a chance. The undeniable possibility of poor quarterback play or injuries could also get him on the field in 2017.

Much like every year, the competition for the Florida football team’s starting quarterback job will be very interesting to watch, and Allen is a part of the reason.

Defensive Tackle T.J. Slaton

T.J. Slaton one was one of my favorite commits this recruiting cycle. He is 6’5″ and a massive 360 pounds with a mean streak. Slaton is someone who could play right away, as he can play both defensive tackle and offensive guard. He has good mobility, and great upper body strength.

With David Sharpe leaving early for the draft, Ivey will now be playing left tackle, leaving that second guard position wide open.

But also with the issues at the defensive tackle position, he could very much play there as well.

Whichever position the Florida football team thinks it needs him, Slaton can thrive at. In this instance, Jim McElwain intends to utilize Slaton along the defensive line, where he can play tackle. Either way, he has potential at both positions.

Slaton should play defensive tackle since that’s a bigger position of need but, he will help wherever he’s at. With Caleb Brantley and Joey Ivie gone for the NFL, Slaton could play immediately.

Slaton was recruited by a number of big schools. He chose Florida for a reason.

Defensive Tackle Elijah Conliffe

The Florida football team desperately needed defensive tackles this year and got three of them.

Florida is going to need one those three freshmen to step up early in 2017.

Whether it be actually starting or getting in the rotation for some early playing time, the Gators need help at defensive tackle.

Elijah Conliffe could be that guy.

His skill set is something special and can be a huge help to a thin defensive tackle rotation. He can shed blocks easily, and bull rush very well.

Not only his skill set, but his overall figure gives him the potential to be the next Caleb Brantley.

High praise, but Conliffe can live up to it.

Offensive Tackle Kadeem Telfort

Another issue that Florida seemed to have over the last few years was depth. During this recruiting class, they got depth across the board, including along the offensive line.

Telfort is extremely tall, and has pull that will benefit him in run blocking situations. He has good length and has great upper body strength, which makes him very useful in passing situations.

Assuming he develops like he should, by the end of the season, he should be helpful to jump in for a couple of series a game to give Martez Ivey and Jawaan Taylor a rest.

However, he might need to gain a little more weight in order to compete with some of these defensive lines in the SEC.

By the time he will be starting, which could be in a year or two, he should be ready if he gets the early playing time.

The Defensive Backs

Despite what Miami Hurricanes fans and players think, the Florida football team seems to be the real DBU—and this recruiting class seemed to prove that.

Signing six defensive backs, five of them being cornerbacks, there should be one or two that will stand out and can play right away.

Chris Henderson, Brad Stewart, and Marco Wilson are all in the top 30 at their position this year, according to 247Sports.  All of which can step in early for Florida and get some early playing time.

Then you have the other corners such as Shawn Davis and Brian Edwards, who could surprise us with a strong spring.

The Gators needed a good class in the secondary to have depth and Jim McElwain delivered. He could potentially have a few future stars.


Florida has a very talented and very young team. As I stated earlier, there are a lot of guys in this class who could get some early playing time right away as the Florida football team has experienced depth issues over the last few years.

Hopefully the aforementioned players will be able to develop and step into these roles, as well as some players not mentioned.

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