Muschamp's 1st class includes Story, Roberson

BY foxsports • February 2, 2011

Florida coach Will Muschamp capped his first recruiting class with two significant, last-minute additions.

Muschamp's 18-man group got a boost Wednesday when receiver Ja'Juan Story and cornerback Marcus Roberson decided to sign national letters of intent with the Gators.

Story, a 6-foot-4 wideout from Brooksville, chose Florida over Ohio State. Some thought he would land with the Buckeyes, especially after Florida recruiting coordinator Stan Drayton joined Ohio State last week.

Roberson, a 6-foot-1 defender from Fort Lauderdale, picked the Gators after committing to Texas Tech and Auburn. Roberson developed a relationship with former Texas Tech assistant Travaris Robinson, who left the Red Raiders to join Muschamp at Florida.

''You're always concerned about wavering until you get that (letter) in,'' Muschamp said.

The Gators experienced some wavering after coach Urban Meyer resigned in early December. Athletic director Jeremy Foley hired Muschamp a few days later, and the former Texas defensive coordinator scrambled to keep the recruiting class intact.

For the most part, he did.

Florida lost three commitments to other schools as Muschamp made it clear he wanted to transition to a prostyle offense and a multiple-scheme defense. Those changes, though, helped lure Story and Roberson, two guys who could play right away.

The Gators struggled to find a starting cornerback opposite Janoris Jenkins last season, using Jeremy Brown, Moses Jenkins and Cody Riggs. Roberson could challenge for that spot.

''He's a bigger corner, has more length at the corner position,'' Muschamp said.

The Gators also lacked skill and size at receiver. Leading receiver Deonte Thompson dropped passes regularly and the offense got little out of freshmen Andre Debose, Stephen Alli, Quinton Dunbar, Chris Dunkley, Robert Clark and Solomon Patton.

Story will be the second-tallest receiver on the team.

''Ja'Juan is a bigger receiver, a guy that's going to be a tough matchup with a smnaller corner,'' Muschamp said. ''He's a guy that can vertically stretch the field. He's got great ball skills down the field, very athletic.''

Story and Roberson will enroll in the summer. Seven signees, including tight end A.C. Leonard and highly touted quarterback Jeff Driskel, already are in school and will get an early start during spring practice.

Leonard caught 32 passes for 410 yards and six touchdowns as a senior at University Christian in Jacksonville. He was suspended the final four game after throwing a punch at another player late in a loss.

Driskel, widely considered the country's top quarterback prospect, threw for 1,819 yards and 15 touchdowns as a senior at Hagerty High in Oviedo. He also ran for 1,333 yards and 20 more scores.

''Jeff's an outstanding player,'' Muschamp said. ''He's a very athletic, big quarterback that can really spin it. He's got great velocity on the ball, he's shown great leadership skills and I'm excited he's here midyear.''

Muschamp said every position, even quarterback, will be up grabs between now and the Sept. 3 season opener.

Nonetheless, most of the competition will come from experienced players. Muschamp signed just one linebacker, two defensive linemen and two offensive linemen - key positions at which Florida is trying to replace starters.

''I feel really good about our football team on campus as far as the line of scrimmage, I really do,'' Muschamp said. ''I wish we could have gotten a little more depth in the lines of scrimmage.''

But Muschamp refused to panic. Instead, he decided to save scholarships and sign a considerably larger class in 2012.

''I was more interested in the quality of player and the character of the player we're going to sign at Florida as opposed to going out and signing a class of 25 and regretting three or four or five of those guys,'' he said. ''We weren't going to make an emotional decision and go out and sign guys to sign guys. That's not the purpose of what we want to do.''


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