Which incoming recruits will impact Florida as first-year players?

BY foxsports • February 5, 2016

Jim McElwain and his staff signed a quality 2016 recruiting class for the Florida Gators. 

From a depth standpoint, certain position groups truly were addressed. It's a class chock-full of guys with the potential to impact right away -- and those likely in need of a redshirt year. 

There are four players in particular with the ability to help Florida next year as first-year players. This quartet figures to play based on depth needs within the current roster. 

Tyrie Cleveland

The explosive receiver out of Texas was a big signing day boon for McElwain's staff. Regarded as one of the top pass-catching threats in the entire country, Cleveland has a terrific combination of athleticism and skill. 

With soon-to-be sophomore Antonio Callaway and Brandon Powell being the only true established receivers on the roster, there's plenty of opportunity for Cleveland to come in and impact the depth chart. He's truly a potential game-breaker for the Gators.

Antonneous Clayton

If Cleveland is the top offensive player within this class, Clayton is the headliner on the defensive side of the ball. The Georgia native's first-step is simply sensational off of the edge. While he does need to gain both weight and strength, this elite skill is something which will get him on the field -- especially considering the loss of Jonathan Bullard -- and the production he accrued last year. 

David Reese

An early enrollee out of Michigan, the middle linebacker could benefit from depth issues the Gators have at linebacker. Multiple members of last year's group have since departed -- opening the door for Reese to feature. A big and physical player, Reese also has an advanced instinctual prowess for a young player. Couple that with the fact he's already in the program, and it wouldn't be a shock to see him within the two-deep. 

Mark Thompson

A junior college athlete out of Dodge City Community College, Thompson is a beast physically. Rivals.com has the 4-star running back listed at 6-foot-2, 230 pounds, whilst running a 4.4 in the 40-yard dash. The loss of Kelvin Taylor essentially opens the door for Thompson to come in and potentially start right away. He'll be battling sophomores Jordan Scarlett and Jordan Cronkrite, and possibly incoming freshman Lamichal Perine. 


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