In past decade, Florida has had a good track record with its No. 1 prospects

Brian McLaughlin/SDS

Florida has had some solid No. 1 recruits over the past decade, highlighted by players like eventual first-round draft picks like Percy Harvin and Derrick Harvey, and possibly another future draft pick in 2013 standout Vernon Hargreaves. Here’s a look back–10 years–at each top pickup.

Keep in mind, our SDS Grades are based on whether the kid lived up to his tremendous potential by succeeding on the field and for the most part avoiding trouble off of it–we’re not grading our media brethren’s job of prognostication, we’re grading the player. When an athlete receives a top rating, that means analysts and coaches feel the prospect is athletically gifted enough to succeed, whether he does or not is mostly up to him.

Related: Gators have a boatload of talent visiting this year

Here’s a look back over the last 10 years at who was the No. 1 ranked high school recruit coming to the program—and also how they panned out, career wise.

2013 Vernon Hargreaves DB 3 Outstanding addition to the defense; an absolute playmaker already A+
2012 D.J. Humphries OL 3 Has been a solid contributor, but has battled some injuries—good career so far B+
2011 Jeff Driskel QB 16 Has had an up-and-down career, truly. Senior season can fix legacy C
2010 Ronald Powell DL 1 Honestly, could have been a ton better than he was, declared early for NFL C
2009 Jelani Jenkins LB 7 An outstanding player for the Gators and 4th round NFL draft pick 2013 A
2008 Will Hill DB 5 Decent but not exceptional contributor who made the NFL as a free agent B
2007 Carlos Dunlap DL 13 2nd round NFL pick in 2010 with an exceptional All-SEC type college career A
2006 Percy Harvin WR 2 1st round NFL pick in 2009, won two national titles with Gators A+
2005 Avery Atkins DB 62 A very sad situation, Atkins died in 2007 after leaving Florida Inc.
2004 Derrick Harvey DL 11 1st round NFL draft pick in 2008 with an outstanding college career A+

NOTE: Rankings based on 247Sports composite rankings—which were done retroactively within the past year, taking the average of all four services.


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  • To me, Ronald Powell was the biggest bust on this list. I remember hearing his name all the time when he was being recruited. I know he had some problems with injuries, which is why I believe he declared early, but he didn’t live up to the hype

    • Wes — Ronald Powell was one of my least favorite recruits to cover too. I never could stand his attitude, and I told a bunch of people when he went to Florida that he’d be an underachiever just waiting to declare for the NFL. He was the complete opposite, personality wise, of S. Floyd, who was such a quality human being — and of course he made to the NFL a year ahead of Powell. Powell’s been OK, but not amazing at Florida.