Florida's NSD filled with near misses

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- The Florida Gators started off Wednesday hoping to build on what already was considered by most to be a highly ranked class. But as the ink on the letters of intent began to dry and faxes started pouring in, the hopes for a No. 1-ranked class faded.

Florida got off to a hot start with nine signatures from committed players before 9 a.m., ET. Outside linebacker Josh Harvey-Clemons then committed to Georgia, followed by cornerback Tracy Howard, who selected Miami over Florida.

The Gators received good news mid-morning when four-star defensive end Dante Fowler Jr., switched his commitment from Florida State to Florida. Fowler had been committed to FSU for more than a year before flipping to Florida.

Florida really got stung when four-star defensive end Leonard Williams and four-star wide receiver Nelson Agholor chose west coast power USC over the in-state Gators.

Four-star offensive lineman Avery Young signed with Auburn over Florida, his other finalist, to cap off a tough day for the Gators with previously uncommitted prospects.

Florida finished the afternoon signing all 15 players who were committed to the Gators prior to signing day. The Gators also added three-star wide receiver Raphael Andrades. The 6-foot, 193-pound athlete from Tallahassee, Fla., had offers from Arkansas, Notre Dame and Stanford, but did not receiver a Florida offer until Tuesday. He quickly accepted.

In all, including the six players already enrolled, Florida signed 23 players, including nine who are ranked in the ESPNU 150.

Muschamp has made the line of scrimmage a priority in recruiting, and this class offers some evidence. Of the 23 players Florida signed, 14 play along the line of scrimmage.

Florida finished Wednesday with the No. 4-ranked class in the country. That ranking could change depending on where Stefon Diggs decides to go on Feb. 10.