GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- At the top of Florida's list of recruiting needs is instant impact at the offensive skill positions. The Gators couldn't have had much better timing with their home state bursting with talented playmakers in the class of 2013.
The running back position at UF is particularly thin. Florida will have just two scholarship tailbacks at the end of this year, when rising senior Mike Gillislee moves on. That's why it's critically important the Gators find a way to sign three running backs in their next class.
On Thursday, GatorNation's Derek Tyson previewed the state's top wide receivers. Here are Florida's best running backs:
Kelvin Taylor (Belle Glade, Fla./Glades Day)
Fans have been keeping an eye on the son of Gator great Fred Taylor since he first started playing high school football as a eighth-grader. Kelvin Taylor has also been participating in UF summer camps and taking unofficial visits for at least as long. In his junior season, the five-star prospect broke Emmitt Smith's state record for career rushing yards and became the first Florida high school player to crack 9,000 rushing yards. Taylor says Florida and Alabama are his top two schools.
Greg Bryant (Delray Beach, Fla./American Heritage)
An early five-star prospect, Bryant could be the top running back in America this fall. He's certainly one of the most sought-after, as Bryant holds offers from Florida, Georgia, FSU, Alabama, LSU, Oklahoma and many more. At 5-foot-10 and a chiseled 195 pounds, he's got plenty of power to go with quickness and vision.
Tarean Folston (Cocoa, Fla./Cocoa High School)
Folston, who has piled up the yards and for one of the state's powerhouse programs, fell short of accomplishing a third-straight state title in 2011. He's a big-play machine who is rated a five-star talent on RecruitingNation's top 100 prospects. Folston has offers from Florida, South Carolina, Louisville, Cincinnati and Boston College and can expect many more by the end of the summer.
Derrick Henry (Yulee, Fla./Yulee High School)
A freakish athlete at 6-2, 231, Henry certainly has an abundance of strength to break tackles or drag defenders down the field. He wants nothing more than to be a running back at the next level, but many coaches won't make that promise and see him as a future tight end, defensive end or linebacker. Henry is considered a soft commitment to Georgia, as he still has interest in Florida and Florida State.
Adam Lane (Winter Haven, Fla./Winter Haven High School)
At 5-7 and 218 pounds, Lane packs an incredible punch in his compact frame. After a prolific sophomore season, Lane missed his junior year with a broken lower fibula. Florida, however, didn't back off and won Lane as its first commitment of the class.
Ryan Green (St. Petersburg, Fla./St. Pete Catholic)
Green is one of the faster tailback prospects, having a 4.45 time in the 40-yard dash on his resume. But he's added some bulk to get to 186 pounds on his 5-10 frame. So far, Green has shown the most interest in Florida and Florida State. He's expected to be at Florida's junior day on Feb. 18.
A.J. Turman (Orlando, Fla./Boone)
At 6-0, 198, Turman has the frame to grow into a power back. He's already got the mindset of a downhill runner who doesn't shy away from contact. The ESPNU 150 Watch List member has drawn offers from Florida State, N.C. State and Boston College among others.
More to watch:
Fred Coppet (Fort Lauderdale, Fla./St. Thomas Aquinas)
Lorenzo Woodley (Miami/Christopher Columbus)
Ray Lewis III (Lake Mary, Fla./Lake Mary High School)
Alex Collins (Plantation, Fla./South Plantation) committed to Miami, Fla.