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Florida writer’s chart shows Gators’ defensive recruiting struggles

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Florida’s rate of blue-chip recruits on defense is less than half of what it was under Will Muschamp

Florida should again have a very salty defense in 2016, but FSU’s chief rival could be in for a steep drop-off on that side of the football come 2017. Thomas Goldkamp of 247Sports shows why — recruiting.

Given that Florida loses Davis, Maye, and potentially Brantley, Tabor and Wilson early to the draft, plus and a host of other starters on defense, UF could be in a tough spot trying to replace elite talent with decidedly less talented (as judged by recruiting rankings) players. The chart shows just a 27-percent rate of blue-chip signees on defense, compared to a 68-percent rate under Will Muschamp. . Florida State is more than double that.

While UF does seem to be recruiting better on offense, the rate of recruiting improvement on offense does not seem to match the recruiting drop-off on defense. It’s probably too early to tell how Florida will finish with the class, but recruiting rankings are quite effective at predicting success, and here, they forecast somewhat of a downturn on defense for the Gators come 2017.