GAINESVILLE — With less than a week until National Signing Day, Florida seems far removed from the program that pulled in one of the top recruiting classes in the country a year ago.
But Florida is not as far off as some fans might fear.
ESPN's recruiting rankings and as low as 27th by Scout.com. Rivals.com has the Gators currently 19th.
Given that Will Muschamp and his staff have had a matter of months to win over recruits who have had relationships with other coaches for years, most experts say they shouldn't be judged by this first class.
Florida has 15 verbal commitments, including seven who have enrolled early. But the Gators are in contention for some of the top uncommitted players in the country.
"The class isn't big right now," said ESPN recruiting analyst Corey Long. "I think they'll be able to pull off one, maybe two big names on signing day."
Who could that be though? Here's a look at some of the top players left on Florida's board:
Timmy Jernigan, defensive tackle, Lake City Columbia High, 6-foot-2, 275 pounds
Florida has been recruiting Jernigan for years, but Urban Meyer's departure and the coaching change might have caused a shift in where the Gators rank with Jernigan.
He has taken trips to LSU and Florida State, two of the other final schools he's considering, and he will go to Tennessee this weekend. He has been to Gainesville many times and is expected to make another unofficial visit to Florida this week.
Jernigan, the second-ranked DT by Rivals, could help Florida fill some holes on a defensive line that had seniors at both ends and rotated two at tackle.
"Well, obviously Tim Jernigan would be the number one guy on their board," Long said. "In some ways, he can sort of be considered a major break in their class."
Columbia coach Craig Howard said last week that FSU and LSU might have a bit of a lead on the Gators. The question for the Gators is whether their new coaches can build enough of a relationship to sway Jernigan in time.
"I think that sort of really opened the door for Florida State and LSU to put on the press," Long said. "It would be a huge loss, not only because they lost them but because they lost him to a team they're going to face annually."
Curtis Grant, linebacker, Richmond (Va.) Hermitage, 6-3, 222
One of the top remaining prospects nationally, Grant would give an immediate boost to the class and address a position of great need for the Gators. While Florida's defense didn't struggle as a whole this year, the linebackers seldom made impact plays
Grant can help with that. The top-rated prospect at his position by Rivals and Scout, he has the size and speed to contribute immediately.
He's also considering Ohio State, North Carolina and Virginia.
Jacoby Brissett, quarterback, West Palm Beach Dwyer, 6-5, 225
Meyer only offered Brissett, a dual-threat quarterback, a grayshirt. It didn't take long for Muschamp and offensive coordinator Charlie Weis to offer a scholarship to a player who can add depth to the position.
He would be a bonus in this class if Florida could get him, but Brissett also would like to play basketball. He's also considering North Carolina, Miami, Washington and Wisconsin.