If Will Muschamp is able to survive what figures to be a make-it-or-break-it season in 2014, he's probably going to need a lot of help from his incoming freshman class. The good news: Muschamp was able to assemble the country's sixth-best class, according to ESPN RecruitingNation. The Gators signed 13 ESPN 300 players, including five-star cornerback Jalen Tabor of Washington, D.C. The fact that Muschamp and his staff had so much success on the recruiting trail coming off a forgettable 4-8 campaign in 2013 says a lot about their recruiting abilities. The Gators' class includes No. 2 offensive tackle David Sharpe, No. 2 defensive tackle Gerald Willis III and No. 3 defensive tackle Thomas Holley. UF signed two quarterbacks -- Will Grier of Davidson, N.C., and Treon Harris of Miami (a longtime FSU commitment) -- and they might have a chance to unseat returning starter Jeff Driskel this coming season. Driskel, who is coming back from a broken leg, will work under new offensive coordinator Kurt Roper, formerly of Duke, when spring practice begins. Roper is expected to install more spread and option elements to UF's pedestrian offense.
After finishing 12-1 and defeating Baylor 52-42 in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, the Knights will be the team to beat in what's left of the American Athletic Conference in 2014. The Knights will have to replace quarterback Blake Bortles and running back Storm Johnson, who left early for the NFL draft, but they'll bring back six starters on offense and as many as 10 on defense. Incoming freshman Tyler Harris of Blackshear, Ga., the No. 12 pro-style quarterback prospect in the country, might have a chance to win the starting job this fall. Harris has already enrolled at UCF and will compete with Pete DiNovo and Justin Holman during the spring. UCF coach George O'Leary also signed No. 10 safety Kyle Gibson and No. 19 safety Chris Williams (a former Alabama commitment). Two juco transfers -- defensive tackle Lance McDowdell and linebacker Errol Clarke II -- also might be able to help right away.