Dooley’s Dozen: Looking back at Florida’s 5-star recruits since Urban Meyer

Do you remember the old days Florida used to sign five-star recruits as if the Gators were shopping at a convenience store?

Those were the days of Steve Spurrier, Ron Zook and Urban Meyer, the two-time national titlist who used to text recruits while he was in church.

During that stretch of those three coaches (and you have to include the Zooker because he set Meyer up with the talent to win it all in 2006), Florida won 78.7% of its games.

Since then, Florida has won 55.3% of its games and fired three coaches.

Coincidence? We think not.

The latest Dooley’s Dozen looks at the last 12 (with a caveat) five-stars who have signed with Florida and how they did at UF. We do that while waiting for Billy Napier to sign his first.

We’re using the 247Sports composite rankings and we’re not counting transfers for this list.

2021: Jason Marshall

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The No. 2 cornerback in the nation coming out of high school is one of the key components to next year’s team. This is a guy who has 19 starts in his first two years on campus, but it’s hard to unsee the way this team played defense last year.

The last five-star for [autotag]Dan Mullen[/autotag] started six games as a true freshman and all 13 last year. He has only two interceptions and had a mere eight passes defended in 2012. A little of that was that teams went away from him – especially when Jaydon Hill was down – but he still needs to be one of those guys who takes a step in the right direction next season.

2020: Gervon Dexter

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In his three seasons at Florida, Dexter was a big community guy and sometimes probably felt like he was the only guy in the middle of the defense.

Dexter only had five sacks in his career but that wasn’t his job. Instead, he was constantly occupying double teams because he was clearly the best player on the defensive line.

He was also starting as a true freshman and played both tackle and end. Overall, it was a pretty nice career and is expected to be a high second-round pick in the NFL draft.

2015: Martez Ivey

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Quite a gap there between fivers, huh? Ivey was an All-SEC preseason selection for three straight years. He did make the second team twice and was on the freshman All-SEC team in 2011.

Ivey started 44 games in four years — some at guard, some at tackle — under [autotag]Jim McElwain[/autotag] and Dan Mullen. He was consistent if not spectacular and certainly was a big part of the turnaround in Mullen’s first season.

2015: CeCe Jefferson

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Ol’ Carl, as McElwain used to call him. Both Carl Jefferson and Ivey were [autotag]Will Muschamp[/autotag] commits that Mac held onto. I’m not saying Muschamp did not deserve to be let go, but I’ll always wonder what that 2015 class would have looked like if he was not fired.

No matter, Jefferson was an undersized defensive linemen who had a mixed bag of a career, in part because of a nagging shoulder problem.

His 34.5 tackles for loss rank in the top 20 all-time at Florida and he finished with 10.5 sacks. Jefferson played in 48 games with 26 starts, never made any All-SEC teams and didn’t get a snap in the NFL.

2014: Teez Tabor

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He was Jalen, then Teez. He was always a really good player and is still in the NFL (and in the playoffs with Seattle) despite his draft stock dipping because of slow 40 times.

At Florida, he was a really good player: a second-team All-American and first-team All-SEC. His 33 pass breakups are in the top 10 all-time at UF and his eight interceptions in his last two seasons (he went out after his junior season) were impressive, especially since he ran three back for touchdowns.

He was a big spokesman for DBU back when Florida could make that claim.

2013: Vernon Hargreaves III

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VHIII was an exceptional player for the Gators and one of two secondary players in Florida history to be named All-American twice (Louis Oliver is the other).

Hargreaves worked his way into the starting lineup as a freshman and finished his three-year career at Florida with 10 interceptions. A sure tackler as well, he was the 11th pick to Tampa Bay in the 2016 NFL draft and was inactive in last year’s Super Bowl, incurring a fine and penalty for running on the field after a teammates interception.

2013: Kelvin Taylor

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The son of Gator great [autotag]Fred Taylor[/autotag], Kelvin had a solid career at Florida although he was never an All-SEC selection.

He is the last Gator to rush for more than 1,000 yards, doing so in 2015 with 1,035 (10th all-time at UF). That total was bolstered by a memorable game against Georgia when he went for 197 yards.

Taylor was not drafted until the sixth round, bounced around some NFL teams and is now in the XFL.

2012: D.J. Humphries

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Humphries was a big pickup for Muschamp as the winner of the Anthony Munoz award for best offensive lineman in high school. He started as a freshman and was named to the All-SEC freshman team.

Injuries were an issue in his next two years as he only played in 17 games. Still, he went out early and is still playing for the Arizona Cardinals.

2012: Jonathan Bullard

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Look at this list and you get the feeling that Muschamp lived by his mantra that the SEC is a line-of-scrimmage league.

Bullard was a force, getting a couple of starts as a freshman and being named All-SEC first team after coming back for a senior season when he had 6.5 sacks. He finished his Florida career with 12 sacks and 175 tackles.

He just finished his seventh season in the NFL.

2012: Dante Fowler

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One of the best bowl performances in a bowl that didn’t really matter was Fowler’s in the Birmingham Bowl against East Carolina. It was his last game as a Gator and he had three sacks in the win.

That capped off a year where he was All-SEC and Fowler ended up being the third pick in the 2015 NFL Draft.

He has made a bunch of money in the NFL despite an ACL tear that got in the way of his career at Jacksonville. He is another Gator in the NFL playoffs playing for Dallas.

2011: Jeff Driskel

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Driskel originally committed to Meyer and stayed with Muschamp when Meyer left. In his second season, he was the starter on a team that won 11 games and nearly played for the national title.

A broken leg against Tennessee cut his third season short and he struggled after that, eventually losing his job to Treon Harris and then transferring to Louisiana Tech for his final college season, throwing 27 touchdown passes.

Driskel played this year for the Houston Texans, starting one game.

2010: The last hurrah

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The final full recruiting class of Meyer’s was ranked No. 1 in the nation. It was a bit of a surprise when five players who were rated as five-stars committed and eventually signed because that was the year Meyer first left Florida, if only for a few hours.

The fives – Ronald Powell, Dominique Easley, Sharrif Floyd, Matt Elam and Josh Shaw. Shaw transferred to USC and Powell struggled to match the No. 1 ranking he received from 247Sports because of injuries.

But Floyd was a Sporting News All-American and Elam was an AP All-American. Easley was somewhere in the middle of those other four.

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