James Clark is a 5-foot-11, 175-pound burner out of New Smyrna Beach, Florida. The young speedster has taken official visits all over the place, including to Northwestern, Purdue, Nebraska, Clemson and Ohio State.
However, his most recent visit, an unofficial to Gainesville over the weekend, may be what puts Will Muschamp’s Gators over the top for the services of the young man. It was not the first visit to The Swamp for Clark, but it did open up his eyes to some new things, namely the academics an institution along the lines of Florida can provide for him.
“The Florida visit was great and I got to see the academic side of things that I hadn’t really seen before,” Clark told Chris Hays of the Orlando Sentinel. “It was a good experience and it definitely changes a lot of things. … I was able to find out more information about things. I wouldn’t say my opinion changed, but it definitely opened up my eyes to a few things and now I definitely know where I want to go.”
Unfortunately Clark did not expressly say that he was staying close to home after taking visits to schools all over the country. However, Derek Tyson of Gator Nation believes that Clark will prove to be the cherry on top of what has been one of the best recruiting classes in recent Florida history.
“The four-star wide receiver took an unofficial visit to Florida this weekend. He’s also visited Clemson, Ohio State, Northwestern, Nebraska and Purdue. Ohio State and Clemson appear to be near the top with the Gators, and his recruitment will come down to the wire. Even though the Gators have five wide receiver commits, Clark is a speedy guy that Florida really doesn’t have on the roster right now.”
Over coach Muschamp’s first two seasons in Gainesville, the old school coach’s teams have been known for their tenacious defense and an offense that struggled to keep up.
One of the biggest problems for a team that went 11-2 and earned a BCS Sugar Bowl berth in 2012-13 was his quarterback’s, Jeff Driskel’s, lack of options in the passing game. His top receiver, tight end Jordan Reed, has declared that he will forgo his final year of eligibility and will enter the NFL Draft.
His most explosive weapon in 2012, Frankie Hammond Jr., graduates, while arguably the most talented playmaker on the Gators roster, Andre Debose, wallowed on the bench with a bad attitude.
Bringing in this diverse set of uber-talented receivers, including four-star Demarcus Robinson, Alvin Bailey, Marqui Hawkins and Ahmad Fulwood to potentially play with Clark should provide the program with an immediate boost at a position of need.