The Gators took a couple of steps to bolster the depth of their future defensive line this past month, adding defensive end Taven Bryan (Casper, Wyo./Natrona Co.) and defensive tackle Khairi Clark (Hollywood, Fla./Chaminade Madonna) in recent weeks.
Bryan is another one of those under-the-radar commits for the Gators, and is from Wyoming of all places. The 6-4, 250 pound defensive end is rated as a four or three-star prospect depending on which recruiting service is used. Bryan is currently a two-way player in high school that plays offensive tackle along with defensive end. He was being looked at as an offensive lineman by most schools but had expressed his desire to play defensive end at the collegiate level, which appears to be the position he will start out at for the Gators. Bryan had offers from Colorado, Oregon and Tennessee, among others.
Joining Bryan in Florida’s 2014 recruiting class will be 6-2, 325 pound defensive tackle Khairi Clark. A four-star recruit from south Florida, Clark is a huge get for head coach Will Muschamp and the Gators, and not just because of his massive frame. He is considered one of the top defensive tackles in next year’s class. With his commitment, Clark becomes the seventh ESPN 300 commit in Florida’s 2014 class and the fourth ESPN 150 commit. He is the second defensive tackle commit for the Gators, joining fellow ESPN 300 commit Anthony Moten. Clark had offers from Alabama, Florida State, Miami, LSU and Georgia, among others.
The additions of Bryan and Clark should provide dividends for the defensive line in 2014 and beyond. The Gators already lost defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd to the NFL this past season and are set to lose defensive tackles Dominique Easley and Damien Jacobs following the 2013 season. With Bryan, Clark as well as Moten set to join the team in 2014 and defensive tackles Caleb Brantley, Jaynard Bostwick and Darious Cummings already on board for 2013, the Gators have more than prepared themselves for life after Floyd and Easley.
The Gators had seemingly been struggling to keep up in recruiting this past month, but following the success of their summer camps, and the additions of Bryan and Clark, they appear to be right back in the thick of things in terms of the top recruiting classes of 2014.