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February 22, 2012

Safeties bring four-star ratings

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We finish up the defensive side of the ball with the safety position. Florida has a wealth of safeties that are garnering national attention - and deservedly so. Just how good is this position? All five featured athletes have four stars from Rivals.com. FlaVarsity breaks down five safeties to watch .

Top 2013 Safeties

Leon McQuay III
6-foot-2|177 | Armwood (Seffner)
Buzz: McQuay is a playmaker from the get-go. His ability to shift gears makes him an impressive weapon for the Hawks defense that stymied most opponents last year - and countered Miami Central's speed. Listed as the No. 32 in the Rivals100, he'll have to be the leader on a revamped Armwood defense that lost some key components. Nee's Notes: (Rivals.com Florida recruiting analyst Chris Nee) "McQuay is a ball-hawking safety who has good instincts and an excellent burst that allows him to jump routes. He does a good job recognizing when a play is a run and making his way down into position to handle a back if he gets to the second level."
Schools in the mix: Florida, Florida State, Notre Dame, South Florida, Vanderbilt (29 total)
Click here to watch video of Leon McQuay III
Marcell Harris
6-foot-2 |205 | Dr. Phillips (Orlando)
Buzz: Harris - like McQuay - will be the leader on Dr. Phillips' defense this season. Ranked No. 39 overall in the Rivals100, Harris has cat-like quickness (4.4 in the shuttle run) and 31-inch vertical leap. His size gives him an advantage when going against smaller receivers. Teaming up with fellow senior Matt Milano will help. Nee's Notes: "He is a very physical tackler who does it with good form. Against the pass, he is capable of turning and running with wide receivers and backs and does an excellent job of closing gaps when necessary."

Schools in the mix: Florida, Florida State, Miami, Central Florida, NC State, Texas (15 total)
Click here to watch video of Marcell Harris
Nick Washington
6-foot-0| 180 | Trinity Christian (Jacksonville)
Buzz: Washington is ranked No. 93 in the Rivals100, and is the defensive leader for the Conquerors. His speed and agility are his assests (4.48 in shuttle run) and his athletic ability sees him on the field for most of the game, playing both offense and defense as well as special teams. Look for him to line up at both safety and cornerback at the next level.
Schools in the mix:Verbally Committed to the University of Florida (February 18, 2012)
Click here to watch video of Nick Washington
Jamal Carter
6-foot-1 |175 | Southridge (Miami)
Buzz: Carter is the fourth of five players in this profile - all of which are ranked four-star athletes or higher by Rivals.com. Carter checked in at No. 197 in the Rivals250 - despite being injured for most of the season last year. He made third-team all county in Miami-Dade. Considering the amount of talent that is flowing from Miami-Dade, that's not a bad thing. Miami has been a early favorite, but Carter is set to visit Florida State for its Junior Days February 25.
Click here to watch video of Jamal Carter
Schools in the mix: Miami, Florida, Florida State, West Virginia, Louisville (7 total offers)
Keanu Neal
6-foot-0 | 204 | South Sumter (Bushnell)
Buzz: Neal is a physical specimen. He just missed making the Rivals250 first list, but earned a four-star rating. He has a 33-inch vertical leap and his size and strength will come into play where ever he lines up. Look for him to move towards cornerback at Florida, where he verbally committed.
Schools in the mix:verbally committed to University of Florida (February 18, 2012).
Others in the mix:

Ahmad Thomas, Miami Central
Austin Logan, Tallahassee Florida (FSU) High
Malik Greaves, Jacksonville Sandalwood
Paris Bostick, Tampa Plant
Tyrell Lyons, Jacksonville First Coast
Simeon Thomas, Miami Gardens Carol City
Mike Dorcely, Orlando Lake Highland Prep
Matt Milano, Orlando Dr. Phillips
Justin Porter, Hollywood Chaminade Madonna

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