The Florida Gators tumbled to their first losing season in 34 years, but that hasn’t scared away many of the nation’s top-ranked high school prospects.

While embattled coach Will Muschamp struggled to win football games in 2013, his proficiency to flip star recruits and build another stellar recruiting class has dominated headlines since the calendar changed.

According to Rivals’ 2014 team rankings, Florida boasts the country’s No. 7 class, and national recruiting director Mike Farrell said, “For a team that struggled last year, I think it’s better than anybody could’ve really expected. … A few things have occurred over the last couple of weeks that have really helped make this a special class. They’ve taken advantage of some situations and they’ve had a little bit of good luck as well.”

Florida currently has 21 commitments in its 2014 class, with nine prospects already on campus in early enrollment.

The Gators hope to finish with a flurry on National Signing Day, as five-star prospects Lorenzo Carter (defensive end), Damian Prince (offensive tackle) and Adoree’ Jackson (athlete) remain as key targets. UF also remains in the hunt for South Florida receivers Isaiah McKenzie from Plantation American Heritage, and C.J. Worton from Homestead South Dade.

While many programs are trumpeting last season’s successes, Muschamp is selling hope, and it’s working.

“I feel like considering we didn’t have a great season, we’re very comfortable where we are recruiting-wise,” Muschamp said.

In the last three weeks, Florida’s coach has secured verbal commitments of seven prospects formally pledged to other schools. Five-star cornerback Jalen Tabor headlines a group that also includes four-star defensive linemen Thomas Holley and Gerald Willis III, four-star tailback Brandon Powell, four-star receiver Ryan Sousa and three-star offensive lineman Kavaris Harkless.

While each prospect’s situation was different, Muschamp and his newly assembled staff took advantage of recruits wanting to play closer to home (Tabor), coaches leaving other schools (Holley at Penn State; Harkless at Louisville) or simply a better opportunity for immediate playing time (Sousa, Powell).

“Florida was 4-8 last year, lost to an FCS school, their offense was horrible, their defense was decimated, they fired their offensive coordinator and Muschamp has one year to figure it out,” Farrell said. “So Florida can’t sell itself over all those things, but I think they’ve done a good job hanging in there and weather[ing] the storm. They’ve had some fortunate situations fall their way and who cares why.

“Bottom line, this is going to be a very good class no matter how it happened.”