Jr. Day Recruiting Quick Hitter: Florida high on list of four-star lineman

Quick Hitter: Wiggins, Carter & Hubbs

by Inside the Gators Staff
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If Florida fans are looking for an elite instate prospect that the Gators are in good shape with early on in the 2025 process, look no further than the state capitol, where Tallahassee (Fla.) Rickards defensive end Jalen Wiggins has all but set up camp on the UF campus over the past year.

Saturday’s Jr. Day visit was at least his fifth visit to campus since last spring.

It’s to the point, that he’s pretty much seen everything there is to see, and all that’s left to do is build on relationships.

“I enjoyed the day as a whole, coming back once again to hang around and talk with coaches,” said Wiggins.

Though he has seen Florida multiple times, it was the 6-foot-5, 235-pound four-star’s first chance to meet with new defensive line coach Gerald Chatman.

“I really enjoyed meeting Coach Chatman for the first time,” said Wiggins. “He is very excited to get rolling and excited about me as well.”

The visitors were also given a presentation by new Strength & Conditioning Director Craig Fitzgerald, who was recently hired away from the NFL.

“Coming from that position with the [New York] Giants he seemed very professional when it came to how they would have specified workouts for specific positions to prepare them in the best way possible.”

With offers from the likes of Florida State, Georgia, and LSU – programs that have seen recent success, it is now time for Florida to take that next step.

“I think this year, going into that third year is where success begins to come in and I’m looking forward to seeing what can be accomplished this year.”

While waiting on the season, the Gators have positioned themselves as a frontrunner for Wiggins.

“I still have UF high up on my list,” said Wiggins.

One of several top signal callers on campus Saturday was Lake Mary (Fla.) 2026 quarterback Noah Grubbs, who is ranked as an early four-star by Rivals.

The 6-foot-4, 210-pounder came into the weekend with offers from the likes of Auburn, Miami, Michigan, Notre Dame, Penn State, and Texas A&M and left with one from Florida.

“Getting to spend time with both Coach [Billy] Napier and [Ryan] O’Hara was the highlight and then finishing my visit with an offer,” said Grubbs, who was excited about the offer from the Orange & Blue.

“I love Florida and have been waiting for this opportunity for almost a year now.”

According to Grubbs, Florida joins a long list of early leaders.

“My leaders right now are Notre Dame, Michigan, Florida, Texas A&M, Miami, FSU, Ohio State, UNC and Virginia Tech.”

Wiggins is the No. 82 ranked prospect in the nation according to the On3 Consensus.

Though he is unrated by three of the four recruiting services, college coaches certainly know who Newberry (Fla.) defensive lineman Jarquez Carter is well known by college coaches.

The 6-foot-3, 270-pounder had already been offered by programs such as Miami, Notre Dame, Ohio State, and Texas A&M.

On Saturday, the hometown (or nearly hometown) Florida Gators threw their hat into the mix as well.

“It meant a lot because that was the offer I was really waiting for for the longest and getting it shows that the work I have been putting in is paying off,” said Carter.

Before the offer happened, Carter said he spent time with a few coaches, including Louis McLeod and new defensive line coach Gerald Chatman.

“I talked to the new d-line coach and Coach Lu [McLeod] the most,” said Carter. I think Coach Chatman is a great person and I was able to connect with him from the start.

“The highlight was being able to sit down with Coach [Billy] Napier and talk to him 1-on-1. I learned more about Florida culture today.”

This offseason Florida has also overhauled its approach to player nutrition, and it was that presentation that Carter found most helpful.

“The most interesting part was talking about their nutrition and how they make sure the players are able to perform their best every day.”

As for recruiting, Carter wants to keep an open mind.

“I felt it was a great visit overall,” said Carter, but it wasn’t enough to put UF in the lead spot.

“No, not right now,” was his reply when asked if he had any leaders.

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