Florida's Terrific 10 Targets

Aug 23, 2021 | 0 comments


This is Inside the Gators ranking of Florida’s Ten Most Wanted uncommitted prospects in the Class of 2022 based on need, ranking, and the Gators' chance of eventually landing them.

No. 10 @Chris Mc">Chris McClellan‍  

Reason for the Ranking: This is the prospect on here I went back-and-forth with the most. If Florida is unable to land Walter Nolen, though he is a solid prospect, considering who all was on the board to begin with, ending up with Jamari Lyons as the headliner at the position would be disappointing both perception-wise and even more importantly, talent-wise. 

Competition: Alabama, LSU, Ohio State, Oklahoma, and Southern Cal

The Skinny: Florida went from being the team to beat to trailing Ohio State – while his fall official visit to home state Oklahoma still looms large. He has told Inside the Gators that he wants to return to Florida for an unofficial visit, but it isn’t cheap to bring his family across country and there's also the matter of fitting visits into his high school schedule. UF obviously has to get him back on campus this fall to remain a major player for his services.


No. 9 Cyrus Moss‍ ‍ 

Reason for the Ranking: With Brenton Cox and Zachary Carter headed to the NFL after the season, Florida needs to replenish the defensive end ranks. Writing off Shemar Stewart‍, that leaves Moss as the top-ranked defensive end that the Gators are still in the running to land, and the distance between him and the next man in line – J'Mond Tapp‍ – is pretty significant. 

Competition:  Alabama, Arizona State, Notre Dame, Oregon

The Skinny: It was surprising enough that Florida made his top five even though he has never set foot on campus. He has already seen Alabama (unofficially), Notre Dame, and Oregon (officially and for a camp) over the summer, and is scheduled to see Florida when the Gators face the Tide in September. Truthfully, right now it is probably at best an uphill battle for Flordia, and we'll see where they stand after his official visit. A win and a rancorous crowd would sure help the Gators' chances, but for now, you have to like him to stay out on the west coast.

No. 8  Trevor Etienne‍  

Reason for the Ranking: On the surface, Florida's running back room is perhaps the most stacked position on the squad, but when it comes to how that factors into recruiting – two of them, Malik Davis and Dameon Pierce, are seniors, while another, Lorenzo Lingard, is a junior. That means that UF could use two backs this cycle just based on numbers alone. But when you add in the fact that the Gators' other commit at the position is still nursing a knee injury, then that puts added importance on adding another back this time around.

Competition: Alabama, Clemson, Georgia, and LSU

The Skinny: Looking at the programs involved, you normally wouldn't like Florida's chances against top-notch recruiting staffs from those programs, but in this instance, Etienne pursued Florida in order to initiate his June visit to campus. Add in the fact that his brother Travis Etienne is with the Jacksonville Jaguars, which Trevor himself admitted to Inside the Gators is a factor in Florida's favor, and the odds of UF landing him increase dramatically. 

Update: His brother Travis suffered a season-ending injury Monday night, which could impact the number of times the family visits Jacksonville, which could impact the number of times they visit Gainesville as well.

No. 7 Jamari Lyons‍ ‍ ‍ ‍

Reason for the Ranking: 
He's probably a bit more of a project than some of the other highly rated defensive tackles as he continues to sculpt his body. While other top defensive tackle targets look like they will potentially play in the 300-plus weight range, there's still plenty of upside for Lyons as a future three-tech lineman who can be effective playing in the 290s as a three-tech. 

Competition: Indiana, Ohio State, and South Carolina

The Skinny:  After multiple visits to campus, UF is sitting pretty here. Yes, there's still a need to watch out for whether or not Ohio State makes a push and gets a visit, but if that doesn't happen, this is a Florida-South Carolina battle with the Gators as the clear-cut team to beat pending his SC fall official visit.

No. 6  Jaheim Singletary‍  

Reason for the Ranking: Florida is almost assuredly going to lose Kaiir Elam and perhaps Elijah Blades after the season. Combine that with the fact that this is the second time Jaydon Hill has suffered an ACL injury, and though there is young talent at the position already, the Gators need to continue to stack top-tier cornerbacks. 

Competition: Georgia and Miami

The Skinny: Going back to the day he committed to Ohio State in January of this year, I thought, and posted then, that it was forced and wouldn’t stick – which turned out to be correct. However, even before he officially decommitted from the Buckeyes, he was in contact with the Florida staff. He was originally scheduled to be at the Summer Kickoff on June 1. Though he didn’t make it then, he did visit in June. Expect Florida, Georgia, and Miami to battle for him throughout the fall. 

No. 5 Ja'Kavion Nonar‍ 

Reason for the Ranking: You may be looking at his composite ranking and question why I have him ranked as the third most wanted target remaining in this cycle. Before you do though, go back and look at what Florida was able to sign along the line last year combined with who they have committed and still have a legitimate shot at this cycle, and you'll see the reason why. Florida has got to recruit better along the offensive line and since they’ve whiffed on their top targets this cycle, that makes Nonar more important than his ranking would indicate.

Competition: Maryland, Ole Miss, and Pitt

The Skinny: In my opinion, going off his size I've seen in person and the feet and athleticism he displays on his highlight tape, he is a bit underrated at the moment and might have a higher ceiling than a couple of the four-star linemen UF is still being mentioned with. 

He visited Florida at the end of July for the Gators' Cookout and received an offer from UF not long afterward. He has decommitted from Pitt after recent offers from Florida, Maryland, and Ole Miss. With Florida’s history in the Muck, you should like the Gators’ chances, but when it comes to Florida and offensive line recruiting, all bets are off.

No. 4 Kamari Wilson‍ ‍ 

Reason for the Ranking: Wilson is important to the Gators this cycle for a couple of reasons. The first being he is an obviously talented top-tier target. The second, and perhaps even more importantly overall, at some point Florida has to have a breakthrough at IMG Academy. You can't be the closest Power 5 program proximity-wise to the most talented high school football program in the country and continuously roll snake eyes when it comes to recruiting the program. The staff was doing an incredible job building a relationship with head coach Bobby Acosta, but then he left this spring for another program.

Competition: Alabama, Florida State, Georgia, LSU, Miami and Texas A&M

The Skinny: After his June unofficial visit to Florida, he was incredibly high on the Gators, but then when he decided to visit Georgia at the end of July rather than attend UF’s Friday Night Lights or Saturday Cookout, some doubt began to creep in. However, there is a long way to go here, and you can bet that Florida will get him back on campus before any decision is made.

No. 3 Azareyeh Thomas‍ ‍ ‍ 

Reason for the Ranking: Big bodies in the secondary who are able to both cover and tackle are coveted as the SEC becomes more and more of a passing league. Thomas has the size of a safety but says he is being recruited as a cornerback. 

Competition: Georgia Tech and LSU

The Skinny: Though he lists GT as a finalist, this is likely going to come down to Florida and LSU. He's been on both campuses a couple of times over the summer and the Gators are trending again after he attended the Cookout at the end of July. What we'll be watching now is how many times he makes it to Baton Rouge and Gainesville this fall.

No. 2 Walter Nolen‍ ‍ 

Reason for the Ranking: The SEC is a line of scrimmage league, and those who can control the interior of the line have a huge advantage. Florida is building their numbers and talent base at defensive tackle, but signing someone with the ability and stature of Nolen to go with Gervon Dexter would put Florida up there with the likes of Alabama, Georgia, LSU, and Texas A&M.

Competition: Alabama, Georgia, Michigan, Tennessee, and Texas A&M

The Skinny: After stating that Florida was the clear-cut leader leaving his official and unofficial visits in June, he then softened his stance a little, but had UF at the very top of his board. A month ago he came out with a top three of Florida, Tennessee, and Texas A&M, but then on Monday shared on Instagram that he was ready to release a new top three. He is supposed to be back in town for Florida's game against Alabama.

Updated: This was written before Nolen came out with a new top three. Here is the update on where things stand with him

No. 1 Evan Stewart‍  

Reason for the Ranking: The last time a I equated a Florida target to Percy Harvin was when Andre Debose was playing for Sanford (Fla.) Seminole. Though injuries prevented him from reaching that type of elite status, I see many of the same things in Stewart. He is the game-breaker sort who can take a short pass, make a cut, split defenders, and be up the field before you know it.

Competition: Alabama, LSU, Texas, and Texas A&M

The Skinny:  There's no such thing as a given in recruiting, especially when it comes to out-of-state, highly sought-after prospects, but you have to not like, but love where Florida currently stands with Stewart. UF will have to sweat out official visits to Alabama and LSU, but as long as Florida doesn't tank this season and is able to hold on to Nick Evers, you have to feel really like him to end up in the Orange & Blue.

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This was a list of Florida's top ten uncommitted recruiting targets. It is solely the opinion of the staff of Inside the Gators and does not represent the opinion of the University of Florida or anyone associated with the Gators’ football program. The criteria used to select the players: Need, national ranking, chances of signing with the Gators, and the interest level the Gators have shown in the prospect (offer).

Tags: Recruit

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