It isn't often when this late in the process there's a need to make a call to a Florida recruiting target west of the Rockie Mountains.
It last happened when Las Vegas (NV) Desert Pines five-star tight end Darnell Washington officially visited Florida in October two cycles ago and then again this evening to speak with Las Vegas (NV) Bishop Gorman four-star defensive end Cyrus Moss.
The 6-foot-6, 220-pounder not only included Florida in the top five he released back in April, but he is scheduled to officially visit Florida in three short weeks as well.
Does a program located across the country really have a shot here?
The answer is yes, according to Moss.
“To me, distance isn't really too much of a factor,” said Moss. “I want to try to find the best fit for me, the best program no matter where that might be. At Florida, I really like the scheme they play. I really like Coach [Todd] Grantham and what he brings to the table. He's had a lot of defensive end prospects come out and go to the NFL.”
— Cyrus Moss (@TheCyrusMoss) April 11, 2021
Out of those top five, consisting of Arizona State, Clemson, Florida, Oregon, and Notre Dame, the Gators are the only program he has yet to visit.
That will change in three weeks.
“I really like the environment from what I've got to see on-line and what I've heard about the school from some of their other recruits, but I really want to see what that is experience is like for myself. Get a feel for it and see if its a place where I can see myself being at.”
Oregon is already being thought of as the team to beat, but now the Gators will have two more contenders to contend with. His stated top five has already been upended because of potential issues with one of them combined with increased interest from two other national programs.
One of the reasons he has had to rethink his list is that one of the five, Arizona State, may have some questions to answer when it comes to the NCAA. What happens there won't be decided until well after he makes his decision, but it has caused him to tape the brakes somewhat when it comes to ASU.
“I'd say that I'm allowing them to work through what's happening,” said Moss. “I'm still talking to the staff and keeping an eye on what's going on to see where it goes.”
With one program fading, it has allowed two others to rise.
“I've recently been speaking with Alabama more,” explained Moss. “They weren't originally included [in the top five] and now I have my official visit set there for when they play LSU [November 6th] and I've been speaking with Ohio State, there's a possibility I'll [officially] visit there. I'm still working on setting that up.”
Unwilling to name a leader, Moss was asked if there are one, two, or three programs that he is comfortable enough with to state that they will be there until the end.
“I feel like I have to take my second set of officials in the fall to feel more locked in on that,” said Moss. “I can't say I'm positive on which one's will be there at the end yet.”
The Inside Scoop: Things could change after he officially visits, but this sounded like an uphill battle for Florida, as of right now. He won't say that they lead, but Oregon finds itself in a good position because of proximity and he is being sold on replacing Keyvon Thibodeaux after he goes somewhere in the top five in the next draft.