This edition of ITG Recruiting Intel has the latest news, quotes, and observations on several 2022 and 2023 targets, including prospects who did and didn't make scheduled visits over the last two weeks, potential fall official visitors, and more.
Last weekend Winter Garden (Fla.) West Orange four-star wide receiver Jayden Gibson made an unofficial visit to see Florida for their matchup against Alabama. As it turns out, that will be the last visit he makes before he announces his college decision on October 13.
Talking to him today (Sunday), Gibson didn't want to give up the top four, so I said to him, 'I'm going to assume it is Miami, Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina. How far off am I?' He replied, with a slight chuckle, 'It's pretty close.'
After speaking with him in August, I thought the ship had sailed as far as the Gators' chances were concerned. At that time, prior to the season, my money would have been on Miami. However, he might see the writing on the wall there as far as the longevity of the current coaching staff.
Today, he really sounded much more upbeat about the Gators this time around. Also, as a sight clue, he told me that he is going to go see some games, and there is a chance he will take one final official visit to the school he commits to. Well, he has already officially visited Baylor and Miami. He loves the Miami position coach, but I think the season they are having may outweigh those feelings.
As it is today, it's likely an All-SEC battle between Auburn, Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina. My money is on him staying in the East. I'd like to talk to him one more time before I say with any sort of certainty that it will be the Gators.
In our Recruit Reaction piece, Florida 2023 four-star tight-end commit Mac Markway raved about his weekend trip to see Florida. Going a little deeper, he said that since his pledge to the Gators both Alabama and Florida State are the programs still recruiting him the hardest other than UF. The only other visit he hopes to make this season is to go see the Florida-Missouri game in November.
Speaking of tight ends, we'll switch our focus to Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) Saint Thomas Aquinas three-star Mason Taylor. After gaining an offer from Florida over the summer he quickly narrowed his list, to what he then told Inside the Gators was a final two of Florida and LSU.
It didn't appear that UF was pushing for him at that time, and he committed to the Tigers.
Here a couple of months later, we may know why.
Taylor said that though Alabama is starting to recruit him harder, he hasn't heard from Florida at all. From the feedback they've been given, there is a split among the Gators' coaching staff as to whether he should be a take or not. It is surprising, but he said that Mullen and [Garrick] McGee want him, but he isn’t sure that tight ends coach Tim Brewster does.
Two 2022 big bodies who were supposed to be at the Florida-Alabama game but didn't show were New Orleans (La.) Warren Easton three-star defensive tackle Shone Washington and his fellow Edge Assassin, Fulton (Ms.) Itawamba C.C. three-star defensive tackle Myron Green.
However, the parent they were going to ride with decided not to make the trip at the last minute.
Though both should officially visit Florida later this fall, neither has solidified a date yet.
Inside the Gators has been told that of the two, Florida is more actively recruiting Green at this time. That may be because with UF losing three defensive tackle transfers after the season, they see themselves more in the market for an instant impact type from the JUCO ranks rather than a high schooler.
The head of the Edge Assasins said that Florida, Georgia, Miami, Arizona State, and Ole Miss have been the most consistent in recruiting the 6-foot-5, 320-pound Green with Texas A&M now just starting to come on strong for him.
"I would say of all the schools that are recruiting Myron, Florida contacts him the most and are probably in the lead. He loves Coach [David] Turner and [Kelvin] Bolden and is very excited about potentially playing with Gervon Dexter."
He went on to say that Green is solid academically and is scheduled to graduate this fall and be ready for spring ball with whatever program he signs.
Over the last two weekends, 17 of Florida's 19 public commitments spread out over these next three cycles have made it to campus with the exception of Mobile (Ala.) Faith Academy four-star linebacker Shemar James and Miami (Fla.) Edison three-star defensive end Francois Nolton Jr. – didn't make his scheduled visit to Florida over the weekend, though the staff believed he was going to be in town.
According to his father, Francois Nolton Sr., his son is 1,000% committed to the Gators. He just didn't want to take visits during the season.
He added, that despite how solid his son is, he is still hearing from Florida State, Missouri, and Pitt and will also take official visits to those schools as well.
An interesting prospect who wasn't on our list but visited on Saturday is Tampa (Fla.) Gaither three-star nose guard Tawfiq Thomas. He had some early interest from Florida a couple of years ago, but then really started to slide and allow himself to get badly out of shape. He's trimmed a good 40 pounds off of his 6-foot-4 frame and while he is likely still well down the board, he is getting renewed interest from programs across the country, which caused him to delay his planned commitment a month ago.
It's very likely that some other prospects at the position would have to start to fall off the board for Florida to do anything here, but he is someone to keep an eye on somewhat heading into the fall.
A couple of quick tidbits.
After visiting Florida last weekend for the Alabama game, Jacksonville (Fla.) Trinity Christian 2023 four-star Treyaun Webb said that he consistently hears from the Florida staff, but he is locked in with his commitment to Oklahoma. There is still plenty of time to test the firmness of that pledge though.
Another prospect who is commited elsewhere but Florida is in contact with is Jordan Phillips. After visiting Florida for the first two home games of the season he was scheduled to be in town last weekend as UF took on Tennessee, the program he is committed to (for now), but then told ITG on Friday that he wouldn't be able to make it in.
Don't take that as Florida falling at all. He is still incredibly high on UF and should take an official later this fall unless the Gators get plenty of good news elsewhere from the position.
And finally, there’s 2022 four-star cornerback target Austin Ausberry – who unofficially visited Florida for the Alabama game and told Inside the Gators that he would be returning to Gainesville for his official visit on December 10.
He told Inside the Gators over the weekend that the visit helped move Florida ‘very high on my list’ – before adding that he is still considering Alabama, Auburn, Florida, LSU, Michigan and Notre Dame.