In October, just two months before Early Signing Day in December, Florida extended an unprecedented eight new offers to prospects in the current recruiting cycle.
Under normal circumstances, programs extend offers immediately after Early Signing Day when they reset their board after missing out on targets who signed elsewhere. When a prospect is offered this close to ESD, it is either because the program missed on someone else at his position or the prospect turned in a terrific senior season.
In contacting recruiting writers for Alabama, Georgia, LSU, and Texas A&M, the four SEC programs that consistently out recruit Florida, and who Dan Mullen is 2-9 against while the head coach of the Gators, it was discovered that none of that quartet extended a Class of 2022 offer during the month of October.
Note: The Tigers extended an offer to linebacker Jimmy Rolder on Nov. 1)
They don’t need to.
That’s because they are much better positioned heading down the home stretch.
According to the 247 Sports Team Rankings Composite, Georgia holds down the No. 1 spot, Alabama is at No. 2, Texas A&M comes in at No. 11 and despite announcing that they are parting ways with their head coach Ed Orgeron, LSU still comes in at No. 12.
On the other hand, Florida is languishing back at No. 22 overall and has suffered two major decommitments in the last couple of weeks, and has fallen down the list or fallen out of it completely of several other top targets.
Thus, Florida is left scrambling to reset its board and has been forced to hand out offers left and right over the past month.
Inside the Gators takes a closer look at the eight prospects offered in the month of October.
De'Carlo Donaldson – Though his offer likely only happened because Florida lost a commitment from CJ Hawkins and struck out on the likes of Oscar Delp and Jaleel Skinner, he actually isn't a bottom-of-the-barrel type of backup option. We've been tracking him since he visited Florida at the end of July, and mentioned him in our last couple of Mock Classes and included him in our 10 Flip Candidates because the Gators were showing serious interest even before the Hawkins' news. I'm not sure he has the green light until the staff gets him on campus, which could be a delay tactic to see where they stand with Mason Taylor.
Christian Harrison – Florida offered last Thursday and immediately moved into his top three along with Georgia Tech and Tennessee. He told Inside the Gators that he plans on visiting UF for the Florida State game at the end of the month, but was unsure if it was going to be an official or unofficial visit. Is his offer the result of bad news from Julian Humphrey or Azareyeh Thomas? There are likely several targets on the board, Jaheim Singletary, Chris Graves, Austin Ausberry , and Emory Floyd all come to mind.
Eddie Kelly – This is probably more of a foot-in-the-door, just-in-case, offer from Florida. If the Gators can string him along, maybe get him to come up for a game along with teammate, UF commit, Jayden Gibson, then maybe they can wait to see what happens with other top targets along the line.
Jeffrey M'ba – After recruiting him back in the 2020 cycle out of high school, Florida has once again thrown their hat in the ring with M’ba, this time as a JUCO prospect. He has already visited Miami and told ITG last week he wasn't sure of if or when he would make it to Gainesville. As of Tuesday afternoon, he said that he still hadn’t set up anything with the Gators.
Matthew McCoy – Here is a case, that even though Florida is scrambling for quality targets along the offensive line, his offer was just as much merit-based as it was out of blind need. He moved from tight end to defensive end to offensive tackle, and that is where he has started to take off, with multiple late offers. He will officially visit Florida the second weekend of December and honestly, he might be UF's best bet to add a quality offensive lineman down the stretch.
@Cameron Mil">Cameron Miller – This was a case of too little too late. By the time Florida offered in mid-October he said that he was already locked in with Penn State. He told us back in March that despite offers from the likes of Miami and Notre Dame, he hadn't heard from Florida. He was included in our 15 in-state prospects to keep an eye on back in August, but it took until October for him to be offered – and now, unless something changes, he says it doesn’t matter.
@James Pe">James Pearce – Though he has been offered, what actually happens between him and Florida likely depends on what happens between the Gators and top targets Cyrus Moss and Nyjalik Kelly.
Jimmy Rolder – Obviously his offer came on the heels of Florida losing highly rated commit Shemar James. Like Mattews above, his late offer is a combination of his senior season performance and a need at the position with the board thinning out.
If Florida decides to extend any more offers between now and ESD some names to keep an eye on are linebacker DeMario Tolan, receiver Quan Lee and defensive lineman Hayden Schwartz.