Resetting the Board: 12 targets to watch

Dec 19, 2021 | 0 comments


Now that the Early Signing Period is over and done with, that leaves Florida’s new football staff roughly six weeks between now and National Signing Day in February to add another 8-12 players from the high school ranks, while saving some room to supplement the roster from the transfer portal.

It will be almost a month before coaches can again have face-to-face contact with prospects again (unless those prospects are early enrollees).

During this time Billy Napier will continue adding to his coaching and support staff while he and the existing staff will be calling, texting, and face timing targets.

Beware though, there aren't exactly a lot of top-tier prospects available.


As of Saturday, nationally, only 12 out of the top 100 and 45 out of the top 400 prospects remain unsigned. In-state the numbers are even worse with only three of the top 50 left unsigned.

Here are 12 prospects Florida is already targeting or could be in the near future.

TreVonte Citizen‍ – His commitment to LSU lastest just over four months before he went back on the market. Still, when Napier took over, one of the first stops the Gators made was to see Citizen. He has several suitors, but it looks like the Tigers and Gators will be two of his top options over the next month and a half.

Caleb Douglas‍ – He was one of the first prospects the new staff visited when they hit the road two weeks ago, and told Inside the Gators at that time that none of the schools recruiting him had made a major move just yet. That might have changed since he was committed to Southern Cal while new Florida receivers' coach Keary Colbert was with the Trojans. He told ITG on Saturday that he was officially visiting Florida on the weekend of 1/14. 

Trevor Etienne‍ – After unofficially visiting the Gators for the Florida State game, he narrowed his list to a final three of Clemson, Florida, and LSU. When the new staff was hired, like Citizen above, Etienne was one of the first prospects they visited. He has officially visited Clemson already and has a stop planned for Florida in January.

* Danny Lewis – The Peach State tight end is committed to Cincinnati, but the new staff has offered and he decided against signing during the early period. We'll see if UF can get him on campus in January.

Jacoby Mathews‍ – Florida was at one time at the very least a slight favorite to land Mathews back in the spring, before he committed to LSU. He backed off that pledge and started favoring Texas A&M, but the Gators reemerged to a degree. It would make sense that with this new staff's ties to Louisiana that they would go after him, but then again, does the addition of Kamari Wilson‍ satisfy the needs at the position this cycle?

Matthew McCoy‍ – If we were placing these prospects in or based on their probability of signing with the Gators rather than alphabetically, McCoy might just hold down the No. 1 spot. He has plenty of suitors since blowing up his senior year but was still going to officially visit UF in December, before and after the coaching change took place. He will now officially visit in January, and Florida looks to be the team to beat.

Ahmad Moten – A legacy prospect of sorts in that his cousin Mike Moten played for the Gators. The big defensive tackle has blown up over the last two and a half months to the point that he can go almost anywhere in the nation. Florida’s old and new staffs had the Gators in the running and he told ITG on Saturday that he is talking to UF about a January official visit, but it isn't set yet.

Layton Nelson – Perhaps no other target over the last four cycles better illustrates Florida's struggles along the recruiting trail under Dan Mullen. It is one thing to lose a target to Alabama or Georgia, but to be beaten out by Central Florida? That one had to sting. Now, the new staff might still reel him in.

* Robbie Roper – Currently he doesn't have a 247 Sports Composite ranking, but after a standout senior season he is seeing the interest level from programs pick up dramatically. Over the weekend he told Inside the Gators that he is hearing from Alabama, Cornell, Florida, Ole Miss, and TCU. When asked, he replied that the message from Florida is, “They are highly interested in me. They said to be patient.” If UF pulls the trigger and offers, they would likely move up to co-leader status with Ole Miss, the only school he knows for sure will get a January visit.

Caden Story‍ ‍ As Inside the Gators reported on Saturday, though he is committed to Auburn, the four-star defensive lineman has already spoken with both Billy Napier and Patrick Toney and plans on officially visiting Florida in January.

Khamari TerrellHe told Inside the Gators that he has talked to new cornerback coach Corey Raymond since he was hired by Florida, but he doesn't have anything going on beyond that. He said he has set an official visit with LSU for January.

Gentry WilliamsThis one makes too much sense for it not to at least get to the serious talking stage. Williams visited Southern Cal while new UF receiver coach Keary Colbert held the same position with the Trojans. Plus, he had Florida as a finalist before he committed to Oklahoma. With the coaching change in Norman, he held off on signing early, but you can bet UF will try to get him to retake his ‘free' official back to Gainesville.

FIVE MORE UNSIGNED PROSPECTS WORTH FOLLOWING

Walter Bob – We're told that the highly-rated Alabama commit has some academic issues to clear up, but as a member of the Edge Assassins defensive line group, his mentors have close ties to the current staff.

Christen Miller – Napier is putting a premium on linemen and at one time Miller was very interested in Florida.

Zavion Thomas – Napier offered the MSU commit while he was coaching ULL.

Michael Williams – This out-of-state linebacker, the No 352 rated prospect in the nation told ITG he would like to hear from Florida.

Antavious Woody – A four-star offensive lineman who is committed to Florida State, but hails from Lafayette, so it's not exactly going out on a limb to guess that Napier and staff know him well.

Tags: Sport

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