Inside the Gators: Mock Signing Class 2.0

May 4, 2022 | 0 comments


FLORIDA FOOTBALL & RECRUITING COVERAGE
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The biggest question on the mind of those who follow recruiting religiously is what will Florida's final class look like?

How will it all shake out?

The truth is, no one knows for sure.


Not Billy Napier, not his staff, not you and to be clear, neither do I. There are too many variables in play. Multiple prospects, injuries, transfers, wins, losses new hires, new firings, etc…

You name it, and it could cause a prospect to look at a program differently – which in turn could throw everything into turmoil.

However, what we can do is we can draw on what we currently know to at least give the membership a pretty good idea of where things currently stand. 

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As of today, there are SEVEN MONTHS remaining until the start of the early signing period in late December and exactly NINE MONTHS remaining until National Signing Day 2023.

Florida has two public commitments and with attrition and additional signings on the way from the Transfer Portal, it’s impossible to put a number on how big the class will be. However, as a baseline, we’ll say that there will be room for 20 high school signees overall.

The first Wednesday of every month from now until Signing Day Inside the Gators will post a mock class – consisting of the prospects they believe would sign with Florida if TODAY were National Signing Day.

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Note: The need at each position is based on the current roster numbers, but that will change after post-spring attrition as well as any new additions via the transfer portal.

Quarterback (1-2)

  • None

Solid as a Rock: None 
One to Watch: Dylan Lonergan‍ 
Dream Signee: Eli Holstein‍  
Change from Before: Replaced Christopher Vizzina‍ with Eli Holstein‍ as the DS
The Bottom Line: Dylan Lonerganvisited Florida and he included the Gators in his recently released top five. The problem is, in DM’ing back and forth with him via his father, Dan Lonergan, you get the feeling that currently, Florida is closer to the bottom of that list than they are the top. 

Running Back (1-2)

Solid as a Rock:  None
One to Watch: Cedric Baxter Jr.‍  
Dream Signee: Richard Young‍ 
Change from Before: Added Cedric Baxter Jr.‍ to the Mock Class
The Bottom Line: Though Florida doesn't officially have a commitment yet from a running back this cycle, currently the Gators have to feel like they are in pretty good standing with both Treyaun Webb‍ and Cedric Baxter Jr.‍ – with Baxter trending more toward UF after visiting campus once again in April. The problem is, that neither is ready to shut down their recruiting process just yet and have been known to be impressionable. If you are looking for a positive here it is that two weeks into the evaluation period, UF hasn’t been handing out offers at the position, which should lead us to believe they feel pretty good about where their board is – even without being in good shape for top backs Richard Young‍ or Justice Haynes‍.

Wide Receiver (3-4)

Solid as a Rock: None
One to Watch: Aidan Mizell‍  ‍ 
Dream Signee: Jaylen Brown‍ 
Change from Before: Added Tyree Patterson‍ to the class after he committed to Florida and added Aidan Mizell‍ to the Mock Class after he made another visit to campus. Also, made Aidan Mizell‍ the OTW in place of Tyler Williams‍ 
The Bottom Line: Creed Whittemore‍, who was on our first Mock Class last month, will make his announcement this weekend and while I still think it's Florida, I’m not sure it is the slam dunk that you might expect with his being a local kid with ties to UF. With receiver being such a big need, I don't know that Tyree Patterson‍ is the answer, and even if he is, with his limited options, I don't believe that UF had to take the bait so early on with big fish such as Daquayvious Sorey‍ and Hykeem Williams‍ still out there.

Tight End (2)

  • Randy Pittman  

Solid as a Rock: None
One to Watch: None‍  
Dream Signee:  None‍ 
Change from Before: Took Isaiah Nixon‍ off the OTW after he committed to Central Florida and then removed Pearce Spurlin‍ from the DS after the Georgia commit showed no interest in Florida over the spring
The Bottom Line: What was written last week is worth repeating this time around. Seeing Florida State three-star commit Randy Pittman up-close and personal during his UF visit last weekend (his second of the spring), he looks more like an H-Back candidate than a traditional tight end, but with what looks like meager pickings at the moment, Florida is in no position to be overly selective here.

Offensive Line (3-4)

Solid as a Rock: None
One to Watch:  Roderick Kearney‍  
Dream Signee: Francis Mauigoa‍ 
Change from Before: Added both Knijeah Harris‍ and Lucas Simmons‍ to the Mock Class
The Bottom Line: In the last month Florida's prospects along the line have improved greatly with Lucas Simmons‍ visiting campus twice in a three-week span and out-of-state lineman Connor Stroh‍ including Florida in his top five. Oklahoma not making the top five of Simmons is a big boost to Florida's chances. It’s also safe to say that the Gators have made up ground with Roderick Kearney‍.

Defensive Tackle (2-3)

Solid as a Rock: None
One to Watch: Kamran James
Dream Signee: Peter Woods‍ ‍ ‍ 
Change from Before: Removed Zavion Hardy‍ from the Mock Class while adding both Jordan Hall‍ and Will Norman‍. Replaced Jordan Hall‍ as the OTW with Kamran James. Made Peter Woods‍ the DS replacing Victor Burley‍ 
The Bottom Line: Several months ago there was no question Florida was in the driver’s seat for Will Norman‍ before fading somewhat. The Gators have regained momentum there. That is also the case with Jordan Hall‍ – who UF was in great shape with under the previous staff and now the current staff has made an impact on him. On top of that, it feels like UF is gaining ground with Kamran James and John Walker‍.

Defensive End (3)

  • None‍ 

Solid as a Rock: None
One to Watch: Keldric Faulk‍ ‍ ‍ 
Dream Signee: @Sam">Samuel M'Pemba‍ 
Change from Before: Replaced Keon Keeley‍ as the OTW with Keldric Faulk‍ 
The Bottom Line: Samuel M'Pemba‍ made another visit to campus to watch Florida's spring game, but there hasn’t been much movement at the position in the last month. The Gators really aren't front runners for many top-tier targets at the position and unless they can flip someone like Keon Keeley‍ – this might be a position where they’ll have to really concentrate on in the portal next season.

Linebacker (2)

Solid as a Rock: None
One to Watch: Grayson Howard‍ ‍ 
Dream Signee: Troy Bowles‍ 
Change from Before: Replaced Jordan Hall‍ with Grayson Howard‍ as the OTW
The Bottom Line: If two is the magic number at the position, the Gators should be able to fill their needs with those from in-state listed above as well as the Peach State duo of Raul Aguirreand Jeremiah Telander.

Safety (2-3)

Solid as a Rock:  None 
One to Watch: Elliot Washington‍ 
Dream Signee: Joenel Aguero‍ 
Change from Before: Added Jordan Castell to the Mock Class 
The Bottom Line: It will be interesting to see what Florida’s number is here. Terrance Lovecame off the board with his commitment to Auburn and in-state prospects Cedrick Hawkins and former UF commit Shawn Russ told ITG that they haven't heard from UF. That leaves Kenton Kirkland in-state and Georgia safeties Bryce Thorntonand Jalon Kilgor, but not much else.

Cornerback (2-3)

Solid as a Rock: None
One to Watch: Sharif Denson‍  
Dream Signee: Cormani McClain‍ 
Change from Before: Removed AJ Harris‍ from the Mock Class. Replaced Tony Mitchellas the OTW with Sharif Denson‍ 
The Bottom Line:  Even though we were given the Gator emoji when we asked if AJ Harris‍ was the prospect Billy Napier was referring to as being committed last month with the sunglasses emoji, the fact is the further we get from that moment without him actually going public, lessens UF’s chances. Not to say that UF is out of it, they certainly aren’t, but he isn't the given that he was back in March. 

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