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Florida brought in a ton of talent over the spring

April 15, 2018



As we enter the post spring practice/pre-spring evaluation period portion of the recruiting calendar, Florida currently sits just inside the top 20 - at No. 16 (247) and No. 17 (Rivals) - in team recruiting rankings (ESPN has yet to begin their team rankings).

While Florida's class may not be as highly ranked as many in the Gator Nation would like for it to be, remember, this is April and recruiting is a marathon, not a sprint.

With just under 10 months remaining in the 2019 cycle, Florida has seven public commitments. One of them – Wardrick Wilson‍ – is a four-star, the rest are rated as three-stars. Of those remaining six, quarterback Jalon Jones‍ and offensive lineman Ethan White‍ currently have the best chance of being elevated to four-stars.

Looking forward, history tells us that – unless your name is Jim McElwain – Florida's coach traditionally reels in a top five recruiting class in his first full cycle.

Though the Gators may not be close to reaching that standard just yet, what should give Florida fans hope for the future is the incredible amount of talent the new Gators' coaching and support staff were able to host on campus over the last six weeks.

Beginning with the Jr. Day in late February through Saturday's Orange & Blue Game 37 of the concensus top 200 prospects in the nation have visited Florida. Of course I don't know the number for other programs, but it is hard to imagine any other school doing much better, if at all, than this as far as sheer numbers.

#1 DE Kayvon Thibodeaux‍  The No. 1 overall prospect in the nation visited Florida back during the opening weekend of spring ball and said he wants to return this fall.
#5 DE Nolan Smith‍  The five-star Georgia commit visited Florida for the O&B Game and was incredibly upfront in saying that while he was commited, he is still considering other programs.
#6 RB Trey Sanders‍  The five-star back visited Florida for the second weekend in a row on Saturday - and the third time overall this spring. The Gators should feel good about where they stand here at the moment.
#14 WR Frank Ladson‍  The former Florida commit visited the Gators about 10 days ago, committed to Clemson over the weekend. This one feels like it will go into the summer and fall.
#20 CB Derek Stingley‍  It is going to be an uphill battle to lure him away from homestate LSU, but getting him on campus on Saturday was a good first step for the Gators.
#32 RB Noah Cain‍  Though he is nationally ranked as one of the  top prospects this cycle, it feels as though Florida has backs that it likes better at this time.
#38 OL Evan Neal‍  The big man has family ties to Florida State and likes a few other programs, but Florida made up some ground this spring. Can the Gators get him back on campus this summer and fall?
#39 OL Deyavie Hammond‍  Here is another prospect that is rated high by the services, but it doesn't feel like he is as high on Florida's board at this time.
#43 RB Mark-Antony Richards‍  Is it telling that he and his father visited Florida for their spring game on Saturday rather than going to see Miami, where his brother currently plays?
#49 DT Nathan Pickering‍  Mississippi State is still very likely the team to beat but the Gators have to feel like they made up a ton of ground on his two day visit last week. Getting him back for a game this fall will be the tell tale sign as to how much the Gators are really in contention.
#51 WR Mycah Pittman‍  After two spring visits, there is no doubting that Florida is in good shape here. 
#61 LB Shane Lee‍  He left his initial visit before the end of practice and then didn't make a planned return trip the following Monday. That normally doesn't bode well for a school's chances.
#69  DB Jeremiah Criddell‍  By all accounts, especially the words from his own mouth, the visit to Florida exceeded expectations, but even with that being the case, you still have to like the chances of him staying out west.
#79 DE Khris Bogle‍  Miami is seen as the team to beat but he had a very good trip to Florida and said that he will return for a game in the Swamp this fall.
#88 DB Tyrique Stevenson‍  Another two time spring visitor - the one time Gators commit calls Florida his dream school.
#99 QB Jayden Daniels‍  Unless something happens with their current quarterbacks, Florida has their signal-caller in this class in Jalon Jones.
#102 Ath Jashawn Sheffield‍  Florida is in the picture here, but so are Alabama, Georgia, Florida State and others.
#106 RB Sean Dollars‍  Of the three California prospects who visited Florida at the same time, he is probably the most likely of the trio to end up a Gator. However, Oregon is still the team to beat.
#111 WR George Pickens He was committed to Auburn before he visited Florida and remains committed to the Tigers today.
#114 QB Taisun Phommachanh‍  The same as Daniels above, Florida has what is likely their lone quarterback in Jones. However, unlike Daniels, it wouldn't be surprising to see the Gators keep in touch with Phommachanh throughout the fall.
#116 LB Jaleel McRae‍  The one time Florida commit visited Gainesville with his IMG teammates a week ago, but was never pursued by the new staff.
#117 CB Kaiir Elam‍  He may be No. 117 in the nation to the recruiting services, but he is much higher on the Florida board. Here is another top kid who isn't in a hurry to make an announcement, but the Gators are definitely a contender.
#118 OL Keiondre Jones‍  Emory Jones' cousin was in Gainesville once again over the weekend. He hasn't narrowed his list of suitors just yet, but when he does, the Gators will be a finalist.
#119 OL Will Putnam‍  Putnam, who just moved to Florida last year from the midwest, visited the Gators this spring and it helped UF's cause, but it still feels like he is most likely headed out-of-state.
#122 TE Keon Zipperer‍  At one point he would say that Florida was his outright leader. Though he no longer says that, there's no doubt that the Gators are a major player for his services.
#125 WR John Dunmore‍  The one time Florida commit has the Gators and Florida State at the top of his list, but watch out for Miami if they offer.
#133 S Brendan Gant‍  Back during March's UA Camp the Alabama commit said that he would visit and consider both Florida and Florida State. He was at the Gators' spring game on Saturday.
#146 OL Dontae Lucas‍  At this time last year Alabama, Florida and Miami were in the best shape to land him and last week, after visiting Gainesville, he still had the trio high on his list, but then committed to Florida State.
#152 QB Sam Howell‍  The pro-style quarterback visited Florida for their first scrimmage of the spring, but the Gators were never seen as a serious threat to land him.
#165 LB Mohamoud Diabate‍  Florida will have to battle the two Mississippi schools as well as just about every other team in the southeast to win his services.
#172 LB Ge'mon Eaford‍  South Florida linebacker who has a few programs on his board ahead of the Gators.
#174 WR Trey Knox‍  Though he is located in the heart of Tennessee Volunteers country, he grew up a Florida fan and is still a big fan of the Gators. He has visited UF several times.
#183 S Nick Cross‍  The question is did Florida make up enough ground on his official visit this weekend to put themselves in position to get him back on campus this fall for a game.
#190 DL Derick Hunter‍  This is a Florida, Georgia and Miami race with any of the three being the lead program depending on when he is interviewed.
#193 TE Ethan Rae‍  The California tight end visited Florida a couple of weeks ago, and had good things to say about the Gators, but like the other Cali kids who visited, can UF get him back on campus this fall?
#199 WR Shamar Nash The Missouri commitment visited with his IMG teammates two weeks ago.
#200 CB Jaden Davis‍  He doesn't have the greatest size, but he  is one of the top corners in the nation. He has visited Florida a few times, last summer and then this spring. 


Florida brought in a ton of talent over the spring

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