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Florida Football Recruiting

ITG Intel: Three Florida Football Recruiting Tidbits

March 7, 2021
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Inside the Gators Recruiting Intel is a collection of three Florida Gators Football Recruiting Tidbits including updated information on a fast-rising tight end who said he would love to hear from Florida, a Florida State commitment who grew up a Florida fan, and an out-of-state future five-star who is actually from the Sunshine State.

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On Saturday, Alabaster (Ala.) Thompson 2023 cornerback Tony Mitchell‍, who is the No. 19 ranked prospect in the nation according to 247 Sports, top 12 which included Florida along with the likes of Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Ohio State, and Southern Cal.

While there are instances where it happens, Jeremiah Williams‍ comes to mind, under normal circumstances, Florida wouldn't hold out much hope in being a serious contender for a prospect from the Yellow Hammer State that is coveted by both the Tide and Tigers.

However, in this instance, the Gators aren't as long a shot as you might otherwise think. Mitchell, who grew up in Lakeland (Fla.), informed Inside the Gators about his affinity for UF.

“Florida is my hometown team, so I watched them a lot growing up and I have a good relationship with the coaching staff,” said Mitchell. “I like what Coach [Dan] Mullen is doing with his guys in Gainesville. The Swamp is just different.”

Though he has yet to make a visit to campus, he said he will once the NCAA-mandated dead period ends.

“Florida, LSU, and Florida State are who I plan on seeing first.”

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When it comes to recruiting tight ends, going forward Florida should be able to parlay the success of Kyle Pitts into success along the recruiting trail at the position. Just like the DBU mantra helps the Gators when it comes to defensive backs, tight ends will want to be seen as the next Kyle Pitts.

Having said that, to be realistic, though fans may be cautiously optimistic about this cycle, it likely won't happen immediately. That is because for the most part, though they may want to follow in his footsteps, whether or not they say it publicly, at least in their minds leader boards have already been formulated based on years of recruiting.

With five tight ends on scholarship, Florida can afford to be picky this time around, and that may play in their favor. At this point, the Gators’ board basically consists of three tight end prospects – with Florida likely not the favorite for any of them.

Cumming (Ga.) West Forsyth four-star Oscar Delp‍ will most likely stay in-state and sign with Georgia. Fellow Peach State tight end, Watkinsville (Ga.) Oconee County four-star Jake Johnson‍ will probably follow his brother, quarterback Max Johnson, to LSU.

That leaves Florida to fight it out with Clemson for the services of Greer (S.C.) four-star Jaleel Skinner‍.

If UF loses out on all three and has to turn to in-state tight end prospects, the board isn't exactly overstocked.

On Thursday we took a look at what's going on with Lake City (Fla.) Columbia three-star hybrid wide receiver/tight end Marcus Peterson in our Recruiting Insider.

Another name to potentially keep an eye on is Ft. Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas three-star Mason Taylor, the son of NFL great Jason Taylor. He caught 12-passes for 190-yards last year after missing a couple of games with a shoulder injury.

This off-season, now up to 6-foot-5, 230-pounds, he is starting to gain traction along the recruiting trail with offers from the likes of Arizona State, Illinois, Miami, and Texas A&M.

One of the programs that have yet to be in contact is one he would really like to hear from.

“I haven’t talked to UF coaches yet,” said Taylor. “I would die to talk to one of Florida’s coaches. I love the program.”

If he continues to develop and perform the way he did during Sunday's Under Armour Miami Camp, he may get his wish.

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Speaking of Ft. Lauderdale, and top UA Camp performers, Dillard (Fla.) High School four-star defensive end Nyjalik Kelly may be committed to Florida State, but the 6-foot-4, 240-pounder said Florida hasn't given up on him, and he is listening to what they have to say for good reason.

“I don't know [why], I just grew up watching them and Oregon,” said Kelly when asked if he had a favorite team growing up.

His early fondness for the Gators may have helped them get a foot in the door, but it is contact with the head coach that is keeping them in contention.

“The love [they show me] and the way the coaches carry themselves, and how they are rebuilding the program,” replied Kelly when asked about what he likes about the Gators. “Coach [Dan] Mullen, he really texts me the most, saying that basically, he wants me to join UF and be a part of a great dynasty.”

Kelly is another prospect who has been flying under the radar but is starting to gain national exposure - which means more offers are likely to follow.

That begs the question, will Florida State be able to hold on to him?

When asked to put a percentage on his commitment to the Seminoles, he replied, “[I] can't say.”

ITG Intel: Three Florida Football Recruiting Tidbits

3,254 Views | 2 Replies | Last: 9 mo ago by Mark Wheeler
SFFLORIDAFAN
How long do you want to ignore this user?
I understand us not offering Taylor yet if we are looking at some other TE but why haven't we been in contact at all? If we don't get Skinner or Delp it won't hurt to stay in touch. Brewster is one of our best recruiters.
Mark Wheeler
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Staff
I guess I should have included CJ Hawkins out of Tampa on the list. I never heard of him until now, but in the last six days he's gotten offers from the likes of Alabama, Texas and Georgia.
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