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Florida Football Recruiting

Florida brought in a ton of talent in the first half of this cycle

August 2, 2018
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NOTE: THIS FEATURE WAS WRITTEN BEFORE DIWUN BLACK COMMITTED TO FLORIDA

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As we enter the post summer period portion of the recruiting calendar, Florida fans are a bit uneasy as the Gators currently sit outside the top 20 - at No. 40 (247), No. 25 (ESPN) and No. 44 (Rivals) - in team recruiting rankings.

While Florida's class may not be as highly ranked as many in the Gator Nation would like for it to be, and there's no hiding from the fact that UF has lost out - at this time - on some top targets, remember, this is August and recruiting is a marathon, not a sprint.

With just under six months remaining in the 2019 cycle, Florida has 11 public commitments. Four of them – Wardrick Wilson‍, Jaelin Humphries‍, Tyron Hopper‍ and Jalon Jones‍ – are a four-star, the rest are rated as three-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.

That isn't likely to happen this cycle, actually, that is all but off the table.

However, what should give Florida fans hope for the future is though they haven't been able to close on many of them to this point, the new Gators' coaching and support staff have been able to get top tier talent on campus.

This isn't meant to try to sell false hope, but that matters because the football season is yet to come. That is when Dan Mullen has an opportunity to show that he has Florida headed in the right direction. 

Beginning with the Jr. Day in late February through last Friday's Friday Night Lights - 41 of the consensus top 200 prospects in the nation in the Class of 2019 and 16 of the consensus top 100 prospects in the Class of 2020 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.

Below we list each prospect with their current ranking,  position, a comment and our take on a 0-to-10 scale on where Florida stands with that prospect as of TODAY.

0-1 - Move on | 2-4 - Gators are on the outside looking in | 5-7 - Gators are a legitimate option | 8-10 - Florida is in the lead pack, maybe the favorite

41 VISITORS FROM THE 2019 CONSENSUS 200


# POS PROSPECT COMMENT 1/10
#1 DE Kayvon Thibodeaux‍  Though Florida is in his top five and he says the Gators will get an official visit, UF is likely in fifth place and has a lot of ground to make up 3
#2 DE Nolan Smith‍  After he visited for the spring game he said he would be back in the fall for an official. However, he has now twice said that UF hasn't stayed in contact after that spring trip and the Gators are no longer involved 2
#5 CB Derek Stingley‍  There are no prizes for second place, but to give credit where it is due, Florida put up a hell of a fight to come in second place on a kid who was realistically always headed to LSU 1
#8 RB Trey Sanders‍  Here is an example of a kid where Florida has to be happy there is still a season of football remaining. The Gators once formidable lead has vanished and he is leaning to Alabama. Could a revamped offense and a strong showing by Florida's backs help reel him back in is the question 6
#22 WR Frank Ladson‍  He has told Inside the Gators twice over the last month that while he is solid to Clemson, Florida wide out coach Billy Gonzales remains in contact. Whether or not Florida can get him on campus for a game this fall will tell the tale 2
#29 OL Evan Neal‍  His mom wants him at Miami, you get the feeling he wants to go to Alabama but Florida State is lurking and Florida is still in the running back in fourth place. As with others, how the season plays out could be key 3
#30 CB Akeem Dent‍  He has visited Florida, but the Gators simply aren't a factor here 1
#31 RB John Emery Jr.‍  I don't know if Florida could have landed him as he was always leaning to MSU and LSU over the Gators before UGA came in and stole him away, but would a more consistent effort of keeping in contact by the staff had paid off is a question you have to ask 1
#41 CB Chris Steele‍  At one time Florida was thought to be the clear-cut leader, but he ended up staying on the west coast. That will be a familiar theme during this feature 0
#43 WR George Pickens‍  While the Auburn commit did visit campus, Florida has never been a factor 0
#49 DL Nathan Pickering‍  Multiple visits to campus  had many in the Gator Nation feeling good about Florida's chances 3
#52 S Nick Cross‍  It is down to Florida and Florida State. Coming out of The Opening, I was expecting him to commit to the Noles, the longer it takes, the better it looks for Florida in my opinion 6
#53 ATH Diwun Black‍  He was committed to MSU back when Dan Mullen and Company were in Starkville. After his visit to Gainesville I have him in this month's mock class to Florida 9
#59 DE Khris Bogle‍   He first visited back during spring ball and then returned this past Saturday. Many have him headed to either Tennessee or Miami, but the Gators are still in this 4
#60 OL Jonah Tauanu'u‍  Florida received an unofficial visit over the summer and he plans on taking an official visit this season. With Florida's batting average out in Cali though, we shall see 3
#68 LB Rian Davis‍  He has visited Florida a couple of times and grew up a fan of the Gators, but he said at The Opening that UF hasn't shown him any interest and he just committed to Georgia 0
#69 WR Mycah Pittman‍  After he visited a couple of times in the first half of this cycle Florida looked to be the team to beat. It took one trip to Oregon to throw a wrench in those works 3
#72 CB Kaiir Elam‍  He is perhaps Florida's current best chance at landing an elite cornerback after having what was a loaded board at the position. After FNL, you have to give the Gators an edge 8
#73 LB Shane Lee‍  It's hard to classify his short time on campus as a visit, but he was at UF for a few hours back in the spring 0
#75 CB Tyrique Stevenson‍  The one time Florida commit didn't even mention Florida as a possibility while at The Opening. However, there was a chance he was going to visit for FNL (though he didn't) 3
#77 Ath Mark-Antony Richards‍  He says he is open, but you have to like Auburn, Miami and perhaps Georgia a little more than Florida at this point 5
#83 WR Elijah Higgins‍  Though he currently resides in Texas, he and his family are from the Bay area. He spent a couple of days at UF in June. Many believe this to be a OSU-UF battle. Could Urban Meyer's issues benefit the Gators 6
#89 OL Will Putnam‍  Florida has had him on campus several times this year, including for the Great Gator Grill Out. Surprisingly, this Midwest (among other places) transplant has an all southern final five 5
#91 QB Sam Howell‍  He took a short visit to Florida around midway through spring ball. Speaking of short, he is on the shorter side and his style of play doesn't fit Florida's system 0
#94 CB Jeremiah Criddell‍  He visited with Sean Dollars‍ and both ended up committing to Oregon 0
#98 QB Jayden Daniels‍  Quarterback who visited back in the spring, but Florida has their man in Jalon Jones‍  0
#102 RB Noah Cain‍  Much like the other backs on the board, he has visited, but when he did, the coaches kept Trey Sanders back to talk, but not Cain, telling you where he stood on the board. Now he has a top five and UF isn't on it 2
#104 WR John Dunmore‍  Even though the former Florida commit has committed to Penn State, he was still expected to visit the Gators for FNL (though he didn't). That tells you there is still interest 3
#108 OL Deyavie Hammond‍  He has visited Florida, but the Gators, along with quite a few other programs, haven't shown much interest. It makes you question his ranking 0
#111 WR Dannis Jackson‍  After he visited Florida over the summer he ended up committing to MSU and then just recently flipped to Ole Miss 0
#114 S Brendan Gant‍  While he was still committed to Alabama it felt like Florida had a better chance than they do now that he is committed to FSU 2
#127 OL Dontae Lucas‍  Another player who has been on campus a few times here in the first half of the recruiting cycle. It is a good bet that the Florida State commit will see Florida for a game this season, but will it be enough to turn him is the question 4
#138 OL Keiondre Jones‍  It's hard to list all the times he visited over the spring, but in the end he - as expected - picked Auburn over Florida. There are six months remaining though and it is all but a given that he will be in Gainesville a few times this season 3
#140 LB Mohamoud Diabate‍  He is listed as a linebacker, but worked out as a defensive end at Friday Night Lights. He keeps things close to the vest, so where he is leaning is a mystery 4
#143 DL Tyler Davis‍  Like his teammate Rian Davis above, he has visited (for a Jr. Day only) earlier this year, but the Gators haven't shown interest in him 2
#162 S Jordan Battle‍  Could the issues with Urban Meyer at Ohio State bring Battle back onto the market is the question 4
#166 QB Taisun Phommachanh‍  Connecticut quarterback who stopped by Florida on a tour of southern schools, but found his future home when he visited Clemson on that same tour 0
#171 CB Sean Dollars‍  He was part of a Cali trio to visit back in the spring. He went home and committed to Oregon not long afterward 0
#179 LB Ge'mon Eaford‍  Here is a Jr. Day visitor who is down to a final five and making his visit within the next week. It won't be Florida though with so many linebackers already pledged 1
#188 RB Kenny McIntosh‍  The in-state back visited Florida back in the spring, but the Gators haven't gotten him on campus since.  4
#193 WR Trey Knox‍  Though he is from the Volunteer State, he actually grew up a fan of Florida and visited the Gators once again for FNL this past weekend 6

 

16 VISITORS FROM THE 2020 CONSENSUS 100

# POS PROSPECT COMMENT 1/10
#1 DE Bryan Bresee‍  The consensus No. 1 prospect in the nation told Inside the Gators during The Opening that he would visit UF for FNL. He made it in for an unofficial visit, but didn't camp 5
#3 LB Sav'ell Smalls‍  The west coast five-star visited Florida for Friday Night Lights and then returned again on Monday 4
#22 WR Leonard Manuel‍  Manuel, who has already been committed to Tennessee and Miami, has visited UF a couple of times, including for the GGGO 9
#25 Ath Chris Tyree‍  The Mid-Atlantic speedster was on campus for a one day visit earlier this summer 5
#29 CB Fred Davis‍  The potential No. 1 cornerback in his class has visited Florida several times including for the O&B Game as well as FNL 7
#32 WR Marcus Rosemy‍  He was on campus back in the spring 5
#55 DL Jordan Burch‍  He traveled down from South Carolina for a June camp session at the insistence of his mother 4
#37 RB Demarkcus Bowman‍  The Lakeland back visited Florida for a Jr. Day back in the spring 6
#40 S Avantae Williams‍  A teammate of Florida commit Dionte Marks‍, the one time Miami commit visited Florida for a Jr. Day 5
#47 OL Jalen Rivers‍  Like Davis above him, he is another Jacksonville prospect who has been on campus several times, including for the GGGO 6
#48 WR Jordan Johnson‍  The Missouri wide out was in town for FNL this past weekend 5
#55 RB Don Cheney South Florida back was on campus for FNL 5
#56 CB Henry Gray‍  The Miami commit visited Florida for the GGGO. He was one of the visitors throwing up the U on a widely circulated video 1
#62 RB Lawrance Toafili‍  After camping with the Gators back in June he had Florida as one of his top options 6
#65 DL Jamil Burroughs‍  He visited Florida for the O&B Game and then returned again for a camp session in June - though he didn't work out 4
#75 WR Gee Scott‍  Traveling from the west coast to Florida, he was one of the most impressive players at FNL.  3

 

 
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