Weekend Visitor Preview: A handful of five-star visitors

Oct 14, 2022 | 1 comment



Coming off its biggest recruiting day in months, Florida will hope to keep the momentum going this weekend by playing host to multiple top targets, including a handful of five-star prospects.

(Note: The prospect cards are best viewed by turning your smartphone horizontally)

Que Russaw

Defensive End

Montgomery (Ala.)

★ ★ ★ ★ ★247: #60

ESPN: #7

On3: #19

Rivals: #67


The Skinny:
It doesn’t feel like there is a lot going on between Florida and Russaw mostly because Russaw, much like his five-star teammate below, really doesn’t talk to the media all that much. I saw them at the very end of their unofficial visit to Florida back in July and in speaking with their trainer about a week ago, (Two five-star linemen set to see Florida) after that visit went so well they were insistent on coming back for an official visit. To this point, UF has resisted hosting official visitors during the season preferring instead to bring top targets in during the summer and post-season in order to give them their undivided attention. If we are being honest, not to dismiss the other two, but if the teammates weren’t coming in, it’s doubtful UF would be hosting any official visitors this weekend either. That is how important they are. Having said all of that, it still feels like Florida has some work to do to pull the duo away from Alabama and Georgia. The staff will have a chance to make their mark this weekend.

James Smith

Defensive Tackle

Montgomery (Ala.)

★ ★ ★ ★ ★247: #22

ESPN: #11

On3: #8

Rivals: #54


The Skinny:
Every year we hear prospects talk of being a ‘package deal’ only to go their separate ways when push comes to shove. In this case though, it really sounds as if the two will be signing with the same programs. From talking to people, it sounds like Russaw is a bit higher on Florida than is his teammate. So while UF needs to impress both this weekend, there’s a little more work to do on Smith.


Marcus Stokes

Quarterback

Jacksonville (Fla.)

★ ★ ★ ★247: #211

ESPN: NR

On3: NR

Rivals: NR


The Skinny:
With the way the board has played out, it appears as though it will be Marcus Stokes or bust for Florida at quarterback this cycle – though the Transfer Portal is always in play. After a strong showing at the South Florida Camp in the spring, we included him in our 25 In-state prospects the Gator Nation needed to know. That looked to be well-founded after his performances at Florida’s 7v7 tournament in June, where he had a stand out day in front of Billy Napier and Ryan O’Hara (7-on-7 Insider Observations) and was a surprise at Elite11. However, his senior season has gotten off to a rocky start (Commit Stokes dropped almost 60 spots by 247). While we wait to see if he can turn it around on the field, with no competition for his services, the main goal for him over the weekend is to work on the two official visitors from Alabama as well as the underclass receivers due in for Saturday’s game.

Bryce Thornton

Safety

Alpharetta (Ga.)

★ ★ ★247: NR

ESPN: NR

On3: NR

Rivals: NR


The Skinny:
Florida landed the three-star safety on Thursday, but it may not be 100% over and done with. If Alabama (who has three safety commits already) or LSU circles back around on him, they are two programs to keep an eye out on going forward.

THE COMMITS

Four-star cornerback commit Ja’Keem Jackson will be making an official visit to Kentucky this weekend. Then, there’s a couple who told Inside the Gators that they planned to sit it out this weekend. They are Treyaun Webb (who said he was unsure when he would be able to return for a game) and Isaiah Nixon (who said he was trying to get to USC for his next visit).

We weren’t able to confirm the visit status of Aaron Gates, Andy Jean, Will Norman, who hasn’t been back on campus since the summer, or Eugene Wilson.

Those who will be in attendance:

  • Jordan Castell
  • Kelby Collins
  • Sharrif Denson
  • Knijeah Harris
  • Gavin Hill
  • Kamran James
  • Dijon Johnson
  • Bryce Lovett
  • Aidan Mizell
  • Tyree Patterson
  • Jaden Robinson
  • TJ Searcy
  • Creed Whittemore

COMMITTED ELSEWHERE

A couple of the biggest names visiting, are actually committed elsewhere. Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy four-star linebacker Jordan Hall committed to MSU over Florida back in the summer. However, he is planning on making his first trip back to campus since then.

Despite being committed to Alabama, Lehigh (Fla.) five-star running back Richard Young is scheduled to be in the Swamp for the second time this season after also attending the opener against Utah.

Then there’s Camden (S.C.) four-star defensive tackle Xzavier McCleod. He is currently committed to South Carolina. The Gamecocks have a bye this week, so it begs the question as to whether he is seriously interested in the Gators, or trying to find something to do while the girlfriend is out of town?

Finally, Kissimmee (Fla.) Osceola four-star defensive tackle John Walker is making his way to a Florida game for the third time this season. He expressed interest early in the week, but was waiting to see if his parents were going to be able to make it. This is a fairly significant trip because he isn’t coming to hang out with a teammate, with Jackson officially visiting Kentucky this weekend.

One prospect who is committed elsewhere but was considering visiting is Ocala (Fla.) Trinity Catholic three-star Tommy Kinsler – who has pledged to Miami. He was thinking of making it to the game, but won’t.

BATTLE TO BE WON

Of all the prospects mentioned above, perhaps the most intriguing prospect scheduled to be in attendance is Jacksonville (Fla.) Westside four-star defensive tackle Jordan Hall. He has been on campus numerous times, but neither the old or new staff has been able to get him to seal the deal. He still has all five of his official visits to take, and UF is a likely destination for one of them, making these trips on his own dime important stepping stones for the Gators.

UNDERCLASSMEN & OTHERS

Quarterback

  • DJ Lagway (A top 50 prospect in the Class of 2024)

Running Back

  • Chauncey Bowens (2024 commit)

Wide Receiver

  • Caleb Cunningham (Top 2025 prospect)
  • Brian Green Jr. (2023 PWO)
  • Jaren Hamilton (A local receiver who hasn’t been offered by Florida yet)
  • Jeremiah Smith (Five-star in the 2024 cycle)
  • Joshisa Trader (The No. 3 ranked prospect in the nation in the next cycle)
  • Javorian Wimberly (South Florida receiver committed to Central Michigan)

Tight End

  • Ethan Barbour (2024 prospect with a Florida offer)

Offensive Line

  • Daniel Calhoun (2024 four-star)
  • Kam Pringle (was back and forth on whether he would make it)

Defensive Line

  • Kendall Jackson (Local prospect with a UF offer)
  • Elijah Rushing (2024 four-star legacy target)
  • Earnest Willor (2024 IMG four-star)

Linebacker

  • Myles Graham (2024 commit)
  • Kris Jones (2024 four-star linebacker)
  • Demetrius Knight (Transfer Portal from Georgia Tech)

Defensive back

  • Justin Bostic (PWO candidate who is committed to FAMU)
  • Vernell Brown III (2025 legacy prospect)
  • Ahman Covington (2023 PWO candidate)
  • Jordan Pride (Florida State 2024 four-star commit)
  • Desmond Ricks (2024 five-star making his second game visit this season)
  • Tyshun White (2024 four-star)

Check out the forum all weekend for live updates on the visitors

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