As Jim McElwain tries to rebuild Florida football into a championship program, one of his mottoes is “recruit daily or die.” Join us here on SEC Country for a daily recap of the latest UF recruiting news, tales from the trail and perspective on what it all means for the Gators.
RB on board
Florida landed a running back for its 2018 class Thursday with the commitment of 4-star athlete Iverson Clement from New Jersey. His pledge moved the Gators to No. 18 nationally in the team rankings, according to the 247Sports Composite.
Clement was primarily recruited by UF running backs coach Ja’Juan Seider, who is starting to yield some results on the trail. Seider has landed three commitments for Florida in the past week, with wide receivers Corey Gammage and John Dunmore (2019) pledging last weekend.
Seider reacted to the news of Clement’s commitment on Twitter.
Take it to the house ??????????
— JaJuan Seider (@coachseider) April 13, 2017
Clement is the first back Seider has brought on board and shows that he’s not just a South Florida recruiter. He formed a relationship with Clement when he coached at West Virginia and then convinced him to leave the Tri-state area for Florida.
Sources close to the program have told SEC Country that Seider, who came to UF with a strong reputation, has quickly impressed his new co-workers in the football offices with his aggressive yet personable approach.
This week should be the first of many where Seider’s recruiting prowess is on display. He discussed his strategy during his introductory press conference at Florida.
“It’s a win mentality,” Seider said. “I look at recruiting the same way I look at coaching. I want to win. That’s a game to me. I hate losing. I’m going to try my best to do whatever I can to win. That means being relentless and establishing a relationship not only with a player but that family and the people who impact that kid’s life. And at the end of the day, let’s make him a Gator.”
The Gators want to sign two running backs in the Class of 2018, so Seider has another commitment coming at his position.
His top target is Asa Martin, a 4-star running back from Decatur, Ala. He recently named Florida his leader and, like Clement, has history with Seider.
“Our relationship goes back to when he was at West Virginia,” Martin told SEC Country. “He recruited me there as well. I’ve been talking to him for over a year now. So we’re real tight.
“What he did with his running backs at West Virginia was awesome. He sent a player to the league four years in a row, so he’s a good coach and knows what he’s doing.”
Florida’s other targets at the position are FSU 5-star commit James Cook (Miami) and 3-star running backs Lavonte Valentine (Melbourne, Fla.), Jashaun Corbin (Melbourne, Fla.), Chris Curry (Lehigh Acres, Fla.) and Leddie Brown (Smyrna, Del.).
At this time, it appears Clement and Martin will likely be the backs for UF in the 2018 class.
Miss a previous Gator Chomps notebook? Find every daily recap of Florida Gators recruiting right here.