As Jim McElwain tries to rebuild Florida football into a championship program, one of his mottos 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.
Banks fulfilling his potential
When Florida safety Marcell Harris became a big-time recruit in 2012, his younger brother had a front-row seat.
And he wasn’t just a spectator, either.
“I was right there training with him, trying to follow in his footsteps,” said Sevyn Banks, a 2018 cornerback from Orlando, Fla. “I could see himself in his shoes when I was young. I was 12, 13 when he was a recruit. Now I’m doing what I saw him do.”
— Zach Abolverdi (@ZachAbolverdi) February 19, 2017
Banks was a sensation on the recruiting trail last month, earning offers from Auburn, Florida, Ohio State, South Carolina and Virginia Tech. The 6-foot-1, 183-pound prospect is being advised on recruiting by Harris.
“Me and my brother talk every day. We’re real close,” Banks said. “He’s going to help me make the right decision. He knows what to look for in a school, so I pay attention to everything he tells me.”
Banks, who spent his early childhood in Gainesville, Fla., called Florida his dream school. He’s fond of the stadium and coach Jim McElwain.
“I’m from Gainesville, so I grew up around the Gators,” Banks said. “When I walk in The Swamp, it feels like home. I love coach Mac, he’s real cool. A lot of people think I’m just going to pick Florida, but I want to look at all my options.”
Banks took a trip to Florida on Feb. 11 and wants to visit Auburn, Florida State and Ohio State. He plans to decide on a school after his senior season.
“I definitely don’t want to make too quick of a decision,” said Banks, a 3-star cornerback according to the 247Sports composite rankings. “I just want to get to know everybody and let them get to know me. I need to have a relationship with the coaches. That’s the most important thing in my recruitment.”
Florida chasing Miami for Pope
In the Class of 2017, the Gators signed two players from Miami Southridge High School: defensive back Shawn Davis and tight end Kemore Gamble.
They’re trying to land another Southridge standout this year. Mark Pope, a 4-star wide receiver, is a top target for Florida.
However, his hometown Miami Hurricanes lead in his recruitment.
“I’m loving Miami right now,” Pope said. “Just playing in front of home and putting on for my city. At this point, I’m sold on them.”
Miami recently hired Southridge offensive coordinator David Cooney as a quality-control analyst. Cooney and Pope have a close relationship.
“It definitely helps [Miami] a lot,” Pope said. “It’s somebody that I can trust.”
The 6-foot-1, 175-pound prospect plans to visit Florida next month and make a decision at the end of the spring.
He said two factors could put the Gators ahead of Miami.
“If they get a quarterback and the depth chart of the receivers isn’t good enough,” Pope said.
Miss a previous Gator Chomps notebook? Find every daily recap of Florida Gators recruiting right here.