Zach Abolverdi/SEC Country
New Florida coach Dan Mullen will look to elevate the Gators back into the national conversation after a 4-7 finish for the program last fall.

Where Florida ranks in the early 2018 college football top 25 projections

Ryan Young

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Rounding up the early attempts at a 2018 college football poll

With the end of spring practice comes another break in the college football news cycle, for the most part, but the year-round interest in the sport endures nonetheless.

So to fill the void, various way-too-early preseason rankings have popped up from the national sites.

Most agree that Miami is set to be a major factor in the national college football landscape once again in 2018, but projections for the rest of the in-state Florida programs, including the Gators, vary significantly.

Here’s a collection of the most notable such rankings:

Florida’s hiring of Dan Mullen has been widely lauded, and certainly he’s made a strong impression locally through his first five months on the job. But with the Gators’ quarterback position in flux yet again, national optimism for the program goes only so far at this point.

Speaking of which …

The standard disclaimer would be that most of these rankings will be proven misguided and incorrect when all is said and done, but they at least generate some conversation at a time on the football calendar when there’s not much else driving headlines.

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In other Florida football news

Recruiting roundup

  • Highly-touted Class of 2019 wide receiver Mycah Pittman released his list of top 5 schools on Tuesday, including Florida along with Alabama, Nebraska, Ohio State and Oregon. Pittman, from Calabasas, Calif., is a 4-star prospect ranked the No. 11 wide receiver in the class.

  • SEC Country’s Zach Abolverdi caught up with top-50 overall recruit Nathan Pickering, a defensive end from Seminary, Miss., who named the Gators as one of his top-10 schools. What stands out most to Pickering about Florida, though, is the university’s academics. “In my top 10 now, I’d give it to Florida,” Pickering told SEC Country. “They’re all academics more than anything else, and that’s one thing I like about them.” Read more here.

Florida baseball news

  • MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo projects three Florida players being drafted in the first round next month. He has ace right-hander Brady Singer going No. 2 overall to the San Francisco Giants, third baseman Jonathan India at No. 14 to the Seattle Mariners and right-hander Jackson Kowar at No. 19 to the St. Louis Cardinals.
  • Of India, Mayo writes: “No one has played his way up boards more than India, who went from a solid college guy to perhaps the best-performing college hitter in the country.” Truth. Check out SEC Country later in the day for a thorough breakdown of India’s legitimate national player of the year credentials.

Florida basketball buzz

Around campus …

  • The Florida men’s and women’s tennis teams were both chosen as one of 16 hosts for the first and second rounds of the NCAA postseason. The Gators women’s team (18-8) opens on May 11 against Youngstown State (16-10), while the men’s team (16-9) starts the tournament on May 12 against South Carolina State (10-6).

What they’re saying on Twitter

  • Mullen and former Gators kicker Judd Davis fared well on the golf course:

  • While having a little fun in the process, courtesy of Clemson coach Dabo Swinney:

  • As Florida athletic director Scott Stricklin might say, “Is this good?”

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