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.
Looking for best QBs
In recent months, it has appeared that Florida is heading in a new direction at the quarterback position.
With the signing of athlete Kadarius Toney, the interest in graduate transfer Malik Zaire and the recruitment of 5-star prospect Justin Fields, the presumption is the Gators want dual-threat QBs on their roster.
However, UF coach Jim McElwain claims there has not been a shift in his recruiting strategy and coaching philosophy.
“No, I don’t know whether it’s that as much as there’s more (dual-threat QBs) now, just based on the crop that’s out there. You see more of that,” McElwain said before speaking to the Gator Club of Jacksonville.
“We’re looking for the best player. Right now, when you’re looking at those guys, there’s a vast majority of them out there that can throw and run.”
This is not new territory for McElwain and offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier. In the 2015 class they heavily pursued Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson, who made a late visit to Florida and almost flipped from Louisville to the Gators on National Signing Day.
McElwain wants pass-first quarterbacks who are accurate and can handle intricacies of his system, which features both dual-threat and pro-style elements. That being said, he recognizes the luxury of having a signal caller who can make plays with his legs.
“The ability to really take some pressure off the offensive line when a guy can kind of get out of the way a little bit and isn’t a sitting duck back there,” McElwain said. “Obviously (Toney) is a guy that can move around and he really forces those pass rushers to stay in their pass rush lanes otherwise you’re going to be able to hurt them with your feet a little bit.
“Shoot we have to go back when we had Drew Stanton. He racked up a bunch of yards before he blew out his shoulder for us at Michigan State. He did all that kind of stuff for us and it just happens to be that those that we see out there that fit it probably are more than that. So I wouldn’t say it is a move as much as it is going and getting the best available.”
The best available in the Class of 2018 is Fields, the nation’s No. 1 dual-threat quarterback in the 247Sports Composite rankings. Nussmeier and running backs coach Ja’Juan Seider visited the Penn State commit on Tuesday as they continue to push for a flip.
News & notes
- Gators offensive line coach Brad Davis traveled to Orlando, Fla., on Wednesday to attend the spring game of 3-star offensive tackle John Campbell, who is a top target for Davis. Campbell visited UF in the spring and likes Florida’s proximity to home.
- The Gators extended offers Wednesday to 3-star running back Anthony Grant (Buford, Ga.) and 3-star cornerback Terell Smith (Snellville, Ga.), a Minnesota commit.
Miss a previous Gator Chomps notebook? Find every daily recap of Florida Gators recruiting right here.