GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Florida’s hiring of Randy Shannon as its next defensive coordinator could help the Gators with one of their top targets.
Levi Jones, a 4-star linebacker from Austin, Texas, has a longstanding relationship with Shannon. He coached his father, former NFL linebacker Robert Jones, when he played for the Miami Dolphins from 1998-2000. Shannon was his position coach during the same time period.
That connection has made the Gators a surprising contender for the Under Armour All-American. Last week, Jones told SEC Country the hiring of Shannon would help Florida’s chances.
“That’d be awesome. That’d be real exciting, eye-opening,” Jones said of Shannon taking over as DC. “Just knowing that he’s in a secure spot and wouldn’t leave soon.”
Jones plans to officially visit UF on Jan. 13. He also has reportedly scheduled trips to Southern Cal (Jan. 20) and Florida State (Jan. 27). His recruitment is expected to come down to Florida and FSU.
UF makes the cut for a pair of prospects
Two recruits named Florida among their group of finalists Friday.
Tony Gray, a 4-star offensive tackle from Lawrenceville, Ga., included UF in his top 5 along with Auburn, Florida State, Ole Miss and South Carolina. He is scheduled to officially visit the Gamecocks (Jan. 13) and Gators (Jan. 20) this month.
Warren Thompson, a 2018 wide receiver from Seffner, Fla., has narrowed his recruitment to four finalists: Florida, FSU, Miami and North Carolina. The 4-star prospect attended three UF home games in the fall.
Where Florida’s 2017 recruiting class is ranked
Florida’s 2017 recruiting class is currently ranked 19th nationally and 8th in the SEC.
Who are Florida’s top 2017 commitments?
- 4-star (.9386) DE Zachary Carter (Tampa, Fla.)
- 4-star (.9309) WR Daquon Green (Tampa, Fla.)
- 4-star (.9303) CB Elijah Blades (Pasadena, Calif.)
- 4-star (.9195) CB Marco Wilson (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)
- 4-star (.9106) OT Kadeem Telfort (Miami)
Who left or joined Florida’s class this week?
The Gators didn’t have any additions or defections this week, but welcomed six mid-year enrollees to campus. There hasn’t been any de-commitments in the past month, but UF landed a pledge from 4-star offensive tackle T.J. Moore (Charlotte, N.C.) on Christmas.
Who are Florida’s top targets?
Florida’s top targets are 5-star defensive tackle Aubrey Solomon (Leesburg, Ga.), 4-star wide receiver James Robinson (Lakeland, Fla.), 4-star cornerbacks C.J. Henderson (Miami) and Brad Stewart (New Orleans) and 4-star defensive end LaBryan Ray (Madison, Ala.). All five prospects are scheduled to officially visit UF this month.
QB: 1 of 1
RB: 1 of 2
WR: 1 of 2
TE: 2 of 2
OL: 2 of 3
DL: 2 of 4
LB: 2 of 3
DB: 3 of 6
ATH: 1 of 1
The geography of Florida’s 2017 recruiting class
Alabama (2): TE Zech Byrd, ATH Kadarius Toney
California (1): CB Elijah Blades
Florida (10): QB Jake Allen, RB Malik Davis, WR Daquon Green, TE Kemore Gamble, OT Kadeem Telfort, DE Zachary Carter, LB James Houston, LB Ventrell Miller, CB Shawn Davis, CB Marco Wilson
North Carolina (1): T.J. Moore
Virginia (1): DT Kyree Campbell
Unless otherwise indicated, ratings or rankings come from the 247Sports composite.