GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The contact period began Thursday and Florida’s coaching staff made the most of it. More than 30 prospects received visits from the Gators, including several of their top targets.
Florida coach Jim McElwain was in Tampa, Fla., to check in on two of his commitments, 4-star wide receiver Daquon Green and 3-star running back Malik Davis. Defensive line coach and area recruiter Chris Rumph joined McElwain on the trip.
— DaQuon Green (@iamDG7) January 12, 2017
Rumph saw 4-star defensive end Zachary Carter as well. Carter is Florida’s top-rated pledge and plans to visit Alabama, Florida and Oregon this month. McElwain and Rumph also visited Tampa’s Richard Gouraige and Nicholas Petit-Frere, who are 4-star offensive tackles for 2018.
Wide receivers coach Kerry Dixon II hit the Tampa Bay area as well for Green and 4-star WR James Robinson from Lakeland, Fla. Robinson is one of Florida’s top targets and will visit UF this weekend. Dixon also stopped by Armwood High School in Seffner, Fla., to check out a trio of 2018 prospects: 4-star WR Warren Thompson, 4-star DE Malcolm Lamar and 3-star RB Jerome Ford.
Secondary coach Torrian Gray accompanied Dixon on the visit with Robinson and went to see Gators linebacker commit Ventrell Miller (Lakeland, Fla.) and Southern Cal athlete commit Juwan Burgess (Tampa, Fla.) as well. Miller is another official visitor for this weekend.
Defensive coordinator Randy Shannon saw 3-star linebacker Nick Smith (Orlando, Fla.) and then traveled to American Heritage High School in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., for a trio of 4-star teammates: UF cornerback commit Marco Wilson, Michigan offensive tackle commit Kai-Leon Herbert and defensive tackle Tedarrell “T.J.” Slaton. All three recruits will visit Florida this month.
Offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier was also in South Florida for Gators quarterback commit Jake Allen (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) and Oklahoma LB commit K’Jakyre Daley (West Palm Beach, Fla.). While in West Palm, Nussmeier paid visits to 4-star safety Gurvan Hall and 3-star cornerback Keidron Smith, who are 2018 recruits.
Running backs coach Tim Skipper was in Louisiana to see 4-star CB Brad Stewart (New Orleans) and JaMarr Chase, a 4-star wide receiver for 2018 from Metairie, La. Stewart is taking a trip to UF on Jan. 27.
Offensive line coach Mike Summers spent his day in North Carolina visiting Gators 4-star offensive tackle commit T.J. Moore (Charlotte, N.C.), 4-star athlete Ryan Jones (Charlotte, N.C.) and 2018 defensive tackle Rick Sandidge (Concord, N.C.), also a 4-star recruit.
Tight ends coach Greg Nord was in Alabama for Florida TE commit Zech Byrd (Millbrook, Ala.) and Auburn DT commit Alec Jackson (Montgomery, Ala.). Nord also saw a pair of pledges for Florida State, DT Cory Durden (Newberry, Fla.) and WR Tamorrion Terry (Ashburn, Ga.).
New face on the road
Florida still has to fill out its staff with one more assistant coach, so McElwain sent UF director of player personnel Drew Hughes on the road Thursday.
Hughes is in his fourth year with the program and was on the recruiting trail for the Gators before, most notably during the coaching change in 2014. He’s from Alabama and helped UF landed three prospects from his home state in the last cycle, highlighted by promising running back Lamical Perine.
Hughes visited Florida’s top targets in Alabama on Thursday, including 4-star defensive end LaBryan Ray. The Crimson Tide are viewed as the team to beat for the Under Armour All-American, but Ray claims he doesn’t have a favorite.
Another recruit who plans to be in Gainesville this month is Alabama offensive tackle commit Kendall Randolph (Madison, Ala.), who received a visit from Hughes. He also saw 4-star WR Henry Ruggs (Montgomery, Ala.), who is considering UF for his final official visit.
Hughes visited a pair of 4-star linebackers in Auburn commit Tadarian Moultry (Birmingham, Ala.) and Oklahoma commit Jacob Phillips (Nashville). The Gators may begin pursing more prospects at the position with Alex Anzalone turning pro.
Unless otherwise indicated, ratings and rankings come from the 247Sports Composite.