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.
Top Targets: No. 3
This week SEC Country is looking at Florida’s top five targets for the Class of 2018.
The Gators currently have eight verbal commitments and their class is ranked No. 36 nationally in the 247Sports Composite. Offensive line, quarterback and receiver are the biggest remaining needs.
Here is Florida’s No. 3 overall target:
4-star OL William Barnes, Apopka, Fla.
Florida’s chances: 70 percent
Biggest threat: North Carolina
Last UF visit: June 3
In his words: “I love the campus. It’s just a great feeling. The atmosphere and the community, it’s all great. There’s no hatred in anybody. I just love talking to Coach Brad Davis. He’s just an awesome person to be around. I definitely like that about him.”
The skinny: The Gators offered Barnes last summer and several schools quickly followed suit, including Alabama, Auburn, Florida State and Ohio State. However, Florida’s toughest competition for Barnes is North Carolina. He received his first offer from the Tar Heels and his mother graduated from UNC.
Barnes has visited UF three times this year (June 3 update) and built a close relationship with Davis. He also played with Gators starting left tackle Martez Ivey on Apopka’s 2014 state title team and that connection could help Florida’s chances with the U.S. Army All-American.
The 6-foot-4, 312-pound Barnes is ranked the nation’s No. 4 offensive tackle and No. 51 overall prospect in the 247Sports Composite.
William Barnes highlights
Miss a previous Gator Chomps notebook? Find every daily recap of Florida Gators recruiting right here.