Florida’s 2018 recruiting class lost two more members this weekend and fell outside of the top 10.
Their de-commitments dropped Florida’s class — now at 16 commits — to No. 13 nationally in the 247Sports Composite rankings.
Copeland’s decision is a huge blow for the Gators, who already lost a commitment earlier this month from top-100 wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase. Their departures have put Florida’s class in trouble at wide receiver, one of the biggest team needs in the 2018 cycle.
UF still has two commits at the position in Corey Gammage and Tyquan Thornton, as well as athlete Jalynn Williams. Thornton is expected to stick with the Gators, but staff changes may cause Gammage to re-open his recruitment.
Williams could play cornerback or receiver at Florida, but Auburn is recruiting him strictly as a corner. The Tigers offered Williams earlier this month during his official visit to the Plains.
The Gators need to do all they can to hang on to the current commits, because there’s not a lot of WR options on their recruiting board. Anthony Schwartz had been favoring Florida since the spring, but named Auburn his leader Saturday.
It will take a big-name hire for the Gators to get back in the mix for Copeland/Chase and improve their standing with Schwartz, Watkins and others.
As for Upshaw, he was an important piece of Florida’s class for a few reasons. He filled another position of need for the Gators and had extra value as an early enrollee, which helps his chances of cracking the rotation as a freshman.
Florida must sign some quality defensive ends in this class due to CeCe Jefferson’s potential jump to the NFL and the uncertain futures of suspended players Keivonnis Davis and Jordan Smith.