GAINESVILLE, Fla. — How’s that for a big recruiting weekend?
Prospects packed The Swamp Saturday for Florida’s home opener against Tennessee, and they didn’t leave disappointed.
The Gators won 26-20 on a last-second Hail Mary, with quarterback Feleipe Franks hitting wide receiver Tyrie Cleveland for a 63-yard touchdown.
Here’s the reaction from recruits after the game:
4-star OL William Barnes, Apopka, Fla.
“That was definitely the greatest experience I’ve ever had. I was down there in the end zone when Tyrie caught that pass. … We were all just dancing and jumping around. It was just the greatest feeling I’ve ever felt in a while. That’s definitely something that opened my eyes up about Florida. The fans are just fantastic people.”
5-star CB Patrick Surtain Jr., Plantation, Fla.
“The game was crazy. I was thinking they were going to kneel it (on the final play). Time was running out and I thought they were going to be conservative and just hold it to overtime. Feleipe, you know, he threw that thing as far as he can and Tyrie went to go get it.”
4-star DB Tyreke Johnson, Jacksonville, Fla.
“It was just really fun to watch both teams come out here and fly around. Tennessee, they showed a lot to me because they never gave up. … But Florida just found something more inside them. They had more of a will to win. Tyrie Cleveland came up big on the last second and won the game on a Hail-Mary prayer.”
4-star WR Anthony Schwartz, Plantation, Fla.
“This is actually my first time coming to a Florida game in The Swamp. It was just a great atmosphere compared to the other games I’ve been to. I feel like the crowd was really into it, and I came to the perfect game. It was amazing.”
4-star LB Richard Jibunor, Athens, Ga.
“It was a good game to really see how well they can play. I was really impressed with the way they were playing. The environment was awesome. I’ve really heard a lot about Florida, but today I got to see how pretty the place is. … I definitely will be back soon.”
4-star WR Mark Pope, Miami (Miami commit)
“The atmosphere was crazy. Everything I wanted to see, I saw it. To be honest, I thought that (Hail Mary) was too far. But (Cleveland) got to it.”
3-star OL Ed Montilus, Apopka, Fla.
“It was a good experience. I saw the way they fought back. It was tied up and about to go into overtime, but they had an extra play and they just made it. They never quit. They just kept going and kept going, and they made a play at the end.”
3-star WR Tyquan Thornton, Miami (Florida commit)
“It was very exciting to be at this game. There was a lot of good plays, a lot of bad plays, but Florida made the biggest play. When Feleipe set up and released the ball, I knew it was going to be a touchdown based on how he led him. All Tyrie had to do was catch the ball. It was a nice play.”
3-star DB Randy Russell, Miami (Florida commit)
“Best game I’ve ever been to. Best finish I’ve ever seen. I watched the whole pass happen. Once I saw the ball go, I just knew it was a touchdown.”
2019 DB Brendan Gant, Lakeland, Fla.
“The game was just exciting. I don’t think anyone would not want to be in that atmosphere. I knew it was going to be a good game, good competition. I knew the Gators wanted to bounce back after that loss they took to Michigan.”