Chris Kirschner/SEC Country
Trey Sanders is the nation's No. 1 running back in the 2019 class.

Florida recruiting: Can Gators land a 5-star prospect in 2019 class?

Zach Abolverdi

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Dan Mullen’s first class at Florida had the highest average star rating (3.78) among coaching transition classes in school history, but the Gators did not sign a consensus 5-star recruit for the third consecutive recruiting cycle.

Mullen acknowledged on National Signing Day that the Gators need to land more elite players to become a title team.

“You want to win a championship, you’ve got to be in the top in recruiting. We have got to get ourselves to be one of the top classes in the country,” Mullen said. “You’ve got to trust your rankings and what your feeling on the players are. But we also know the expectation here is to sign top recruiting classes, and we need to do that in the future.”

Mullen has a chance to end Florida’s 5-star drought in the 2019 recruiting cycle. There are currently 28 recruits with a 5-star rating in the 247Sports composite, and the Gators have offered more than a dozen of them.

Running back Trey Sanders, however, is the only one from the state of Florida who is uncommitted. Right now, I think he would be the Gators’ best bet for a 5-star recruit.

The Port St. Joe, Fla., native de-committed from Alabama on Jan. 1, but the Crimson Tide are still a major player in his recruitment. Florida State is another top school for Sanders, but the Gators could gain some traction with their new staff now in place.

Sanders is one of several Florida targets at IMG Academy, and Mullen will try to keep the nation’s No. 1-ranked running back in the Sunshine State. Mullen offered Sanders in early January after he reopened his recruitment and visited him in a helicopter on Jan. 31.

Sanders is expected to visit Gainesville in the spring or summer and likely will attend some games during the 2018 season. If Florida running back Jordan Scarlett can have a breakout year in Mullen’s offense and put himself in position to turn pro, it could be an appealing situation for Sanders.

In the meantime, Mullen and running backs coach Greg Knox will continue building a relationship with Sanders over the next few months and try to get him on campus as much as possible.