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5-star CB Akeem Dent discusses Gators
Florida’s cornerback needs in the 2019 class have been well documented, along with the recruiting efforts at the position.
This spring the Gators hosted 5-star cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. (Baton Rouge, La.) and 4-star cornerbacks Kaiir Elam (North Palm Beach), Chester Kimbrough (New Orleans) and DJ Turner II (Suwanee, Ga.).
Another top target for the Gators is 5-star cornerback Akeem Dent (West Palm Beach, Fla.), who has been committed to Florida State since last summer. He was one of the first 2019 prospects to receive a visit from new Florida coach Dan Mullen on the recruiting trail.
Mullen stopped by Dent’s high school (Palm Beach Central) on Dec. 14 and met with his coach, Tino Ierulli. Dent has been impressed with Mullen’s first five months on the job.
“I can see he’s trying to change the culture, bring new talent in, good recruits,” Dent said of Mullen. “He’s got a good vibe.”
The top-30 overall recruit has been in contact with Florida cornerbacks coach Charlton Warren, whom Dent described as a “fun guy” in February. He has also spoken to Gators assistant director of player personnel Cordell Landers.
“I’ve talked with ‘The Gorilla.’ We talked on the phone,” Dent said of Landers, whose nickname has caught on with recruits. “We had a good talk.”
Dent has taken three recruiting trips this year, visiting Miami in February and Florida State twice during the spring. The 6-foot, 176-pound corner hasn’t set a date to visit Florida, but said he intends to check out the in-state Gators.
“At some point,” Dent told SEC Country. “I want to see how D.B.U. is and if their cornerbacks are really what it is.”
Dent is ranked as the nation’s No. 3 cornerback and No. 30 prospect in the 247Sports composite. He stayed committed to the Seminoles during the regime change from Jimbo Fisher to Willie Taggart and has formed a relationship with the new staff.
“That’s a good staff. I’ve really got a special connection with them. They make me feel at home,” Dent said of Taggart & Co. “It’s all of them, to be honest. Everybody’s got the same vibe. They’re on the same page. There ain’t nothing different.”
Florida recruiting Miami commit Renato Brown
Dent isn’t the only Palm Beach Central player being recruited by the Gators.
Florida also is pursuing Miami defensive tackle commit Renato Brown, who attended the Orange & Blue Game on April 14.
“It was kind of nice,” Brown told SEC Country. “I enjoyed my time on campus. The coaches talked to me about how the atmosphere has changed and I totally saw that during the game and practice.
“Florida has a lot behind it with the culture and the tradition. The stadium is amazing and packed. I think Coach Mullen has them heading in the right direction.”
Brown said he communicates most with Gators wide receivers coach Billy Gonzales, who serves as his area recruiter. The 6-foot-5, 310-pound lineman also likes the coaching style and personality of defensive line coach Sal Sunseri.
“He’s a cool dude and he’s kind of funny,” Brown said of Sunseri. “His vibe is fun. The lessons he was teaching in practice, I was paying attention and remembered a couple of them. He was talking about how to finish and how to attack in the backfield.”
Brown said he plans to take official visits this summer and wants to check out Alabama and Penn State.
Have the Gators cemented themselves as a finalist?
“Somewhat,” Brown said, “but Miami will always be home and the crib. My mom said she really liked it at Florida, though.”
DieHard’s David Wilson contributed to this report. Miss a previous Gator Chomps notebook? Find every daily recap of Florida Gators recruiting right here.