The line of scrimmage will be a point of emphasis for Florida coach Dan Mullen in the 2019 recruiting cycle.
The Gators currently have 14 spots available for next year’s class and can sign a maximum of 29 recruits, though their class size should be closer to 24-27 signees after attrition (read more).
Here are Florida’s biggest needs in the 2019 class:
The Gators could lose a half dozen offensive linemen after next season. Kavaris Harkless, Martez Ivey, Fred Johnson, Tyler Jordan and Andrew Mike are all seniors in 2018, and junior tackle Jawaan Taylor could potentially turn pro.
If there’s no additional attrition, Florida will return 10 players at the position in 2019. Mullen likes to have 16 offensive linemen on his roster, so he and his staff will try to sign five or six recruits in the upcoming class — depending on Taylor.
Wardrick Wilson, a 3-star tackle from Miami, is currently committed to the Gators. Some of their top targets at the position are 5-star tackle Kenyon Green, 4-star tackles William Putnam, Wayna Morris and Trente Jones and 4-star guards Deyavie Hammond, Dontae Lucas and Evan Neal.
Senior starters Khairi Clark and CeCe Jefferson will be gone after the 2018 season. Junior defensive ends Jachai Polite and Jabari Zuniga could both make an early jump to the NFL, while DE Keivonnis Davis is still recovering from a moped accident and faces an uncertain future.
With those possible losses, Florida needs at least three edge rushers in the 2019 class. Look for the Gators to sign a pair of interior linemen as well, with Clark leaving and no defensive tackles signing in the previous cycle.
Florida’s top targets at the position include 4-star defensive tackles Tyler Davis and Jaquaze Sorrells, 5-star defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux and 4-star ends Derick Hunter, Nathan Pickering and Lloyd Summerall.
Barring attrition, Florida won’t lose any cornerbacks in 2018. However, there’s only five players at the position at this time and two of them (C.J. Henderson and Marco Wilson) will likely leave for the NFL after their junior campaigns.
Returning safeties Shawn Davis, Brian Edwards, Chauncey Gardner and Brad Stewart all have the ability to change positions, and that may happen this spring for depth purposes. Nonetheless, the Gators need to sign two or three corners in their 2019 class.
Florida has offered more than 20 players at the position, including 5-star prospect Akeem Dent (Florida State commit) and 4-star corners Andrew Booth, Jaden Davis, Kaiir Elam, who is the nephew of former Florida safety Matt Elam.