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Dan Mullen discusses Florida recruiting
Florida coach Dan Mullen finished with a top-15 class in his first recruiting cycle with the Gators.
In terms of star power, it was the best transition class in school history. Recruiting has not died down for Mullen since National Signing Day.
“Well, it hasn’t because you’re right into the next year’s class. We’re into the 2019 and 2020 recruiting classes. And that never ends,” Mullen said this week during his speaking tour.
“You’re kind of looking at your board and what your needs are. For us, [it’s] getting the opportunity somewhat to get caught up. Some of the names that are on the board you’re very familiar with from the last place I coached at. Some are new names, and so you’re really getting familiar with those guys.”
Mullen signed a dozen 4-star prospects in the 2018 class, more than any other first-year Florida coach. As the Gators build their recruiting board for the 2019 cycle, Mullen admits that Florida has access to a better talent pool than Mississippi State.
“Yeah, it’s different,” he said. “Every program is a little bit different. Fortunately for me in my career having traveled and been to different locations, you can appreciate certain things that are different about the [Florida] program. Even though our outline of how we’re going to run the program top to bottom is going to be similar, there will be specific things that we change within that to fit the Gator program.”
One of those changes is Florida’s national recruiting footprint. The Gators signed players from Alabama, Georgia, New Jersey and Pennsylvania in the last class. Mullen and his staff have offered 2019 recruits from as far away as California, Hawaii and Texas.
“We are nationally recruiting. We have a national brand,” Mullen said. “Now our focus is always going to be within the state of Florida, but we also have a national brand trying to go out and recruit the top players from America to come here and play for us.
“You look at the recipe of winning national championships when I was here before. You have the foundation of the team from Florida and you have some of the top national players from around the country. That’s going to be our same approach that we use.”
The Gators hosted a junior day event last weekend and landed a pair of commitments, bringing them to five members in the 2019 class. Mullen has been pleased with his results on the recruiting trail.
“It’s very positive,” he said. “When you go out there and you look at what we preach — the Gator standard. The opportunity to come play for one of the premier academic institutions in America and have the opportunity to win a national championship.
“There’s three crystal balls in my office … that’s pretty special. You don’t have that opportunity really anywhere else. So I think that response has been really, really good.”
News & notes
- Florida offered a pair of out-of-state prospects on Thursday: 5-star linebacker Henry To’oto’o (Concord, Calif.) and 4-star linebacker J.D. Bertrand (Roswell, Ga.). To’oto’o is ranked the nation’s No. 2 outside linebacker and No. 17 overall prospect in the 247Sports composite. Bertrand is committed to Georgia, which is the alma mater of Gators linebackers coach Christian Robinson. He poked some fun at Georgia fans on Twitter after offering Bertrand.
— Christian Robinson (@crob45) March 1, 2018
- The nation’s premier recruiting showcase will have a new home this summer. The Opening Finals, an annual combine for the nation’s top recruits, will take place in Dallas instead of at Nike World Headquarters in Beaverton, Ore.
#TheOpening Finals has a new home.
— The Opening (@TheOpening) February 28, 2018
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