Ryan Young/SEC Country
Florida coach Dan Mullen speaking to the Polk County Gator Club last week in Lakeland, Fla.

Florida recruiting: Dan Mullen holding inaugural ‘Gator Grill Out’ Saturday

Zach Abolverdi

We are tackling the best recruiting question supplied by Florida fans each day. If you’d like to submit a question, tweet to Zach Abolverdi here. Check out our question of the day every Monday through Friday. Go here to see our previous answers.

The last three head coaches at Florida all created new recruiting events and ways to attract prospects to campus.

The latest will take place this weekend under first-year coach Dan Mullen. He and his staff are set to host the inaugural “Gator Grill Out” on Saturday.

Several top targets are expected to attend, including 4-star linemen Dontae Lucas (Bradenton, Fla.) and William Putnam (Tampa, Fla.), 4-star defensive ends Nathan Pickering (Seminary, Miss.) and Lloyd Summerall (Auburndale, Fla.) and 4-star cornerbacks Jaden Davis (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.), Chris Steele (Bellflower, Calif.) and DJ Turner II (Suwanee, Ga.).

SEC Country will have a full visitor preview later this week. The BBQ is going to be unlike any Florida recruiting events in the past.

The other visit opportunities — camps, junior days, etc. — center around football and what the Florida program has to offer. This weekend will be a chance for recruits and their families to interact with the coaches in different setting and get to know them away from the field and football facilities.

Urban Meyer was the first Florida coach to create a recruiting event outside of the typical official or unofficial visit. He started “Friday Night Lights” in 2005 and attracted 5-star quarterback Tim Tebow for the inaugural event, which several schools have since copied.

Former Florida coach Will Muschamp began holding junior days in 2012 and added a 7-on-7 tournament for high school teams two years later. Both events were adpoted by his predecessor, Jim McElwain.

McElwain also expanded Florida’s summer camp schedule in recent years. In addition to Friday Night Lights and the mini-camps in June, he created three separate camps for quarterbacks, linemen and underclassmen.

Mullen will continue to hold the annual summer camps and recruiting events at Florida, but Saturday’s Gator Grill Out will be the start of a new tradition.

For answers to our previous Questions of the Day, check out our archives.