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Dan Mullen encouraging recruits to attend practice
Spring practice begins this week for the Florida football team, and the first two practices are open to the public.
The Gators are expected to host several top targets this weekend, including 5-star defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux and 4-star defensive end Derick Hunter. After months of bringing recruits to town for official visits and campus tours, Florida coach Dan Mullen is ready to show them a different aspect of the program.
“I think it’s huge,” Mullen said of recruits attending practices. “I tell recruits this all the time: You want to come and take a visit, kind of find out about the school. But you want to come and watch a practice and see how we coach, see if you fit into that style.
“I’m not going to, really, change who I am. I mean, a little bit. I’m always trying to prove myself and better myself, but I am who I am and all of our coaches, you are who you are.”
Mullen added that games and official visits are important parts of the process, but recruits don’t get to see the coaches in their element during those types of trips. Finding the right coaching style is a determining factor for many players.
“I always encourage them to come so you can watch us coaching them hands on,” Mullen said. “Do you like how we coach? The style we use, do you fit into that? And then come to a game-day atmosphere and see what game day in The Swamp is all about.
“And then you come on an official visit, get to hang around and be a part of the program, like be treated as a football player for 48 hours. I always encourage guys to do that and that’s a huge part of them coming up here for spring. Just seeing what we’re like out there on the field as coaches to see if their personality fits our style of coaching.”
QB Jalon Jones nearing decision
One of Florida’s top quarterback targets reportedly will make his decision in April.
The father of 3-star quarterback Jalon Jones told 247Sports’ Steve Wiltfong that his son wants to commit and shut down his recruitment by the end of April. Jones’ father also said Florida, N.C. State, Ohio State and Virginia are the four schools he is focusing on.
This development puts pressure on the Gators to get Jones on campus in a hurry. He committed to Mullen last year when he was at Mississippi State but has yet to visit Gainesville since landing an offer from Florida on Dec. 11.
Jones visited Virginia on Feb. 10 and will be back for a spring practice. He received an offer from the Buckeyes on March 2 and visited Ohio State the following day, making plans to return on March 29.
The 6-foot-3, 180-pound quarterback has said Florida will receive an official visit, but no date has been set. With Jones reportedly moving up his commitment timeline, Mullen likely will push for him to make that trip in April.
News & notes
- The Gators extended an offer on Tuesday to Ben Coleman, a 3-star lineman from Linfield Christian School in Temecula, Calif. Florida is recruiting the 6-3, 300-pound prospect as a defensive tackle. He holds a dozen offers, including Cal, Nebraska and Oregon.
— Ben Coleman™ (@_bencoleman62) March 13, 2018
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