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ESPN analysts discuss Florida recruiting
Florida’s 2018 signing class finished No. 13 in the ESPN recruiting rankings.
Gators coach Dan Mullen and his staff signed nine ESPN 300 members, including three players ranked in the top 60 nationally (quarterback Emory Jones and wide receivers Jacob Copeland and Justin Watkins).
“I really like this class,” ESPN national recruiting director Tom Luginbill said. “Dan Mullen deserves a lot of credit. They’ve addressed needs at quarterback and the offensive line.”
The Gators signed four players up front — including top-100 tackle Richard Gouraige — and now have 17 linemen for their 2018 roster. Copeland and Gouraige officially rejoined Florida’s class on National Signing Day after committing to the previous staff.
“He is physical, stout and explosive,” Luginbill said of Copeland, who chose the Gators over Alabama and Tennessee. “This is important for Florida for him to stay at home. They need this type of weapon in Gainesville.”
“You can’t coach that first step,” Luginbill said of Chatfield. “He can use his hands. He can play chase. This is the type of player that can be disruptive shaving the edge.”
ESPN national recruiting coordinator Craig Haubert is high on Chatfield’s ability as well.
“Here are the things he does well: he has a very good first step, he has good body length and he can get after the quarterback,” Haubert said. “He’s a well-coached player and has the ability to squeeze down and take away cutback lanes and be a factor in backside pursuit.”
Chatfield, Copeland, Jones and other Florida signees were offered by Mullen when he was at Mississippi State, but they never showed serious interest in the Bulldogs. However, Haubert said Mullen was able to capitalize on his history with those players and had better luck with them the second time around.
“He’s looking at the same pool of players he was looking at when he was at Mississippi State, but he has a better chance of getting them, I think. Recruiting to Florida and recruiting to Mississippi State are two very different things,” Haubert said. “He was able to take advantage of actually being in state and recruit one of the deepest states in the nation for talent.
“He did bring some MSU recruits to Florida, but he’s been able to add some pieces also. Emory Jones was a good pickup during the early signing period.”
Mullen pleased with Florida recruiting, team progress
Mullen appeared on SEC Network to discuss Florida’s 2018 signing class, his recruiting strategy with the Gators and the team’s progress in the offseason strength program.
Mullen also commented on the quarterbacks and how he plans to handle their competition for the starting job. Check out the video below.
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