Florida’s 2018 class is ranked No. 18 nationally heading into National Signing Day. Gators coach Dan Mullen has 16 class members and can add a maximum of six more recruits on Wednesday.
Wide receiver, defensive line and cornerback are the remaining needs for UF. How will Florida fill out the rest of its 2018 class? Here are SEC Country’s latest projections:
^ mid-year enrollee
+ medical hardship
QB: Emory Jones^
Analysis: Florida needed to sign an elite signal-caller in this class and Mullen checked that box with Emory Jones, a top-100 overall recruit who is perfect fit for his offense. He committed to the Gators on the day of the early signing period, choosing them over Alabama, Florida State and Ohio State.
RB: Iverson Clement^, Dameon Pierce^
Analysis: Iverson Clement and Dameon Pierce committed to the previous staff and didn’t waver during the coaching changes. Both backs are already on campus and will participate in spring practice next month. Pierce is more likely to see the field as a true freshman.
Analysis: The Gators have already addressed their needs at this position with WR transfers Trevon Grimes and Van Jefferson, both of whom could receive NCAA waivers to play in 2018. Top-100 athlete Justin Watkins committed last month and could play receiver or cornerback at the next level. Jacob Copeland is Florida’s top overall target and I think he will rejoin the class on Wednesday.
TE: Kyle Pitts*, Dante Lang*
Analysis: Both players signed with Florida in December despite not being early enrollees. Pitts is ranked the nation’s No. 5 tight end and should be a future starter at the position. Lang is a versatile prospect who could play tight end or defensive end for the Gators.
Analysis: The Gators entered the cycle needing four offensive linemen and they have a chance to fill those spots Wednesday. It appears that 5-star tackle Nicholas Petit-Frere is headed out of state, but signing top-100 tackle Richard Gouraige would certainly less the blow for Florida. If Gouraige sticks, he and guard Griffin McDowell will officially join mid-year enrollees Noah Banks and Chris Bleich in the class.
DL: Dorian Gerald, Caleb Johnson
Analysis: Defensive line recruiting has been a struggle for the Gators in this cycle, but they have a chance to close strong. I expect Florida to outlast Auburn for Caleb Johnson, an underrated 3-star defender who could play end or tackle. Dorian Gerald, the nation’s No. 1 junior college defensive end, will make his decision on Friday.
Analysis: This position is not a huge need from a numbers standpoint, but it was important for Florida to add some elite linebackers in the class. David Reese is one of the top linebackers in the Sunshine State, while Andrew Chatfield and Caleb Tannor are both 4-star edge rushers being recruited to play outside linebacker in Florida’s 3-4 defensive scheme.
DB: Noah Boykin, Amari Burney^, Trey Dean^, John Huggins*, Randy Russell+^
Analysis: Florida had to load up at defensive back for 2018 and did so during the early signing period with the addition of Amari Burney, Trey Dean, John Huggins and Randy Russell, who has a career-ending heart condition. If 4-star cornerback Noah Boykin pulls the trigger on Wednesday as expected, it will be a quality DB class for the Gators.
K: Evan McPherson*
Analysis: The Gators needed a find a replacement for kicker Eddy Pineiro and Mullen made it happen with Evan McPherson, the nation’s No. 1-ranked kicker in the 247Sports Composite. He flipped from Mississippi State to Florida in December and will assume the starting job next season.