Zach Abolverdi/SEC Country
Top-150 tight end Keon Zipperer is a top target for the Gators.

Florida recruiting: TE Keon Zipperer will remain top priority for Gators

Zach Abolverdi

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Florida has wanted to sign a pair of tight ends in the Class of 2019, and the top two targets at the position emerged this spring.

Top-150 overall prospect Keon Zipperer (Lakeland, Fla.) has been No. 1 on the board since the start of the recruiting cycle, and Jahleel Billingsley became the leading candidate to join Florida’s class last weekend.

RELATED: TE Jahleel Billingsley names Florida No. 1, sees ‘best of both worlds’ on visit

The 4-star tight end from Phillips Academy (Chicago) visited Gainesville for the first time and named the Gators his top team after attending the cookout on Saturday. Billingsley plans to commit before his senior season.

Even with Billingsley’s pledge, the Gators would continue to pursue Zipperer and make him one of their biggest priorities — regardless of position. He is simply too talented, too much of need and too close by to stop recruiting.

Zipperer has taken two trips to Florida this year, most recently on March 29. He named Clemson his leader during the spring but later backed off those comments. Miami now appears to be the biggest threat to the Gators following his recent visits to Coral Gables.

RELATED: TE Keon Zipperer feeling love from Gators staff 

His other suitors include Alabama, Florida State and Oklahoma, so there’s some stiff competition for the nation’s No. 3-ranked tight end, according to the 247Sports composite. However, the Gators have positioned themselves well with Zipperer and will not let up, whether Billingsley is on board or not.

The other options at the position include 3-star TE Gary Cooper (Miami) and 4-star TE Ethan Rae (Orange, Calif.), who visited Florida last month and named the Gators in his top 10 on Tuesday.

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