With the dead period now in effect, SEC Country is counting down the top 10 recruiting targets for Florida in the Class of 2017.
No. 5 is LaBryan Ray, a 4-star defensive end from Madison, Ala.
Recruiting importance of LaBryan Ray
The Gators will be without senior defensive end Bryan Cox Jr. after this season. Next year they’ll likely lose Jordan Sherit and CeCe Jefferson, with the latter possibly turning pro after his junior season. In addition to Jefferson, UF has four talented underclassmen at the position in Antonneous Clayton, Keivonnis Davis, Jordan Smith and Jabari Zuniga. The Gators should be set with those four in 2018, but they need to continue building depth and adding quality pass rushers. Ray would be a great addition to go along with 4-star DE Zachary Carter, Florida’s top-ranked recruit.
Biggest competition for LaBryan Ray
Alabama. The Crimson Tide are the in-state team and the presumed front-runner for his services. However, his high school coach told SEC Country last week that Ray is not a lock to Alabama and doesn’t have a leader in his recruitment. He plans to officially visit Tennessee on Jan. 13 and Florida on Jan. 27, with Ole Miss and Mississippi State rounding out his top 5. But Ray has been to Tuscaloosa several times in the past year, most recently for the Iron Bowl.
Signing day projection for LaBryan Ray
It’s hard to pick against the Crimson Tide. Nick Saban rarely misses on recruits that he wants from the state of Alabama, though the Gators were able to hold on to running back Lamical Perine in the last cycle. Florida will get Ray’s final visit, which could be a game-changer. He has raved about his previous trips to UF. The Vols also have a shot at landing the Under Armour All-American, but overcoming Alabama will be hard for both Florida and Tennessee.
Top 10 recruiting targets
No. 2: James Robinson , 4-star wide receiver, Lakeland, Fla.
No. 3: C.J. Henderson, 4-star cornerback, Miami.
No. 4: Brad Stewart, 4-star defensive back, New Orleans.
No. 5: LaBryan Ray, 4-star defensive end, Madison, Ala.
No. 6: Tray Bishop, 4-star athlete, Dawson, Ga.
No. 7: T.J. Moore, a 4-star offensive tackle, Charlotte, N.C.
No. 8: Rahyme Johnson, 4-star linebacker, Los Angeles
No. 9: Tyrone Truesdell, 3-star defensive tackle, Augusta, Ga.
No. 10: Adarius Lemons, 3-star running back, Clearwater, Fla.