Sam Spiegelman/SEC Country
5-star linebacker Nakobe Dean is a top target for the Gators.

Florida recruiting: Linebacker, defensive tackle targets for 2019 class

Zach Abolverdi

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The Gators have offered a dozen defensive tackles and more than 20 linebackers in the Class of 2019.

Their top linebacker targets include 5-star prospects Nakobe Dean and Owen Pappoe and top-100 athlete Jaleel McRae, a former Florida commit who attends IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla.

Florida coach Dan Mullen will be back in his old stomping grounds to recruit Dean, who hails from Horn Lake, Miss. Pappoe and 4-star linebacker Kevin Harris are two of eight 2019 recruits from Grayson High School (Loganville, Ga.) with offers from Florida.

Mullen and his assistants are after a slew of South Florida linebackers, including Jahmar Brown, Samuel Brooks, Ge’mon Eaford, Diamante Howard (Miami commit) and Anthony Solomon.

The Gators also have offered a few linebackers from Alabama — Jammal Abrams, Vonta Bentley and Mohamoud Diabate — and prospects from Hawaii (Maninoa Tufono) to Nebraska (Nick Henrich).

Florida’s notable offers at defensive tackle include 5-star prospects Ishmael Sopsher (Amite, La.) and Faatui Tuitele (Honolulu) and in-state targets Tyler Davis (Apopka, Fla.) and Jaquaze Sorrells (Largo, Fla.), a former Florida commit.

Sopsher is the No. 1 overall recruit in the 247Sports composite and Tuitele is ranked No. 2 nationally at his position. The Gators extended offers in late January to Texas defensive tackles Enoch Jackson and DeMarvin Leal, a top-100 prospect.

Mullen likely will sign a pair of players at each position in the 2019 class. Florida loses one defensive tackle (senior Khairi Clark) after the 2018 season and will return five players. The Gators also bring back all 11 scholarship linebackers in 2019, unless junior David Reese leaves early for the NFL draft.