Join us here on SEC Country for a daily recap of the latest Florida recruiting news, tales from the trail and perspective on what it all means for the Gators.
Gators welcome mid-year enrollees
The Florida football team will receive some new additions this week.
Eight signees are scheduled to enroll Monday and begin classes at UF. The Gators welcome quarterback Emory Jones, running backs Dameon Pierce and Iverson Clement, offensive linemen Noah Banks (JUCO) and Chris Bleich, linebacker/safety Amari Burney and defensive backs Trey Dean and Randy Russell.
All eyes will be on Jones in spring practice as he competes with quarterbacks Feleipe Franks, Kyle Trask and Jake Allen. However, the top-50 overall recruit is not the only incoming player who addresses a position of need for Florida coach Dan Mullen.
Pierce and Clement are both talented ball carriers with skill sets that differ from Florida’s current backs. Banks and Bleich will help the numbers along the offensive line, while Burney, Dean and Russell give the Gators some much-needed depth on defense.
“Just the general philosophy of enrolling early I think gives you a jump-start in your college career,” Mullen said after the early signing period. “They also get to go through an offseason conditioning program and to get to go through spring ball. I do think it helps them with the foundation of building for their future, and certainly with the opportunity to get on the field early in their career.”
All moved in, it’s official ✊🏾🐊
— Emory Jones (@eXjones6) January 7, 2018
All The GA Boys Roomed Together 🤟🏾💯🐊
— Dameon Pierce™️ (@IRep229) January 7, 2018
Ready to start the new chapter of my life. Time to go to work! #GoGators 🐊
— 21 (@randy_knows) January 7, 2018
— Amari Burney (@amari_burney) January 5, 2018
Florida support staff changes
Florida director of player personnel Drew Hughes left the program over the weekend to accept the same position at Tennessee. Hughes had been at UF since January 2014 and helped the Gators sign back-to-back top-15 recruiting classes.
Good luck @dhughes234 you was there for me since I was a freshman 📈🤧💪🏾
— Iverson Clement🇭🇹 (@Swaggy__ai) January 6, 2018
“Drew has done a really good job working, I guess maybe even adjusting to, what we’re looking for,” Mullen said of Hughes after the early signing period. “In the change of recruiting style, the change of possible personnel and what we’re looking for out of the players, but also change in the character and the makeup of the players that we’re looking for. So I think he’s done a really good job for us, helping transition through the staff, trying to be as organized as he can and trying to get us after as many players as he can of kind of being that link.”
In addition to Hughes, on-campus recruiting director John Herron and program assistant Ryan Smith are no longer on Florida’s support staff.
Miss a previous Gator Chomps notebook? Find every daily recap of Florida Gators recruiting right here.