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JUCO defensive tackle Noah Jefferson will visit Florida on Feb. 2.

Florida recruiting: 5 most likely commits for Gators

Zach Abolverdi

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1) Noah Jefferson, JUCO defensive tackle, Arizona Western College (Yuma, Ariz.)

  • Jefferson named Florida his No. 1 school in December and the Gators still hold the top spot heading in the final month of his recruitment. The former Southern Cal defensive lineman will take a trip to Ole Miss on Jan. 26 and officially visits UF on Feb. 2. The 6-foot-6, 330-pound Jefferson plans to make his decision on National Signing Day. He is ranked the nation’s No. 8 defensive tackle and No. 19 overall prospects in the 247Sports Composite JUCO rankings.

Confidence level: 85 percent

2) Justin Watkins, 4-star wide receiver, East Ridge High School (Clermont, Fla.)

  • Florida is now trending for Watkins after he decided to extend his recruitment into January. He will officially visit on Jan. 19 and the Gators are battling LSU for his services. Watkins grew up a half hour away from UF’s campus in nearby Citra, Fla., so proximity to home could work into Florida’s favor. The 5-foot-11, 172-pound speedster is ranked the nation’s No. 21 wide receiver and No. 103 overall prospect in the 247Sports Composite rankings.

Confidence level: 75 percent

3) Jacob Copeland, 4-star wide receiver, Escambia High School (Pensacola, Fla.)

  • Copeland is a former UF commit who re-opened his recruitment after his senior season. Florida is still one of his top schools along with Alabama, Tennessee and Texas A&M. The Crimson Tide are the biggest threat to UF, but Copeland has a strong relationship with WR coach Billy Gonzales and quarterback enrollee Emory Jones. I think the Gators will be to land him on signing day. The 6-foot, 192-pound Copeland is ranked the nation’s No. 9 WR and No. 54 overall prospect.

Confidence level: 65 percent

4) Dorian Gerald, JUCO defensive end, College of the Canyons (Santa Clarita, Calif.)

  • Gerald de-committed from Tennessee in November and several schools are now in the mix, including Florida. Head coach Dan Mullen offered him immediately after taking the job at UF and secured an official visit for Feb. 2. Gerald likes new defensive line coach Sal Sunseri and sees an opportunity to play right away. Gerald will visit Texas A&M on Jan. 19 and has also taken trips to Louisville and Texas A&M, but I like Florida’s chances with him. The 6-foot-3, 260-pound pass rusher is ranked the nation’s No. 1 JUCO defensive end and No. 27 overall prospect.

Confidence level: 60 percent

5) William Barnes, 4-star offensive lineman, Apopka High School (Apopka, Fla.)

  • The Gators once held the edge for Barnes, but he claims no leaders at this time and Florida has some work to do with him. The 6-foot-4, 325-pound lineman needs to build a relationship with the coaching staff, but he’s still high on UF and has visited the campus countless times. Auburn and North Carolina both have a legitimate shot at Barnes, but I think the Gators will be able to regain their lead by the time he decides on signing day. Barnes is ranked the nation’s No. 5 offensive tackle and No. 46 overall prospect.

Confidence level: 50 percent