Zach Abolverdi/SEC Country
Top-150 overall G Keiondre Jones (right) with his cousin, Florida QB Emory Jones (left).

Florida recruiting: Gators in contention for several prospects from Georgia

Zach Abolverdi

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Georgia Bulldogs coach Kirby Smart has made it harder to get top recruits from  Georgia, but the Gators are still having success in the state.

Florida did not land any Georgia players during Smart’s first full recruiting cycle in 2017, when UGA signed the No. 3 class in the country with 17 in-state signees.

The Bulldogs followed that up with the nation’s top-ranked 2018 class, but new Florida coach Dan Mullen and his staff came up big in Georgia late in the cycle.

The Gators signed four players from the state, including three of their highest-rated recruits: 4-star quarterback Emory Jones (Franklin, Ga.), 4-star running back Dameon Pierce (Bainbridge, Ga.), 4-star cornerback Trey Dean (Hampton, Ga.) and 3-star guard Griffin McDowell (Leesburg, Ga.).

Florida has a chance to keep it going in the Class of 2019. Mullen and Co. have offered more than 40 recruits from Georgia and several are showing interest in the Gators.

Top-150 overall guard Keiondre Jones visited Gainesville last month and plans to return Saturday for the spring game. Jones is the cousin of Emory Jones, and the Gators are in a great spot to land him.

RELATED: Florida visit impresses top-150 G Keiondre Jones, Emory Jones’ cousin

Florida has also hosted 4-star offensive linemen Luke Griffin (Brunswick, Ga.) and Warren McClendon (Chatsworth, Ga.), who visited last weekend. Griffin attended Florida’s junior day on Feb. 24 and de-committed from Georgia on Sunday.

Tyler Fromm, a 4-star tight end from Warner Robins, Ga., also attended junior day and will be back Saturday for the Orange & Blue Game. He is the younger brother of Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm.

The Gators had 4-star defensive tackle Jaelin Humphries (Lawrenceville, Ga.) on campus March 24 and they’re now one of his top-5 teams, along with Auburn, Georgia, LSU and South Carolina.

RELATED: OLB Derrick McLendon a priority target for Florida DC Todd Grantham 

Last week, Florida hosted 4-star linebackers Tyron Hopper (Roswell, Ga.) and Derrick McLendon (Tucker, Ga.), who has a strong relationship with defensive coordinator Todd Grantham. The Gators are considered the team to beat for Hopper, the nation’s No. 13 inside linebacker in the 247Sports composite rankings.

Like Fromm, 4-star cornerback DJ Turner II (Suwanee, Ga.) plans to attend the spring game Saturday after visiting for junior day. Florida is also in the mix for 4-star athletes Jashawn Sheffield and Jaylin Simpson, teammates at Frederica Academy (St. Simons Island, Ga.) who received a visit from Mullen in late January.

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