Ryan Young/SEC Country
Florida coach Dan Mullen and his staff flipped five recruits in the 2018 class.

Florida recruiting: Potential flip candidates for Gators

Zach Abolverdi

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In the 2018 recruiting cycle, first-year Florida coach Dan Mullen and his staff showed the ability to flip prospects from other schools.

Mullen & Co. were able to sway quarterback Emory Jones (Ohio State), kicker Evan McPherson (Mississippi State) and offensive linemen Noah Banks (Arkansas), Chris Bleich (UCLA) and Griffin McDowell (Mississippi State).

They also received official visits from guard Jamaree Salyer (Georiga) and defensive linemen Nesta Silvera (Miami) Fabien Lovett (Mississippi State).

At this time, the Gators do not appear to be trending or close to flipping a recruit in the 2019 class, but there’s a handful of potential names to watch.

A trio of Miami commits — defensive tackle Renato Brown (West Palm Beach, Fla.), defensive end Cameron Williams (Hollywood, Fla.) and linebacker Jesiah Pierre (Mount Dora, Fla.) — still have interest in Florida and visited Gainesville this spring.

RELATED: Gators making a push for Miami LB commit Jesiah Pierre

Brown and Pierre attended the Orange & Blue Game, while Williams checked out one of Florida’s practices. Williams earned an offer from the Gators last summer at Friday Night Lights and committed on the spot, but decided to flip his pledge to the Hurricanes on Jan. 20.

The Gators also expected to host a pair of Florida State commits in the coming months, including 5-star cornerback Akeem Dent (West Palm Beach, Fla.). He told SEC Country he plans to visit Florida “at some point” and likes the direction of the football program under first-year coach Dan Mullen.

RELATED: 5-star cornerback Akeem Dent discusses Dan Mullen, Gators 

Another pledge for the Seminoles — top-150 overall guard Dontae Lucas (Miami) from IMG Academy — took a trip to Florida on April 7 and plans to return for an official visit. If the Gators land IMG Academy’s Trey Sanders, the 5-star running back could help their chances with Lucas.

RELATED: 5-star RB Trey Sanders says joining brother at Florida would be a ‘dream’

Two more top-100 targets — Auburn wide receiver commit George Pickens (Hoover, Ala.) and Ole Miss athlete commit Diwun Black (Forest, Miss.) — plan to visit Florida in the future. Black was committed to Mullen at Mississippi State, but backed off that pledge in March and joined the Rebels’ class the following month.

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