Join us here at 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.
Brian Johnson, Greg Knox discuss Florida recruiting
Florida’s 2019 recruiting board continues take shape as the new coaching staff sends out offers and determines its top targets.
The Gators have yet to land a quarterback and running back in the 2019 class, but have offered 11 prospects at each positions. Quarterbacks coach Brian Johnson discussed what he’s looking for in a signal caller.
“No. 1, once you get to this level everybody has a certain talent. There’s a certain talent required to play at this level,” Johnson said. “I think the things that go underrated or unnoticed, the first thing you want is physicalness. You need a guy that can be the face of your program and be able to handle success, be able to handle adversity. I think those are two aspects that is kind of a starting point for us.
“We want someone that’s tough, that can be a leader, that can process information and make decisions and has some ‘it’ factor. I think we kind of start to dive into the intangible stuff that you can’t necessarily measure that makes great quarterbacks. There’s a ton of guys throughout America that can run, than can throw, and then look good in shorts and at combines. We all know the game isn’t played that way. We try to just dive into personality and fit.”
Johnson landed top-100 quarterback Emory Jones in the 2018 class. Of the 11 quarterbacks who have been offered for 2019, the Gators appear to have a good shot with 4-star prospect Taisun Phommachanh (Bridgeport, Conn.) and 3-star QBs David Baldwin (Bradenton, Fla.) and Jalon Jones (Baltimore). All three plan to visit Florida this spring.
“I truly believe there is no better place in America to play quarterback than the University of Florida,” Johnson said. “You walk right outside that stadium and you see three Heisman Trophy winner statues out there. That excites me as a position coach. Coach [Dan] Mullen always talks about the Gator standard. To me, that’s what the Gator standard is. We have some huge shoes to fill in that room. We’re definitely up for the challenge.”
The Gators have signed an elite running back four straight years and new position coach Greg Knox will look to extend that streak in the 2019 class. He is pursuing 5-star RBs Noah Cain and Trey Sanders from IMG Academy and 4-star RB Austin Jones, a top-100 recruit from Oakland, Calif., who received an offer from Florida on Feb. 7.
“I look for a guy that’s dynamic. A guy that can make guys miss in space,” Knox said. “People and kids ask me that all the time: ‘Coach, what do you look for in a running back?’ Can you make the first guy miss? Are you always moving forward? How good are your hands out of the backfield?
“I don’t only want to hand it off to you. I want to be able to throw you the ball, get you out in space and let you operate 1 on 1. So I’m looking for a dynamic player. A guy that can make guys miss, create the big play out in space and hit what we call the home run.”
Miss a previous Gator Chomps notebook? Find every daily recap of Florida Gators recruiting right here.