Florida’s coaching search continues to pick up steam and the new coach will likely have time to make his mark on the recruiting trail.
Gators athletics director Scott Stricklin hopes to the hire made before the early signing period begins Dec. 20. Eight Florida commits were planning to sign on that day prior to Jim McElwain’s departure last month.
Those early enrollees have decided to remain committed for the time being, and it will be critical for the next coach to keep them on board. Florida’s 2018 class is currently ranked No. 9 nationally in the 247Sports Composite.
UF has never signed a top-10 class during a coaching transition. Here’s a look back at the recruiting rankings of the last four classes, according to Rivals.com:
2002: No. 20 class (Ron Zook)
2005: No. 15 class (Urban Meyer)
2011: No. 12 class (Will Muschamp)
2015: No. 23 class (Jim McElwain)
If the Gators can keep the commitment list in tact and land the majority of their remaining targets, they would accumulate enough points to sign a top-10 class in this year’s recruiting cycle. And if Chip Kelly or Scott Frost get the job, perhaps the class could finish even higher.
Regardless of who Stricklin hires, the next Florida head coach will walk into a much better recruiting situation than his predecessors.