GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The Florida Gators are still pushing for an elite offensive lineman in the Class of 2017, but they already have one in play for 2018.
Reuben Unije is ranked the nation’s No. 2 offensive tackle and No. 17 overall recruit by Rivals.com. UF coach Jim McElwain attended Unije’s game Friday and continues to pursue him along with offensive line coach Mike Summers.
“They want me to come here and want me to commit,” Unije said. “They say I would get early playing time and they like me a lot. I’m their top priority. I talk with Coach Summers once a week, the relationship is really good.”
The 6-foot-6, 300-pound prospect from IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., visited Florida in June for a summer camp. It was his first time meeting McElwain, who confidently told Unije he would be a Gator by the end of his recruiting process.
Unije made a return trip to UF for the Missouri game and was impressed with the 40-14 win.
“It was a good visit,” Unije said. “The way they dominated, it was beautiful, it was amazing. They didn’t let up. The offensive line did really good against a team known for having good D-linemen. … They throw freshmen in there too, so it was nice to see.”
Unije — who also holds an early offer from Alabama — claims no leader at this time, but the Gators are likely the team to beat at this point in his recruitment.
“I love everything about Florida,” he said. “That is kind of why I come back each time. The coaches, the players, the assistants, the hosts. The whole vibe here, you know, I feel at home.”
Florida commits in action
Here are the standout performers from Friday:
4-star QB Jake Allen (Fort Lauderdale, Fla./St. Thomas Aquinas) overcame an interception on the opening drive to throw 3 first-half touchdowns and lead the Raiders to a 42-7 win over Boyd Anderson. Allen had scoring passes of 39, 35 and 5 yards.
28-0 STA lead with 5:42 in the half left. Jake Allen to Mike Harley on the deep ball for the score. ⛽️⛽️ pic.twitter.com/hf2IgHDMyI
— Peter Ariz (@PeterAriz) October 22, 2016
4-star CB Elijah Blades (Pasadena, Calif./John Muir) continued to show playmaking ability in scoring 3 touchdowns and making an interception in his team’s 62-26 win over Glendale.
4-star DE Zachary Carter (Tampa, Fla./Hillsborough) made 3 tackles as his team moved to 8-0 on the season with a 49-7 win over Brandon, clinching home-field advantage in the playoffs. Here are Carter’s senior highlights:
3-star ATH Kadarius Toney (Eight Mile, Ala./Blount) accounted for 3 touchdowns in a 46-7 win over Gulf Shores. Toney threw an 85-yard touchdown pass on the first play of the game and also scored on a 60-yard run.