GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Saturday’s game against LSU should set the stage for Florida’s biggest recruiting weekend of the season.
The Gators are scheduled to host some elite talent, highlighted by Donovan Peoples-Jones, the nation’s No. 1 wide receiver, and Anthony Hines, the nation’s No. 2 inside linebacker. Both Hines and Peoples-Jones will officially visit UF.
Peoples-Jones is from Detroit and considered a Michigan lean, but his interest in the Gators is legitimate, and they may be the only team capable of pulling him out of his home state. Peoples-Jones has three official visits left after this weekend, so Florida needs to leave a lasting impression.
Hines, a top-100 overall recruit from Plano, Texas, holds 90 scholarship offers, but the Gators are one of his top teams. He’s very high on UF linebackers coach Randy Shannon, who is his primary recruiter and has landed several players from Texas such as Florida’s Kylan Johnson.
Other targets will be attendance
UF will have a handful of uncommitted targets on hand in addition to Hines and Peoples-Jones.
That includes a trio of 4-star recruits from Alabama: wide receiver Henry Ruggs (Montgomery), defensive end LaBryan Ray (Madison) and linebacker K.J. Britt (Oxford). Alabama is the school to beat for Ray and Ruggs, while Britt appears to be favoring Auburn. Florida’s best shot might be at Ruggs, who celebrated a touchdown this season with a Gator Chomp.
Rahyme Johnson, a 4-star linebacker from Los Angeles, will make his second trip to UF after attending Friday Night Lights in July. Miami cornerback C.J. Henderson is visiting for the second consecutive home game. The 4-star prospect de-committed from the Hurricanes on Monday.
Gators looking for flips
Florida will receive another visit Saturday from Kai-Leon Herbert, who could potentially join the class at some point. The 4-star tackle from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., is a Michigan commit, but the Gators are still pushing him and he’s close friends with UF quarterback commit Jake Allen.
Tray Bishop, a 4-star athlete from Dawson, Ga., visited Florida on July 18 but committed to Auburn the following week. However, he’ll catch his first-ever game in The Swamp this weekend and return to Gainesville for an official visit after the season.
Defensive tackle Cory Durden, a local product from Newberry, Fla., is also visiting. He’s a Florida State pledge and seems solid with the Seminoles, but proximity to home has kept the Gators in the mix.
9 Florida commits coming
More than half of Florida’s 2017 class is scheduled to attend the LSU game, including a couple out-of-state commits.
Cornerback Elijah Blades (Pasadena, Ca.) and tight end Zech Byrd will visit the Gators for the first time this season.
The other visitors are Allen, 4-star wide receiver Daquon Green (Tampa, Fla.), 4-star tight end Kemore Gamble (Miami), 4-star defensive end Zachary Carter (Tampa), 3-star linebacker Ventrell Miller (Lakeland, Fla.), 3-star cornerback Shawn Davis (Miami) and 4-star cornerback Marco Wilson (Fort Lauderdale).
Several underclassmen visiting
More than a dozen 2018 prospects will be at UF on Saturday, including an impressive group of 4-star wide receivers.
The Gators are hosting Amari Burney (Clearwater, Fla.), Kearis Jackson (Fort Valley, Ga.), Mark Pope (Miami) and Warren Thompson (Seffner, Fla.).
Here’s a list of underclassmen visiting for the game.
- RB Kavosiey Smoke, Wetumpka, Ala. (unrated)
- 3-star RB Jerome Ford, Seffner, Fla.
- 5-star OL Jamaree Salyer, Atlanta
- 3-star DT Coynis Miller, Birmingham, Ala.
- 4-star DE Stacy Kirby, Orlando, Fla.
- 3-star DE Malcolm Lamar, Seffner, Fla.
- 4-star DB Nadab Joseph, Miami, Fla. (LSU commit)
- 4-star DB C.J. Smith, West Palm Beach, Fla.
- 3-star DB Trey Dean, Hampton, Ga.
- 3-star ATH Cam Taylor, Prattville, Ala.
Unless otherwise indicated, ratings and rankings come from the 247Sports Composite.