GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Florida was expected to have a smaller class size for 2017, but roster turnover may change that.
Former starting quarterback Treon Harris transferred from the program last week, and defensive linemen Thomas Holley and Andrew Ivie have received medical hardships.
With those developments, UF now has 17 scholarships available in this year’s recruiting cycle. That number will increase between now and signing day with additional attrition and early departures for the NFL.
Four juniors — linebacker Alex Anzalone, defensive tackle Caleb Brantley and cornerbacks Jalen Tabor and Quincy Wilson — could potentially turn pro after this season. There’s also a few more transfer candidates remaining on the roster.
It was initially thought the Gators would sign around 20 recruits in their 2017 class, but they could finish closer to a full class size of 25. Florida currently has 13 verbal commitments.
UF staff utilizing new NCAA social media rules
Talk about good timing.
On Aug. 1, the Twitter floodgates opened in college football recruiting. New NCAA legislation allowed coaches to “endorse” recruits by interacting (e.g., “like,” “favorite,” republish, “tag,”) with their social media posts. They can’t comment or reply to a post, but by all means, let the retweets fly.
Coaches across the country sent out written offers to 2017 recruits Monday. Director of player personnel Drew Hughes retweeted several prospects who shared the Gators scholarship graphic, such as 4-star defensive tackle target Fred Hansard.
— Fred Hansard (@Fred_Hansard56) August 1, 2016
But Florida was able to take it a step further Monday night, as 4-star cornerback Marco Wilson committed to the Gators. In addition to Hughes, head coach Jim McElwain and on-campus recruiting coordinator John Herron retweeted Wilson’s big news.
— MARCO WILSON❗️ (@MjW_era) August 2, 2016
Asked Wednesday about the social media policy, McElwain said he and his staff will take advantage of it in recruiting.
“I think there’s a lot to it and whether I’m a fan or like it, it really doesn’t matter. It’s the rules,” McElwain said. “So now being able to do it, it’s something that I think it’s the way a lot of people communicate today.
“To me, it’s a good thing, because you know how hard it is to probably enforce all that stuff if you’re the NCAA, really. So rather than try to enforce it, just embrace it and go with it.”
Zach Abolverdi is the Florida beat writer for SEC Country and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.