GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Florida’s upset win at LSU last Saturday could help the Gators sway some recruits their way in the Class of 2017.
One of potential prospects is LaBryan Ray, a 4-star defensive end from Madison, Ala. The in-state Crimson Tide are considered his leader, though he hasn’t listend them as his favorite.
The biggest threat to Alabama could be the Gators.
“I’m very high on Florida,” Ray said. “I like what Coach Mac is doing down there. I like how they’re rotating the young guys in and I like the way the coaches coach. They play fast and get after the quarterback a lot.”
The Under Armour All-American saw that first hand two weeks ago when he attended Florida’s final home game against South Carolina. UF sacked Gamecocks quarterback Jake Bentley five times.
Afterward, Ray met with Gators coach Jim McElwain and defensive line coach Chris Rumph.
“I had my eyes on the young guys during the game because it’s important to at least be in the rotation.They reassured me on things,” Ray said. “Coach Rumph said he would love to have me as a player and he was glad that I came down. He told me that I could play early if I come in and work.
“I had good talk with Coach Mac. He told me if I come to Florida that not only would they help me for four years, but after football too. There are connections that come with a degree from the University of Florida. That’s important also because football has to end one day.”
Ray’s uncle and aunt accompanied him on his trip, and they have family in Gainesville. The South Carolina game was their first time seeing the Gators play in The Swamp.
“My uncle liked the visit. My aunt did too, they had a great time down there,” Ray said. “The atmosphere was great. I had heard a lot about The Swamp. I’m glad that I came down there and was able to see it for myself.
“It was pretty loud in there. My other visit was just a regular visit, so this was the first time being able to see everything that happens on a game day. It was a good trip.”
Ray, the nation’s No. 3 strongside defensive end and No. 45 overall prospect, plans to officially visit Alabama, Florida, Ole Miss, Mississippi State and Tennessee before making his decision.
Florida commit considering visits
Kemore Gamble has been pledged to the Gators more than seven months ago, but other schools haven’t slowed their pursuit.
The 4-star tight end from Miami told SEC Country he still hears from Alabama and Miami, a school to which he was formerly committed. The Crimson Tide offered him in July.
“Both schools (are) telling me I still have a spot there,” Gamble said.
The 6-foot-4, 216-pound prospect is considering official visits to Alabama and Miami, but said he’s solid with Florida and plans to enroll early.
“There’s no place like home,” Gamble said. “The coaches tell me I have a shot at coming in and playing early. They’re ready for me to sign the papers.”
2018 tight end likes five schools
Florida is one of the early favorites for Will Mallory, a 2018 tight end from Jackonsville, Fla.
The 4-star recruit checked out the Gators for the South Carolina game and has a sister who attends UF.
“I liked it a lot. It was a lot of fun and a good atmosphere,” Mallory said. “I like the way they use their tight ends. This is an offense that I see myself fitting into. I definitely have high interest in them.”
The 6-foot-5, 200-pound prospect also has interest in Alabama, Clemson, Miami and Michigan. He’s been to three of those schools this fall and will take a trip to Tuscaloosa on Saturday for the Iron Bowl.
“The schools I like are the ones I’ve visited,” said Mallory, who plans to take his time with his recruitment. “Ohio State is recruiting me really hard, too.”
Unless otherwise indicated, ratings and rankings come from the 247Sports Composite.