As Jim McElwain tries to rebuild Florida football into a championship program, one of his mottos is “recruit daily or die.” Join us here on SEC Country for a daily recap of the latest UF recruiting news, tales from the trail and perspective on what it all means for the Gators.
A new QB target
Another week, another offer from the Florida staff at the quarterback position.
The Gators extended an offer Thursday to Kentucky QB commit Jarren Williams, a 3-star recruit from Lawrenceville, Ga. He received the news during his visit UF.
“He liked it,” said Todd Wofford, Williams’ head coach at Central Gwinnett. “He told me all the coaches he talked to were genuine. They told him their plans for him in the offense and they really rolled out the red carpet for him.”
Wofford has a longstanding relationship with Florida coach Jim McElwain and has been telling him about Williams for more than a year. Offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier evaluated the 6-foot-3, 210-pound prospect last spring and then he checked out UF in the summer.
“He wanted to get some more 1-on-1 time on today’s visit, and that’s what he got,” Wofford said. “He got a chance to meet with Coach Mac and Coach Nuss, just to get a feel for what they really think about him as well as a feel for their offense.
“They know he has a big arm. His grades are great and he has the character you want. They wanted to see him watch film. Today they realized that he’s a kid who checks all the boxes.”
The Gators offered 4-star quarterback Joe Milton (Orlando, Fla.) last week and Penn State QB commit Justin Fields (Kennesaw, Ga.) in late February. McElwain and Nussmeier are still waiting for someone to pull the trigger, and now Williams is in that mix.
He pledged to the Wildcats last June but has landed seven offers since then, including recent ones from LSU and Tennessee. Williams visited the Tigers last weekend and will continue considering other schools, according to his coach.
“Jarren has more offers now than he had prior to committing to Kentucky,” Wofford said. “All he’s doing right now is what I would suggest to any student athlete, which is weigh all your options and do what’s best for his future. He’s a sharp kid and that’s what he’ll do.
“You can’t just lock in to one school without giving yourself the opportunity to see other options. That’s only being fair to yourself. I tell all my players, this is the only leverage you’ll ever have as far as choosing where you want to play. You need to do your due diligence.”
Wofford has coached Williams for the past two seasons and said his quarterback is finally receiving the attention he deserves. He called Williams’ 3-star rating “ridiculous.”
“When he first came to me and I started reaching out to coaches about him, nobody knew who he was,” Wofford said. “So he was under the radar for a while and that kind of puts you behind the eight ball. You’re a 3-star by default. But he had a phenomenal junior season.
“He had 2,800 passing yards and 28 touchdowns, rushed for another 11. He threw the ball over 300 times and had just 4 interceptions, and half of those came in the playoffs. He didn’t throw a pick until Week 8. I’ve never had anybody who was that accurate.”
Williams is ranked as a dual-threat quarterback but Wofford considers him a pro-style passer who can run. He rushed for less than 500 yards last season, but averaged more than 4 yards per carry.
“He stands in the pocket and make all the throws. He just has the ability to hurt you with his feet on top of that,” Wofford said. “He’s very coachable and that kind separates him from a lot of kids these days who are prima donnas when they get all their offers.
“So Jarren is a special kid. He plays with a chip on his shoulder. I’ve had some top-level kids and he really impacts the game as much or more than anybody, and I’ve coached some pretty good ones.”
Wofford was the offensive coordinator for former Alabama quarterback Blake Sims at Gainesville (Ga.) High School. McElwain recruited Sims to Alabama and that’s when his relationship started with Wofford.
“Coach Mac is a phenomenal guy and I’ve known him for a while,” Wofford said. “Blake loves him with a passion. He took care of one of my players I coached in the past and for me, that’s all I can ask from any of the coaches. I think what he’s done in a couple years at Florida is great.
“Early on when I talked to him, he told me about how he would build that program. He’s done everything he said he would do. I know they’re one trigger man away from lighting up the scoreboard and competing with anybody in the nation. It’s only a matter of time.”
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