Countdown to National Signing Day as Gators remain in play for top targets
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Checking in on Florida’s top recruiting targets
With a little more than three weeks left before National Signing Day, the race is on for Florida coach Dan Mullen and his staff to complete what is already a promising first recruiting class with the Gators.
Florida hosted no official visitors over the weekend, but the coaches were on the road making visits of their own as the contact period resumed Friday.
Justin Watkins, a 4-star WR from Clermont, Fla., posted a photo Friday of himself with Mullen and assistant coach Ja’Juan Seider. Wide receiver remains a top priority for the Gators in this class, and Watkins is ranked the No. 21 WR nationally by the 247Sports composite. He is expected to make an official visit to Florida this coming weekend.
— justin watkins (@laamar_05) January 13, 2018
Meanwhile, defensive coordinator Todd Grantham visited Dorian Gerald, the No. 1 strongside defensive end in the 247Sports composite JUCO rankings.
A former Tennessee commit, Gerald, from College of the Canyons in California, is scheduled to make an official visit to Florida on Feb. 2, less than a week before NSD on Feb. 7.
— Dorian Gerald (@TopNotchDG) January 12, 2018
After their haul during the early signing period, the Gators can sign between 7-9 more players in this class depending on further roster attrition, with the status of six of the nine players suspended last August still unsettled. SEC Country’s Zach Abolverdi provides a closer look at the numbers here.
Meanwhile, here’s an update on what programs some of Florida’s top targets visited over the weekend and what that means for the Gators’ chances.
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In other Florida football news
- Florida announced a date and time for the annual Orange & Blue spring game as well as a finalized list of its mid-year early enrollees.
- Steve Spurrier shared his thoughts on the role coaches play in helping players decide to declare for the NFL draft or return to school.
- Florida made a round of offers to Class of 2019 prospects from Hawaii. Maninoa Tufono, a 4-star linebacker from Honolulu, announced that he received a scholarship offer from the Gators. Tufono is ranked the No. 4 inside linebacker in next year’s class by the 247Sports composite.
- Also from Honolulu, 5-star Class of 2019 defensive tackle Faatui Tuitele tweeted that he received an offer from the Gators. Tuitele is ranked the No. 2 DT in next year’s class by the 247Sports composite.
- Enokk Vimahi, a 4-star offensive tackle from Kahuku, Hawaii, also received an offer from the Gators. He’s ranked the No. 14 OT in the Class of 2019, by the 247Sports composite.
- Xavier Truss, a Class of 2019 offensive tackle, announced he has received a scholarship offer from Florida as well. Truss, from Warwick, R.I., is listed at 6-foot-7, 325 pounds on his 247Sports recruiting profile.
- And Jammal Abrams, a Class of 2019 inside linebacker, tweeted that Florida is the first SEC school to offer him.
On the hardwood
- The Florida men’s basketball team took its first SEC loss of the season Saturday, falling at Ole Miss, 78-72, in a game that featured 13 ties and 11 lead changes. Keith Stone scored a career-high 23 points, but preseason All-SEC pick KeVaughn Allen continued to struggle with only 5 points on 2-of-9 shooting. Coach Mike White reiterated his hope that Allen will breakout soon. Florida (12-5, 4-1 SEC) hosts Arkansas on Wednesday night at the O’Connell Center.
- The Florida women’s basketball team lost 66-59 at home to LSU on Sunday to remain winless in the conference. The Gators are 8-10 overall and 0-5 in the SEC.
Gymnastics plays to a full house
- The Florida gymnastics team hosted its first sellout in program history Friday night as a reported crowd of 9,661 filled Exactech Arena at the O’Connell Center to watch the No. 7 Gators take on No. 1 LSU. The Tigers earned a narrow victory, 197.250-197.125.
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What they’re saying on Twitter
Florida offensive lineman Tyler Jordan, a Jacksonville native, was one of several Gators tweeting about the Jaguars’ NFL playoff win over the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday:
— Tyler Jordan (@tyjordan58) January 7, 2018
As was suspended Gators running back Jordan Scarlett:
Good win for them Jags!
— Jordan Scarlett (@ScarlettFever25) January 14, 2018
Top recruiting target and 4-star WR Jacob Copeland responded to a fan that he won’t announce his college choice until National Signing Day:
— Jacob Copeland 🐐 (@JCope1era) January 15, 2018
The Gators equipment staff was busy getting ready for the start of the offseason program this week:
Getting the guys' gear ready for the off-season. pic.twitter.com/mhByRncus4
— GatorsEquipment (@GatorsEquipment) January 12, 2018
Suspended Florida WR Rick Wells posted about his optimistic outlook for 2018:
To A Year Of Blessings & Success pic.twitter.com/Ehcy4UODKp
— SIMBA (@Rick_Wells3) January 15, 2018
Florida athletic director Scott Stricklin had the perfect response when Gators softball coach spotted him jogging:
When you are out of shape and about to quit halfway through your run, but you see someone you know so you have to keep running. 🏃🏼 👊🏼 https://t.co/3BIFRFIll9
— Scott Stricklin (@ScottStricklin) January 13, 2018
When you are on your way to work on a Saturday and your boss @ScottStricklin is running the Gainesville half marathon route in 46*…..you realize you better start working a little harder in 2018. #grinder Go Gators! pic.twitter.com/hQIMO2ZmuV
— Tim Walton (@_TimWalton) January 13, 2018
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