GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Of the nine total commitments Florida landed last week, none were more surprising than Ja’Marr Chase.
He seemed like a long shot for the Gators heading into his Friday Night Lights visit, but ended the weekend as one of their highest-ranked pledges in the 2018 class.
Here’s a closer look at the new Florida commit.
4-star wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase
Position: Wide receiver
Weight: 196 pounds
High school: Archbishop Rummel (Metairie, La.)
Rankings: No. 21 wide receiver, No. 103 overall prospect (247Sports composite)
Details of his decision: Chase planned to decide earlier this month, but the Gators were not one of his finalists at the time. He was scheduled to choose between LSU and TCU at The Opening, but his NFL Network announcement fell through and he decided to extend his recruitment. Chase didn’t think FNL would entice him to commit, but the trip blew him away and he couldn’t pass up the opportunity to play with Gators 5-star quarterback commit Matt Corral.
How he fits in: UF coach Jim McElwain has landed at least one elite wideout in each of his first three recruiting classes, and Chase will make it four in a row. He’s a dynamic possession receiver who has sure hands and big-play potential. His role in the offense will be similar to former Gators WR Demarcus Robinson.
Chances of playing early: If Chase doesn’t struggle picking up the playbook, it will be hard to keep him off the field. Florida loses senior starter Brandon Powell after this season and there’s a chance that both Antonio Callaway and Dre Massey could turn pro with productive junior campaigns. The Gators hope Chase can lessen the blow of Callaway’s expected departure with freshman contributions in 2018.