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.
Jarren Williams recommits
And then there were two.
Florida’s quarterback board has dwindled down to a pair of 5-star recruits, as well as a couple lower-tier options that offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier has evaluated.
But all of his focus is now on a pair quarterbacks from the Peach State who are currently committed to Big 10 schools: Penn State pledge Justin Fields (Kennesaw, Ga.) and Ohio State commit Emory Jones (Franklin, Ga.).
Florida’s No. 3 QB target, Jarren Williams from Lawrenceville, Ga., recommitted to Kentucky on Monday after considering offers from Alabama, Florida, Georgia and LSU.
The 6-foot-2, 206-pound passer backed off his pledge to the Wildcats on April 24 because he wanted to visit the aforementioned programs and see what they had to offer.
Williams told SEC Country UF was recruiting him as hard as any school and he spoke to Nussmeier and Gators coach Jim McElwain almost every day.
However, he previously stated that while the coaches did make him a priority, they never indicated he was their top target.
“They haven’t specifically said I’m No. 1,” Williams told SEC Country, “but they said they want me.”
Despite that interest, Florida nor any other school was able to overcome the longstanding relationships Williams has at Kentucky.
“There are a lot of things that go into it,” Williams said of his final decision. “I feel very comfortable with the players there. I’m very close to the coaches and the entire staff there. They were one of the first teams to believe in me and took me in. I can trust them. That’s a big factor with me.”
Focus on Justin Fields
With Williams off the board, Fields and Jones become an even bigger priorities for the Gators.
Fields, the No. 1-ranked dual-threat quarterback in the 247Sports Composite, has been Florida’s No. 1 target at the position since he received an offer in February. Jones, the nation’s second-best dual-threat QB, has increased his communication the staff recently and plans to officially visit UF in the fall.
Florida is in second place for both quarterbacks, but the staff wants Fields more and also has a better chance with him.
This spring the Gators evaluated Auburn commit Joey Gatewood (Jacksonville, Fla.), Wisconsin commit Chase Wolf (Cincinnati, Ohio) and 3-star quarterback Riley Smith (Jacksonville, Fla.), among other signal callers. But Gatewood is not a take at this time, while Smith and Wolf have yet to receive offers.
The staff also slowed its recruitment of Miami commit Artur Sitkowski (Bradenton, Fla.) and Michigan pledge Joe Milton (Orlando, Fla.) prior to their decisions.
Miss a previous Gator Chomps notebook? Find every daily recap of Florida Gators recruiting right here.