GAINESVILLE, Fla. — With Wednesday’s signing of three junior college prospects, Florida coach Jim McElwain can now turn more of his attention to bowl preparations following a busy week and a half of recruiting.
McElwain and his staff missed the first week of the contact period due to practices for the SEC Championship, but the Gators hit the road in full force the day after the game and stayed on the recruiting trail until this past Sunday, the final day of the contact period.
“Busy week recruiting, obviously,” McElwain said Tuesday. “Catching up for a good week off because we were playing in the SEC Championship Game. That’s the way it should be. I thought we had great momentum, great headway as we’re moving forward in this.
“Obviously renewed interest and excitement about guys being Gators. That’s what it’s all about. We’re really excited about that.”
But even with the month-long dead period starting this week, recruiting did not stop for the Gators. They flipped coveted kicker Eddy Pineiro from Alabama on Tuesday, while missing out on 5-star quarterback Jacob Eason.
UF also signed six more midyear recruits this week for January enrollment, including juniors college transfers Pineiro, athlete Dre Massey and Mark Thompson, the top-ranked running back nationally.
“We are really excited about the three additions to our program and to keep the momentum going forward with our organization,” McElwain said Wednesday. “We are looking forward to having them on campus for spring ball.”
The Gators currently have the No. 8 class in the 247Sports team rankings. While McElwain & Co. can continue communicating with prospects by phone and on social media during the dead period, but there’s no face-to-face contact between college coaches and recruits until the contact period resumes Jan. 14.
At that point, Florida will look to build on the recruiting momentum it’s generated over the past 10 days.
“I’ll tell you what, the energy’s great,” McElwain said of the reception he received on the recruiting trail. “The direction we’re headed because of the commitment of our administration on a lot of the things people were beating us up on. Let’s just talk about it — the lack of facilities.
“Other people go and see the commitment that they’ve had at their programs and they go, ‘Well, what’s wrong with Florida.’ Well, we’ve got that commitment now, and that’s a great thing. So a lot of good things moving forward.”