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.
Florida held a junior day event Saturday and several targets attended, including top-100 overall prospect William Barnes from Apopka, Fla.
Gators coach Jim McElwain mentioned the big recruiting weekend Monday during his press conference.
“We had a lot of good players here from a recruiting standpoint,” McElwain said. “They had an opportunity to get on the field and actually watch guys in drills work. … Our guys are doing a really good job, our coaches, as far as getting people to campus and seeing the things we have going on.
“(Recruits) were actually able to get out there and see the coaches coach and the players go through it, you know, up close. Not just sitting in the stands or sitting on the sideline. And I thought that worked out pretty well.”
In addition to Barnes, the nation’s No. 7 offensive tackle and No. 67 overall recruit in the 247Sports Composite, the Gators also hosted 4-star safeties Amari Burney (Clearwater, Fla.) and C.J. Smith (West Palm Beach, Fla.), 4-star offensive guard Tank Jenkins (Montgomery, Ala.) and 4-star defensive end Malcolm Lamar (Seffner, Fla.).
Barnes is pictured with Burney and Lamar below.
— ➕W?️➕®☄️ (@barneswilliam7) March 25, 2017
“You have these junior days, or whatever they’re called. We just have days,” McElwain said. “I mean, whatever fits into your schedule. There isn’t a specific time. But the thing that I think worked out for us this last weekend is because of the spring breaks, we had a lot of really good players that were able to get in here. And even during the week, which was great.”
Leddie Brown, a 3-star running back who has a relationship with new UF assistant Ja’Juan Seider, visited from Delaware. Florida also landed a commitment Saturday from 2019 wide receiver Frank Ladson, who was primarily recruited by secondary coach Corey Bell.
— LB4 #1Fan!!! (@pocketsempty_4) March 25, 2017
— Drew Hughes (@dhughes234) March 25, 2017
McElwain said the additions of Bell and Seider have already paying dividends in recruiting.
“I think in their cases, being aware of the young players because they’ve been recruiting those areas, even though it was at different spots,” McElwain said. “They knew the names, they obviously have taken to our needs and how we go about not only the player, but who the guys are as far as their makeup and the type of guys we want to be Gators. Their familiarity with their areas … that’s big. There isn’t like a whole learning curve.”
News & notes
- New offensive line coach Brad Davis has also been a hit on the recruiting trail and UF made the cut for a pair of 4-star linemen over the weekend: Curtis Dunlap (IMG Academy) and Cleveland Reed (Lakeland, Fla.). Reed visited Friday, while Dunlap made it to Florida on March 17.
Oklahoma ? pic.twitter.com/cXlnqeDFmG
— Curt (@Curtisdunlapjr) March 27, 2017
My Top 3 schools
2. North Carolina
3. Florida pic.twitter.com/CTNfIIiOPo
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- The Gators extended offers to four recruits Saturday: 3-star wide receiver Demarcus Gregory (Duncan, S.C.), 3-star defensive back Juanyeh Thomas (Niceville, Fla.), 2019 athlete Tyrique Stevenson (Homestead, Fla.) and 2019 wide receiver Jordan Whittington (Cuero, Texas).
Miss a previous Gator Chomps notebook? Find every daily recap of Florida Gators recruiting right here.