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.
Clemson coming after Malik Davis
For the second consecutive year, college football’s national champion is trying to flip a 3-star running back committed to Florida.
In the last recruiting cycle, Alabama attempted to make a late run at Lamical Perine. Crimson Tide coaches offered Perine at the end of his senior season and recruited him up until the night before National Signing Day, but he chose to stick with the Gators.
Now the Clemson Tigers, fresh off their national title, are coming after UF pledge Malik Davis (Tampa, Fla.).
“Clemson came by my high school,” Davis told SEC Country. “They told my coach they need another back and they’re interested in me.”
On that same day, Florida also sent area recruiter Chris Rumph and running backs coach Tim Skipper to see Davis.
“They showed up and found out Clemson was at the school trying to talk to me,” Davis said. “Coach Rumph shot me a text and goes, ‘Don’t make me have to put the paws on you.’ That was pretty funny.”
Fortunately for Rumph, Clemson was not able to get its paws on Davis. His coach at Jesuit, Matt Thompson, would not let the Tigers speak to his record-setting running back.
“My coach believes that if you commit, you’re done,” Davis said. “Georgia has also been by the school and Southern Cal called. Oregon offered, too. It’s flattering that colleges are still recruiting me, but my coach tells them I’m 100 percent committed.”
— Malik Davis 2️⃣0️⃣ (@Campaign_Lik) January 13, 2017
Davis will be one of eight UF commits visiting the school this weekend. Gators coach Jim McElwain conducted an in-home visit with him and his parents last Thursday.
“I had a great night with Coach Mac,” Davis said. “We talk often on the phone and we text all the time, so it was just better to sit with him in person and get more comfortable.
“He explained to me how I’m the big fish in the sea right now, but when I get there I’ll see a lot more competition. So he just told me be ready to compete when I come in.”
Davis also received an in-home visit Tuesday from Skipper, who came to see him in December as well.
“This week was his second time coming by house,” Davis said. “He can’t wait for me to join the team because I’m different than all the other backs. He said I bring something new to the table, which is going to help me out when I’m competing for playing time.”
Had a great in home visit with Coach Skip! ?? pic.twitter.com/M5LLUVA8tA
— Malik Davis 2️⃣0️⃣ (@Campaign_Lik) December 9, 2016
UGA commit talks Gators
After sitting down with McElwain, the 3-star prospect from Decatur, Ga., spoke with SEC Country about their meeting.
“It went great,” Wyatt said. “I got to see him at my house. We talked for an hour about the network at Florida and the opportunities that I’ll have there with academics and my football career.
“They’re very thin on defensive tackles. They’re losing someone to the first round this year and most of their defensive linemen get drafted high. It’s real special that I have a chance to play early there and if I do well I can make it to the NFL.”
A path to the pros is not the only reason Wyatt has interest in the Gators. He believes they’re on the brink of a breakthrough season.
“Florida is the next school up to win a championship,” Wyatt said. “They have a good program and great coaches, so it’s only a matter of time.”
Wyatt visited South Carolina last weekend, will take a trip to Georgia this weekend and then visits Florida on Jan. 27. Despite he pledge to the in-state Bulldogs, he plans to make a final decision on National Signing Day.
“Things are up in the air because there’s a lot going on,” Wyatt said. “I’m trying to process everything and think about where I want to go. It’s going to be a hard decision.”
Catch up on all of our daily recaps on Florida Gators recruiting right here.