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.
Top 5 coming for Patrick Surtain Jr.
Florida secondary coach Corey Bell and defensive line coach Chris Rumph traveled to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on Tuesday to check out the spring game at American Heritage High School, which is home to 5-star cornerback Patrick Surtain Jr.
The 6-foot-2, 181-pound prospect lists LSU as his leader, but Florida is one of several programs he’s still considering.
“UF is a great school,” Surtain told SEC Country. “They produce DBs and they have a bunch coming in this year to build on that tradition. They do a great job coaching the position.”
In the last two years, the Gators have had five defensive backs selected in the first two rounds of the NFL draft. Bell is recruiting Surtain for Florida along with head coach Jim McElwain and defensive coordinator Randy Shannon.
“The Gators are in the mix,” Surtain said. “I’ve been talking to the coaches a lot and it’s great. Coach Shannon and Coach McElwain have been hitting me up and telling me how much of an asset I am to them. They want me to keep the tradition going.”
Surtain’s former teammate, Marco Wilson, is one of five incoming cornerbacks for the Gators in 2017. They won a state championship together last season and Wilson hopes to do the same with Surtain in college.
“Marco is in my ear daily,” Surtain said. “He wants to me to come up there so me and him could be back at it again.”
Surtain is the nation’s No. 1 cornerback and No. 4 overall recruit in the 247Sports composite rankings. In addition to UF, Surtain is still considering Alabama, Clemson, Florida State, Miami and Ohio State.
“I’m going to name a top 5 soon, probably this month or next month,” Surtain said. “I’m thinking about committing during the season hopefully or at the end of the year.”
UF not a contender for Tyson Campbell
Bell and Rumph also came to American Heritage on Tuesday to see 4-star cornerback Tyson Campbell.
His top schools are Miami and Ohio State, but Florida remains in contact with the Under Armour All-American.
“Coach Bell keeps in touch with me a lot. Coach McElwain hits me up from time to time,” Campbell said. “I’m probably going to visit them again this summer. Once I get up there, I’ll talk to Coach Bell and build a better relationship with him.”
Campbell has previously expressed concerns about the Gators signing five cornerbacks in the 2017 class. Bell has since discussed the depth chart with him.
“He told me the guys coming in have to play and the guys in my class will have to play,” Campbell said. “He basically broke it down for me, but I want to see it for myself.”
The 6-foot-2, 180-pound player is the nation’s No. 4 cornerback and No. 28 overall recruit in the 247Sports composite rankings. Campbell, who is also looking at Alabama, FSU and Georgia, admits that the Gators have some ground to make up.
“Yeah, they got a little work to do,” said Campbell, who plans to decide during or after his senior season. “When they get into the season, are the guys that came in playing and do they have too many corners on their depth chart? I’ll be looking for that.”
Miss a previous Gator Chomps notebook? Find every daily recap of Florida Gators recruiting right here.