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Florida coach Dan Mullen pulled together a strong first recruiting class with the Gators.

Reflecting on National Signing Day and key moments for Florida Gators

Ryan Young

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Gators move up to No. 14 in recruiting rankings

Coach Dan Mullen said he doesn’t get caught up in the recruiting rankings one way or the other, knowing that the true judgment of a signing class will come down the road based on how those players perform on the field.

But all things considered, it was a strong debut for Mullen as he mostly wrapped up his first recruiting class as Florida’s coach.

The Gators added six signees Wednesday on National Signing Day to go with the 12 early signees from December and the two high-profile wide receiver transfers. There’s still a chance Florida could land top JUCO defensive end Dorian Gerald when he makes his announcement Friday, but for now the Gators check in at No. 14 on the 247Sports composite team recruiting rankings.

That’s encouraging considering Mullen had a little more than two months to build this class and work to retain some of the players already committed when he was hired in late November, all while assembling a coaching staff.

As for the latest additions, here’s a rundown of what happened (and what didn’t happen) for the Gators on National Signing Day:

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In basketball news …

  • Florida snapped its three-game SEC losing streak with a well-played 73-64 win over LSU on Wednesday night. The Gators (16-8 overall, 7-4 SEC) showed renewed grit down the stretch after losing a 12-point second-half lead. The performance prompted a very pleased coach Mike White to say, “I don’t understand why we can’t do that every single night. I don’t know why we can’t do that at 2:30 when we’re in practice. It’s something this team battles.” Read more comments from White and guard Jalen Hudson here.
  • The Florida women’s basketball team (10-13 overall, 2-8 SEC) faces a daunting task Thursday when it hosts unbeaten No. 2 Mississippi State (24-0) at 7 p.m. inside Exactech Arena at the O’Connell Center.

Around campus …

  • College Baseball Daily wrote about Florida junior right-hander Jackson Kowar, who it ranks No. 8 on its top 100 preseason countdown.
  • Florida’s Stanley Wu was named the SEC Swimmer of the Week after recording two first-place finishes (100 breaststroke and 200 breaststroke) against a strong field at the Auburn Invitational last weekend. He also finished third in the 200 IM.

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What they’re saying on Twitter

  • Copeland delivered one of the indelible images of National Signing Day:

  • Mullen and staff watching Copeland make his announcement:

  • Former Florida football player James Bates commiserated with the tough decision Copeland made, which seemed to go against the preference of his mother:

  • Mullen showed off his Jordan’s of choice for National Signing Day:

  • In a more under-the-radar move, 2-star dual-threat QB Jaylin Jackson, from Cambridge Christian School in Tampa, joined the Gators as a preferred walk-on:

  • Florida point guard Chris Chiozza, the inspiration for the promotional “Cheez Night” at the O’Dome, donning the headwear passed out to students for the game:

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