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Florida Gators 2023 Recruiting Class

DRU2012

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...and they keep on ROLLING IN?
I cannot say I am keeping up on the details here, the finer aspects of how well we are "filling holes" and/or preparing ourselves especially for eventual GREATNESS (?)...Unless YOU further note such things, and call our attention to it, that will have to wait for next spring when we see what we actually HAVE IN HAND, and closely scrutinize what it adds up to and how it'll all begin to come together--what it'll LOOK like, what are we BECOMING?
 

Escambia94

Aerospace Cubicle Engineer (ACE)
Moderator
Oddly enough, today’s commitment did not come from the visitor list vs USF. Chauncey Bowens must have made last-minute changes to his plans and taken an unofficial visit. Rumors were that Johnny Walker was going to finally commit, but we got Bowens instead.

- Knijeah Harris (IOL) | 2023 | 4-star | National: 405, IOL: 24, FL: 79 | Florida Commit
- Ja'Keem Jackson CB) | 2023 | 4-star | National: 168, CB: 19, FL: 38 | Florida Commit
- Jaden Robinson LB | 2023 | 4-star | National: 382, LB: 31, FL: 71 | Florida Commit
- Kamran James DL | 2023 | 4-star | National: 190, DL: 28, FL: 39 | Florida Commit
- Jordan Castell S | 2023 | 4-star | National: 200, S: 13, FL: 40 | Florida Commit
- John Walker DL | 2023 | 4-star | National: 102, DL: 13, FL: 23 | UCF Commit
- Jordan Hall DL | 2023 | 4-star | National: 123, DL: 16, FL: 29 | 247: 100% FSU / On3: UGA 76.8%
- Charles Lester III CB | 2024 | 5-star | National: 22, CB: 3, FL: 8 | 247: No CB / On3: Bama 83.7%
- Jerrick Gibson RB | 2024 | 5-star | National: 8, RB: 1, FL: 4 | 247: No CB / On3: 33.9% UF
- Adarius Hayes Edge | 2024 | 4-star | National: 40, Edge: 7, FL: 11 | 247: 100% UF / On3: 90.0% UF
- Jaylen Heyward S | 2024 | 4-star | National: 43, S: 5, FL: 13 | 247: No CB / On3: 89.7% UF
- Kendall Jackson DL | 2024 | 4-star | National: 422, DL: 36, FL: 70 | 247: 100% UF / 99.3% UF
- Armondo Blount DL | 2025 | 5-star | National: 5, DL: 2, FL: 1 | 247: No CB / On3: 40.4% UF
- Taevion Swint ATH | 2025 | N/A | N/A | 247: No CB / On3: 79.6% UF
 

Escambia94

Aerospace Cubicle Engineer (ACE)
Moderator
As of 7 October the Gators are ranked #11 in the 2023 recruiting class.
1​
Alabama 18 Commits 94.79 4 11 2 309.21​
2​
Georgia 18 Commits 93.05 2 12 4 289.98​
3​
Notre Dame 23 Commits 93.04 1 19 3 284.68​
4​
Ohio State 19 Commits 93.25 1 16 2 284.63​
5​
Texas 21 Commits 91.91 2 13 6 284.61​
6​
Oklahoma 19 Commits 91.72 1 10 8 284.49​
7​
LSU 18 Commits 92.10 1 12 5 283.99​
8​
Clemson 19 Commits 91.78 2 14 3 268.16​
9​
Tennessee 19 Commits 90.26 1 7 11 263.82​
10​
Miami 17 Commits 92.09 1 8 8 263.37​
11​
Florida 20 Commits 91.48 0 18 2 260.82
12​
Penn State 20 Commits 91.63 0 14 6 259.80​
13​
Oregon 19 Commits 91.05 2 10 7 259.1​
14​
USC 19 Commits 90.98 2 8 9 258.83​
15​
South Carolina 20 Commits 89.37 0 10 10 237.51​
16​
FSU 16 Commits 90.51 1 7 8 236.32​
17​
Arkansas 23 Commits 88.65 0 8 15 235.97​
18​
Texas A&M 12 Commits 83.06 2 7 3 230.82​
19​
Louisville 15 Commits 91.01 1 7 7 217.21​
20​
Baylor 25 Commits 88.09 0 3 22 219.64​
 

DRU2012

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Here's hoping we continue our mainly "steadily trending upward" rise.
It has been an encouragingly positive background theme since Billy got here.
 

Escambia94

Aerospace Cubicle Engineer (ACE)
Moderator
4-star CB Dijon Johnson and 3-star safety Bryce Thornton are expected to commit to Florida today. If this happens and no other commitments are made today, Florida would temporarily jump from 11th place to 9th over Miami and Tennessee. Without a 5-star commitment from someone like Cormani McClain, this will be the highest the Gators will get in the recruiting rankings. A commitment from McClain would put the Gators around #6. Adding 5-star EDGE Jaquavious Russaw would put the Gators around #3-#4 assuming no other commitments. In the unlikely flip of 5-star EDGE Keon Keeley, that would put the Gators in the top 3.
 

DRU2012

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4-star CB Dijon Johnson and 3-star safety Bryce Thornton are expected to commit to Florida today. If this happens and no other commitments are made today, Florida would temporarily jump from 11th place to 9th over Miami and Tennessee. Without a 5-star commitment from someone like Cormani McClain, this will be the highest the Gators will get in the recruiting rankings. A commitment from McClain would put the Gators around #6. Adding 5-star EDGE Jaquavious Russaw would put the Gators around #3-#4 assuming no other commitments. In the unlikely flip of 5-star EDGE Keon Keeley, that would put the Gators in the top 3.
Sounds "encouraging"--but I must be frank:
One of the dubious things I've learned in my recent "tour" of various Gator sites and public sports forums is how ignorant, reactionary and kneejerk/short-sighted most folks are when it comes to their teams' health and future outlook.
While they may not be uniformly accurate, there ARE correlations between the general numbers of stars the majority of a given recruiting class's members are ranked with, the overall rank that class achieves in that year's ultimate rankings, and whatever eventual success those "highest ranked classes" achieve as part of their future programs.
UGA's current strong and sustained success, its place at or near the very top of the CFB Playoff picture comes seemingly as a direct result (at least in terms of timing) directly after an extended period of Top-Ranked Recruiting Classes hauled in for several years in a row by Kirby and Co... Say what you will, though the accuracy of the "number of stars" attached to specific individuals may be debated, the overall relationship between recruiting classes featuring more of the very highest-rated prep players and the team that repeatedly emerges with the most on a consecutive annual basis indeed does generally emerge a powerhouse in the CFB Playoff rankings scant seasons later.
Now, the longer term SUSTAINABILITY of such teams, once assembled, might suffer if and when the successful "Coach and Leader" ignores honor, loyalty, character and TEAM-BUILDING in finding and bringing together such a collection (witness Urban Meyer's strange arc here at UF...), but though it may be harder and take longer, "doing it RIGHT", as an alternative, isn't impossible. It just takes a certain portion of all that "good stuff" in the essential make-up of said "incoming Coach" himself in the FIRST PLACE.
Let us then HOPE that we indeed HAVE found that in the person of one Coach Billy Napier.
 

DRU2012

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Bryce Thornton’s father, Bruce Thornton Sr., played running back at Georgia and was a fourth round pick in the 1994 NFL draft. Billy Napier stole a UGA legacy from Kirby Smart.
Another strong move (and "good sign"!).
 

DRU2012

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We are starting to gather the same kind of momentum that Alabama has had to some degree for some time--that in turn showed for a while (and "for a while" eventually yielded similar results) for first Clemsen, and more recently Georgia, here in the CFB Playoff Era.
As I have maintained here and elsewhere, we sustain this sort of top-end recruiting for a while and WE will get there too.
The KEY is to "SUSTAIN" it, though: Not just to get there, win for a season or two, but to return to "Elite status", and REMAIN there.
 

Escambia94

Aerospace Cubicle Engineer (ACE)
Moderator
The recent firings of coaches at Georgia Tech, Arizona State, Wisconsin, and Colorado State have led to a surge in transfer portal requests, including one linebacker from Georgia Tech who is taking an official visit during the LSU game.

NameClassRatingVisitSchool
Logan Brown East Kentwood (Grand Rapids, MI) OT Wisconsin​
2019​
99.15​
TBD (Wisconsin Transfer)​
Terrence Lewis Miami Central (Opa Locka, FL) LB UCF​
2021​
98.94​
TBD (UCF transfer)​
Gary Bryant Jr. Centennial (Corona, CA) WR SC​
2020​
97.66​
TBD (SC transfer)​
Jacob Lacey South Warren (Bowling Green, KY) DL Notre Dame​
2019​
93.04​
TBD (Notre Dame transfer)​
Dacari Collins Westlake (Atlanta, GA) WR Clemson​
2021​
92.48​
TBD (Clemson transfer)​
Hank Bachmeier Murrieta Valley (Murrieta, CA) QB Boise St​
2019​
91.14​
TBD (Boise St transfer)​
Josh Fleeks Cedar Hill (Cedar Hill, TX) RB Baylor​
2018​
89.84​
TBD (Baylor transfer)​
Tyler Manoa St. Francis (Mountain View, CA) DL UCLA​
2018​
89.59​
TBD (UCLA transfer)​
Kejuan Markham Long Beach Poly (Long Beach, CA) S ASU​
2019​
89.18​
TBD (ASU transfer)​
Keon Markham Long Beach Poly (Long Beach, CA) CB ASU​
2019​
88.84​
TBD (ASU transfer)​
Deacon Hill Santa Barbara (Santa Barbara, CA) QB Wisconsin​
2021​
87.80​
TBD (Wisconsin Transfer)​
Roderick Daniels Duncanville (Duncanville, TX) SMU​
2021​
86.40​
TBD (SMU transfer)​
Demetrius Knight Strong Rock Christian (Locust Grove, GA) 0.8431 / LB Georgia Tech​
2019​
84.31​
10/15/22​
TBD (Georgia Tech transfer)​
Gavin Potter Broken Arrow (Broken Arrow, OK) LB Kansas​
2019​
84.14​
TBD (Kansas transfer)​
Jarrett Paul Paramus Catholic (Paramus, NJ) S Rutgers​
2018​
83.75​
TBD (Rutgers transfer)​
Tywan Francis Landry-Walker (New Orleans, LA) S Colorado St​
2018​
83.55​
TBD (Colorado St transfer)​
Melqan Stovall Juniper Serra (Gardena, CA) WR Nevada​
2019​
82.54​
TBD (Nevada transfer)​
Isaiah Garcia-Castaneda (Mission Viejo, CA) NMSU​
2020​
80.00​
TBD (NMSU transfer)​
Robert Floyd Jr. University (Fort Lauderdale, FL) Colorado St​
2022​
80.00​
TBD (Colorado St transfer)​
 

DRU2012

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How many of the above are being actively sought or at least considered for eventual transfer to UF? We hear all sorts of things, but we need HELP NOW--especially on Defense, of course.
The potential weakness in "Team-building" may have to be risked in the face of completion and immediate substantial NEED. We SEE what other SEC Coaches are managing to accomplish in so quickly transforming their team's fortunes (take Kiffy over at Ol' Miss) in this fashion.
I trust Billy Napier, his insights and sensibilities shirt and longterm in this regard; I'm just curious/interested in.how far he and his people are considering a full-on DIVE into those waters...
 

Escambia94

Aerospace Cubicle Engineer (ACE)
Moderator
In post #68, only one of the transfer portal athletes is actively being targeted by UF. Demetrius Knight entered the portal a week before the others.
 

Escambia94

Aerospace Cubicle Engineer (ACE)
Moderator
The addition of former FSU commit OL Roderick Kearney brings Florida back to the #8 (270.92) in 2023 recruiting rankings after a brief stint at #10 (266.45 points). CB Cormani McClain is expected to commit to Florida soon, which would keep Florida at #8 (279.93) right behind LSU (283.37). The next big story to track is the package deal between EDGE Qua Russaw (hypothetical 287.07 with Cormani McClain) and his Carver teammate LB James Smith (294.18 with Russaw and McClain). A hypothetical addition of McClain, Russaw, and Smith would put the Gators at #3 right behind Georgia. A backup plan to the package deal of Russaw and Smith out of Carver would be to get EDGE Keon Keeley (288.14 with McClain), which would put Florida at #4 behind Notre Dame.

The chart below shows the recruits who have offers from Florida for the class of 2023 or 2024. Note that Florida still has not been able to grab a 5-star athlete (98 rating or higher). The highest rated recruit Napier has grabbed so far is Kelby Collins of Gardendale, AL. If Napier can get McClain, that would be a great win due to him being the highest rated recruit with OVs to Florida.
Screenshot from 2022-10-25 06-31-13.png
 
Last edited:

DRU2012

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It is no accident that I chose RECRUITING over a "first look" at our Week 8, annual tilt with UGA in J-town here at GE. Our ongoing practical efforts at a rebuild are the main deal for us now, and we DO seem to be coming along, making headway here finally.
I have no real insight as to where our difficulties grabbing and holding "5-star prospects" began, let alone how or why they continue. I'm not even all that clear on how these ratings are attained in the first place. But there definitely appears to be a practical, causal relationship between a team and program's consistent upward trend in overall average talent acquisition (as measured in their team's ranking according to the number of stars so-called "experts" have attached to their committed prospects' performance over time along the way) and a team and program's ultimate attained success in subsequent annual CFB rankings.
Either I'm missing something, or we are somehow thus far going about this all wrong.
For the moment, improving our overall talent base appears the immediate challenge ahead.
 

Escambia94

Aerospace Cubicle Engineer (ACE)
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The Gators have averaged a recruiting ranking of #10 since 2010, with Muschamp having an average of #7, McElwain #14, and Mullen #10-#11. Nick Saban has an average class rating of #2 since 2010. Georgia averages a #5 class since 2010, with Richt having an average of #9 and Smart having an average of #2-#3. FSU has also averaged a recruiting class around #10, with Fisher averaging #5, and both Taggart and Norvell averaging around #15-#16. Tennessee has averaged a recruiting class around #15 irrespective of head coach. LSU has an average recruiting ranking around #6-#7 irrespective of head coach.
FloridaAlabamaGeorgiaFSUTennesseeLSU
2010
1​
4​
12​
8​
7​
9​
2011
12​
1​
7​
2​
14​
8​
2012
4​
1​
9​
3​
19​
14​
2013
3​
1​
12​
11​
25​
6​
2014
9​
1​
8​
4​
7​
2​
2015
21​
2​
6​
4​
3​
5​
2016
12​
1​
8​
2​
14​
3​
2017
9​
1​
3​
6​
17​
7​
2018
14​
5​
1​
11​
21​
15​
2019
9​
1​
2​
19​
11​
6​
2020
7​
2​
1​
21​
11​
4​
2021
12​
1​
3​
20​
22​
4​
2022
17​
2​
3​
19​
23​
7​
2023
8
1
2
19
11
7
2024
13
7
3
2
6
4

The trending graph shows that other than Alabama, no Florida rival has enjoyed consistent success with recruiting. Georgia's recruiting machine is taking off under Kirby Smart. Florida's recruiting is trending in the right direction. If the rumors are true, Florida may be back in the top 5 in recruiting for next year with a chance at some repeat success in 2024.
Florida recruiting vs rivals.png
 

DRU2012

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I'm not so sure what a great deal of the less-than-dazzling numbers ("good but not great"?) that ourselves under "the last 3 x M's", the 2nd-tier SEC-teams and state-of-Florida-rivals have apparently shown over the last decade-plus really tell us--but there DEFINITELY appears a correlation between the recruiting performance among the more recent CFB Playoff Elite and the fact that it directly parallels their RISE and subsequent STAY there.
Naturally THAT is exactly the path and eventual goal Billy aimed and so far is trending towards.
I think we can at this point pretty well dismiss the DISMISSALS of Mullen and others as to such a correlation as failure and denial masquerading as wisdom.
Of course, there ARE different facets and qualities of "talent, character and proficiency"--and even if/when a top Coach brings together the desired mix, he and his staff STILL must have the time, patience and wisdom to oversea their growth and eventual maturation into a balance winning unit.
This doesn't all come together in serendipitous fashion very often; It seems there may be more than one achieving and competing at that level RIGHT NOW--and nothing LESS is demanded of OUR Coach, team and program now as well!
 

Escambia94

Aerospace Cubicle Engineer (ACE)
Moderator
Cormani McClain is off the board for Florida after committing to Miami. The Gators will shift focus to Desmond Ricks.
 

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