As the Florida Gators continue to look to stockpile talent in the 2021 recruiting class, perhaps no target could prove more beneficial to land than Bleckley County (Cochran, Ga.) offensive tackle Amarius Mims.
The 6-7, 315 lb. prospect is one of Florida's priority targets within the class, and for good reason. Considered the No. 2 offensive tackle and No. 6 overall recruit in the 2021 class by the 247Sports Composite rankings, Mims brings a rare combination of SEC-ready size and skill-set to the position for a rising high school senior.
Mims visited Florida for March's junior day event, his final in-person visit anywhere prior to the in-person recruiting moratorium amidst the coronavirus pandemic. He went on to include Florida in the top ten schools in his recruitment on April 1st, although Mims will have to wait until the moratorium is lifted before he can visit UF again - at least through July 31st.
Regardless, making Mims' top list of schools is a step in the right direction for Gators offensive line coach John Hevesy. Entering his third year on the job, Hevesy continues to develop the talent he has acquired via recruiting before veteran linemen leftover from the previous regime graduate.
Mims, however, would offer more potential than any lineman Hevesy has signed to date at Florida under head coach Dan Mullen were he to end up in orange and blue. He'd easily be the highest-rated offensive lineman to sign with the Gators under the current staff, besting 2018 signee Richard Gouraige by five spots positionally and 75 spots nationally according to the current 247Sports Composite ratings.
Hevesy has done a good job of developing his current crop of talent and setting the unit up for the long-term, but has yet to land a true, blue-chip left tackle up to this point. Some signees have the potential to do well at the position, such as 2020's Joshua Braun and Gerald Mincey, but most are best suited elsewhere or don't offer a load of upside.
A great left tackle can elevate the play of an entire unit while protecting the quarterback's blind-side, and while Mims has played on both ends, he profiles as a left tackle given his stature and skill-set. It should be noted: Florida's quarterback pipeline through at least 2026 is right-handed. Currently, Mims is a more polished run blocker than pass protector as Bleckley County boasts a run-oriented attack, but provides the intangibles to become a dominant, all-around contributor upfront.
Bearing immense arm length and strength from head to toe, Mims does the dirty work as a run blocker to drive defenders out of the play consistently and have them finish in the dirt. Mims plays with a low center of gravity and is extremely physical upon contact, often shocking defenders with his first punch and easily reaching full extension to finish blocks. He's shown the ability to pull across the line and is disciplined while blocking in space and at the second level of the defense.
Mims plays with balance despite his aggressive demeanor, and in pass sets, he's shown great athleticism, solid mirroring technique, and violent hands to defeat his rusher. That same athleticism has allowed Mims to play defensive end for Bleckley County as well.
The Gators should always find success on offense under Mullen, given his history developing quarterbacks and innovating scheming. However, a critical aspect for Florida to take the next step towards contending in the SEC and College Football Playoff is improvement across the offensive line.
Mims can single-handedly elevate Florida's group as a prospect who will most likely be ready to play as a freshman. His ceiling is through the roof, while as a high school junior, his floor already looks that of a future SEC starting tackle.