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Gators Coaches, Players React to Florida’s Back-to-Back Commits

Florida Gators nation, including coaches, staff and players react to the team landing two big-time commitments on Saturday.

The Florida Gators landed two big-time commitments over the weekend for their 2023 recruiting class, marking perhaps the start of what is expected to be an impressive first full-cycle haul for head coach Billy Napier since he became the man in charge late last year.

The team was able to land commitments from IMG Academy (Fla.) offensive lineman Knijeah Harris and legacy receiver out of Buchholz (Fla.) Creed Whittemore. Both players have recently discussed their commitments, with Whittemore sharing his story in an exclusive with our Conner Clarke.

Harris became just the second IMG Academy player to commit - the first being safety Kamari Wilson, who is currently on the team, part of the 2022 recruiting class - to the program under Napier, something the previous staffs were unable to do.

Whittemore, of course, is the younger brother of Florida receiver Trent Whittemore, a redshirt sophomore receiver with the program.

The commitments came within an hour of one another on Saturday, with Harris being the first to commit just after noon, Whittemore committing at 1:00 p.m. ET.

With the commitments coming almost in succession, Florida players, coaches and fans took to social media to share their reactions to the news, with plenty of excitement for the upcoming class that now includes two players that are expected to play major roles within the class.

Here are some of the reactions:

Coaches react:

Gators head coach Billy Napier has a signature when recruits are landed - sunglass emoji. That was doubly true on Saturday when he sent this simple message as Florida landed two commits from the state of Florida.

Florida offensive line coach/offensive coordinator Rob sale celebrated the day with his family. He must have been happy after landing a big-time offensive lineman in Harris.

Another happy camper, Florida wide receivers coach Keary Colbert was excited about Whittemore's commitment, along with Harris. He responded with a cheeky remark to strength and conditioning coach Mark Hocke who said to "run the ball" after the team landed Harris.

Florida assistant WR coach David Doeker shared Colbert's enthusiasm after Whittemore was added to the room.

Florida defensive assistant - linebackers Troy Kruchten, was pumped and noted the team is just getting started with the recruiting cycle.

Gators running backs assistant coach Benedick Hyppolite also joined in on the fun.

Florida tight ends coach William Peagler celebrated landing not one, but two commits in one day.

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Florida quarterbacks coach Ryan O'Hara had some fun on Saturday, utilizing the staff trademark coined by Napier.

Defensive recruiting coordinator and assistant LB coach Jamar Cheny is excited for the future.

As alluded to earlier, Florida strength and conditioning coach Mark Hocke wants to run the ball a bit.

Players react:

Florida freshman safety Kamari Wilson, and former IMG Academy star, was pumped after landing one of his former teammates in Harris.

Of course, Creed's brother, Trent Whittemore, was pumped for the moment. 

The commits themselves expressed their excitement with Knijeah Harris tweeting a simple "Go Gators" to Florida coach Billy Napier.

WR Creed Whittemore made sure to express his excitement after his commitment, too.

Though not direct, Florida LB Diwun Black reacted to Florida rockstar assistant AD of recruiting strategy Katie Turner's excitement.

Florida defensive leader, defensive tackle Gervon Dexter is excited about the IMG Academy haul.

More staff

assistant AD of recruiting strategy Katie Turner couldn't help but continue sharing her excitement during the day.

Sierra Griffin, the team's on-campus recruiting coordinator, was pumped for a second commitment on the same day.

Florida director of football operations Joshua Thompson shared his excitement, too.

Florida director of on-campus recruiting, Bri Wade, was enjoying a victory Saturday with two commits in just a day.

Stay tuned to AllGators for continuous coverage of Florida Gators football, basketball and recruiting. Follow along on social media at @SI_AllGators on Twitter and Florida Gators on Sports Illustrated on Facebook.