Where Does Gators Recruiting Stand Following Collier, Marshall Commitments?
If we have learned anything about recruiting over the past two weeks it is how incredibly fluid it is.
One week after missing out on top-rated Palmetto (Miami) defensive lineman Leonard Taylor the Florida Gators rebounded mightily by landing two top-tier Palmetto players in cornerback Jason Marhsall Jr. and safety Corey Collier Jr. Landing both players caused celebration for fans, coaches and players alike.
Reinforcing the team's secondary was one of the main priorities of the 2021 recruiting cycle for Florida. Following this season, the team is set to lose multiple defensive backs, either due to graduation or early-entree into the NFL Draft. Players such as Marco Wilson (redshirt junior), Donovan Stiner (senior), Shawn Davis (senior) and Brad Stewart Jr. (senior) are all liable to leave following this season.
The Gators have made due on replacing the depth on their secondary with Collier, Marshall, CBs Jordan Young of Gaither (Tampa, Fla) and Kamar Wilcoxson of IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla) and safeties Donovan McMillon of Peters Township (Canonsburg, Pa) and Dakota Mitchell of Winter Park (Winter Park, Fla) thus far in this cycle. Wilcoxson is expected to re-classify to the 2020 recruiting class, however, he has yet to officially enroll.
Even with all of the expected additions, the Gators are still chasing several players, including yet another defensive back in - Terrion Arnold, a commitment that has been teased for a long time, including by multiple players just yesterday. Another safety, Florida State Univ. School (Tallahassee, Fla) Ahmari Harvey is also on the team's radar.
Compared to their rivals, the Gators are gaining ground at a national level, currently ranked sixth nationally in recruiting over teams such as Miami and LSU, according to 247Sports Composite. With the Gators leading the way in recruiting now, it doesn't appear they'll stop just yet, and not just at defensive back.
Losing out on Taylor will still bring a sting, however, the team has other plays in their back pocket. Vanguard (Ocala, Fla) defensive lineman Bryce Langston is set to decide between two teams, Florida and LSU at some point prior to or on national signing day, and there is reason to believe the Gators are currently leading the way.
Also along the defensive line, IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla) defensive end Tunmise Adeleye, currently committed to Ohio State, has been talked about as a potential flip, however much of the speculation revolves around his fellow classmates, and current Gators freshman defensive lineman Princely Umanmielen recruiting him along with the team itself.
While the team's linebacker situation is fluid, particularly at BUCK, the Gators could still be in play for linebacker/athlete Jeremiah Williams, who has teased a commitment to some team for quite some time. Yesterday, Williams tweeted a series of potential landing spots, including the Gators.
Currently, the team has Chief Borders as the take at that position, however, there isn't much reason why they couldn't include both in this year's class.
Highly-rated linebacker Xavian Sorey (IMG Academy) is also coveted by Florida, as the Gators sent him his first offer in 2018. It’s unknown what Sorey plans to do with his commitment as he keeps details close to the vest, but the Gators are in this race.
Much of what the Gators have done this recruiting cycle has appeared to be methodological in nature. They've targetted positions of need on offense at wide receiver, and have aggressively targetted the defensive back position. Both will be areas of concern for the Gators heading into the 2021 or 2022 seasons.
Overall, this has been a major week for Florida recruiting. While they've taken some losses over the past few months, their gains, specifically at positions of major need, have been positive for the future projection of the roster. Attrition happens, and the Gators are trying to combat it accordingly. Time will tell where this class shapes up, ultimately, but for now, it's absolutely heading in the right direction.