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Florida Gators OL Target Francis Mauigoa Commits to Miami Hurricanes

The Florida Gators will miss out on offensive lineman Francis Mauigoa as he makes the Independence Day pledge to the Miami Hurricanes.

Photo: Francis Mauigoa; Credit: Zach Goodall

The Florida Gators began Independence Day with fireworks as they earned a commitment from one of the top EDGE rushers in the nation, T.J. Searcy out of Upson-Lee (Ga). 

RELATED: Florida Gators Earn Commitment From Big-Time EDGE TJ Searcy

That light show, however, would end after top-rated offensive lineman Francis Mauigoa out of IMG Academy (Fla.) made a pledge to in-state rival, the Miami Hurricanes. Mauigoa announced the pledge on CBSSports HQ.

Mauigoa is widely considered one of the best offensive linemen in the country and had been heavily recruited by Florida for months.

Recently, Mauigoa included Florida among his six finalists alongside, Alabama, Hawaii, USC, Miami and Tennessee.  

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According to On3 Sports consensus, Mauigoa is rated as a five-star prospect, the No. 10 player in the nation, the No. 2 offensive tackle and the No. 2 player in the state of Florida. His ability at 6-foot-5, 327 pounds is high, with the ceiling yet to be realized as he gets set to play his final season at the prep level. 

Mauigoa visited Florida three times under the new regime led by head coach Billy Napier. Though he didn't commit to the program this time around, Mauigoa had plenty of good to say about Napier and the new staff, especially compared to the previous staff led by former head coach Dan Mullen.

"Their new staff is a lot better than the old staff. I think the new staff is way better. I felt the love and the atmosphere was crazy," Mauigioa explained in April.

"It's the people that are around you that will make you successful. Surrounding yourself with successful people will make you successful. Surround yourself with failures, you'll make yourself a failure.

"So, you know, they develop successful kids. They showed me around, it was all love."

Not all is lost at all within Florida's recruiting efforts, though. The program has already landed pledges from Mauigoa's teammate, Knijeah Harris along with OL Bryce Lovett (Rockledge, Fla).

The program still has plenty of paths to take with its offensive line, too. Recently, the Gators made a top-teams list for OL Tyree Adams (St. Augustine, La.) and are likely to continue to be on some of the nation's best top teams lists. Another top target, OT Payton Kirkland (Dr. Phillips, Fla.) is set to commit on July 23.

The group, led by OL coaches Rob Sale and Darnell Stapleton, should end up in good shape for the 2023 recruiting class. Still, Mauigoa's non-commitment to Florida will sting for a bit as the team looks to land some of the other top players in this year's class.

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