Gators OT Target Leyton Nelson Picks UCF Over Florida

The Florida Gators miss out on yet another offensive tackle prospect.
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Photo: Florida offensive line coach John Hevesy; Credit: Zach Goodall

Another miss for the Florida Gators at the offensive tackle position, Boone (Orlando, Fla.) 2022 recruit Leyton Nelson has committed to the UCF Knights over UF, he announced early Thursday morning.

Nelson was offered by Florida in June following an impressive camp workout in front of offensive line coach John Hevesy and head coach Dan Mullen. 

The workout immediately shot Nelson up the Gators' recruiting board as IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.) tackle Tyler Booker opted to pledge to Alabama over UF in the same timeframe. Nelson was supposed to return to Florida on July 30 for the team's Friday Night Lights camp, but couldn't finish the trip after being pulled over for a speeding ticket according to 247Sports.

That incident, minor as it may be, could have played a serious role in Nelson opting away from UF. A recruiting dead period was put in place, as scheduled, at the conclusion of this past weekend, meaning Nelson was not able to check out the university once more before making a final decision.

Instead, Nelson decided to pledge to a school that he has grown up nearby, as he attends high school just 20 minutes away from Central Florida.

This marks yet another miss for the Gators at the offensive tackle position, after failing to land Booker, being unable to flip Penn State commit Drew Shelton (IMG Academy) despite an official visit, losing out on Lee County's (Leesburg, Ga.) Qae'shon Sapp, and others. Florida has yet to land a blue-chip offensive tackle prospect since Martez Ivey signed with the Gators way back in 2015, unless you count 2020 signee Issiah Walker, who transferred out of the program within months of enrolling and never played a game with the Gators.

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