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Florida Gators in 50/50 Race With Oregon for WR/TE Arlis Boardingham

The Florida Gators will race toward the finish line against Oregon for wide receiver-tight end hybrid prospect Arlis Boardingham.

With National Signing Day two weeks out, the full-court press for high school prospects is in full swing. In Billy Napier's transition class, hauling in foundational pieces to reconstruct the program culture sits as a paramount duty. 

Rolling full-steam ahead after an eventful early signing period, Napier and company will be hosting a plethora of top targets on official visits in the final three weekends of January. 

Beginning their action-packed schedule Jan. 14-16, Florida welcomed eight official visitors, including uncommitted wide receiver/tight end prospect Arlis Boardingham.

Traveling across the country from his home state of California to visit the University of Florida, the 6-foot-5, 220-pound pass-catcher was exposed to Gainesville and the Florida campus for the first time. 

"I think Florida stands pretty high," Boardingham told AllGators. "I mean, I think the visit was great, and it really helped me better understand Florida. I think that they shot up a lot in the rankings."

Enjoying his time in Florida with his family, Boardingham was impressed with the chemistry the coaches showed despite their short time together.

"It was a fun experience overall. My parents had fun, and I had fun," said Boardingham. "The staff really made sure that they spoke to my family and made sure that we were good and every day we were taken care of.

"The staff, everyone was on the same page, which was really good. They all know what they're talking about. They all had the same goal. So I felt like Coach Napier really set it all up and put it together good."

Reaching the closing stretch of his recruitment, Boardingham is slated to take his last scheduled visit before making a final decision. He will head to Eugene (Ore.), looking to separate his current top schools of Florida and Oregon.

"As of right now, it's 50/50 just cause I haven't been to Oregon yet," Boardingham said. "So, I mean, I would say if Oregon doesn't show me a lot of great stuff that I would think that Florida has them beat but right now it's just 50/50 cause I haven't been there yet. I haven't seen anything."

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If he is to choose Florida, the Van Nuys (Cali.) prospect will operate in a hybrid role in the Gators offense, similar to that of Gator great and NFL rookie standout Kyle Pitts.

As a result, Boardingham split the bulk of his time between tight ends coach William Peagler and wide receivers coach Kearly Colbert. Equipped with a frame that sits bigger than the desired build for traditional wide receivers but smaller than that of the average tight end, Boardingham coins his potential position as "the receiver tight end."

"They said that they liked me at the tight end spot, but I'm very versatile, so they would put me anywhere," he said. "I could play receiver. I could play slot. I could play tight end. I could play at any spot."

Entering into his Sunday meeting with Billy Napier, Boardingham — like recent safety commit Miguel Mitchell — was made to feel like a priority by the Gators head coach.

"I'm a kid who could change the program early and have an effect on it at an early stage," he said when asked about the message Napier tried to convey to him in their one-on-one conversation. "I'm the type of guy who brings just the type of personality and confidence that he's looking for."

After his visit to Oregon, Boardingham will take his time to evaluate his options and make a decision when he feels the time is right.

"If I have a clear decision after the Oregon visit, then I'm gonna commit then. But if not, I'm gonna just wait to the signing day."

Despite the region discrepancy in his main program options, with one being much closer to home, the California-based recruit will not be limited by Florida's distance from the west coast.

"If the place that I go to is across the country and I feel like that's home, then I have no issue going there," he said. "The travel part doesn't really affect me just because the place that I go to should be home for me. So it shouldn't be an issue for the travel part."

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