Photo: Garrick McGee; Credit: University of Florida athletic association
Two additions to the Florida Gators quarterback room in the 2021 calendar year suggest that UF's recruiting could see an influx of talent from the South Central region of the United States (Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas, and New Mexico). Primarily, Texas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana present several skilled players that own offers from the Gators.
The promotion of Oklahoma-native Garrick McGee to quarterbacks coach and a pledge from Texas-based signal-caller Nick Evers should increase the Gators' presence around the Red River of the South, in addition to recruiting effort that UF has already put into the area. Florida has sent numerous offers to prospects throughout the area and stands a chance to land several.
Below, we've compiled five recruits from the region with Gators offers who we believe Florida will prioritize throughout the cycle.
WR Evan Stewart
Offer: March 2020
One of the top wide receiver prospects in the country, Florida has recruited Stewart on his own for quite some time, Now, with Dallas-area 2022 quarterback Nick Evers committed to UF, the Liberty (Frisco, Texas) pass-catcher could be even more inclined to play for the Gators at the next level.
Stewart and Evers boast quite a connection on their Texas-based seven-on-seven football team, which has led Evers to recruit Stewart to Florida himself along with the coaching staff. Stewart may not be a big wide receiver, but in addition to his swift athleticism which allows him to break open on routes, he's got some serious hops that allow him to make acrobatic grabs and contest catches.
Stewart included Florida in his top eight schools on Saturday. He is scheduled to officially visit UF from June 4-6 and will be among the highest-rated recruits in attendance as a consensus five-star.
WR Jay Fair
Offer: February 2021
An underrated recruit in comparison to Stewart, Fair made a name for himself as an electric deep-threat receiver this past season by averaging about 18 yards per reception and scoring 13 touchdowns. As such, he's added 23 offers in 2021 alone.
The Rockwall-Heath (Texas) receiver is also from the Dallas area and has been recruited by Evers as well. At his 5-foot-11, 182-pound size paired with his solid speed and elusiveness, we like Fair's fit at slot receiver and believe he could emerge as a special teams contributor on kick and punt returns at the next level as he has done in high school.
Fair has yet to post a top schools list, but it is worth noting that the pinned Tweet on his Twitter account is his announcement of Florida's offer from Feb. 1. He's received over a dozen offers since. Fair is scheduled to officially visit UF from June 11-13.
S Jacoby Mathews
Offer: January 2021
Hailing from Ponchatoula High School (La.) and called the King of the South for his documentary, Jacoby Mathews is an elite safety prospect in the class of 2022 that Florida has prioritized in recent months following his offer.
The 6-foot-1, 204-pound safety offers ready-to-play size and speed at the next level that the Gators still desperately need on the backend of their defense, particularly after failing to acquire Terrion Arnold in the last cycle. Mathews is a capable signle-high safety with the athleticism, coverage discipline, and ball-skills to create turnovers and eliminate big plays down the field.
Mathews recently updated his top six schools, with Florida remaining in the mix. He is scheduled to officially visit UF from June 4-6 and will be among the highest-rated recruits in attendance as a consensus five-star.
ATH Gentry Williams
Offer: September 2020
Not only is Williams a gifted athlete that Florida could utilize in a multitude of ways, but he also has a serious connection to the Gators' coaching staff. Quarterbacks coach Garrick McGee played his high school ball at the same school that Williams does, Booker T. Washington in Tulsa, Okla., where McGee's late father was also a coaching legend.
The 6-foot, 170-pound prospect primarily plays quarterback for his high school, however, Williams best projects as a defensive back or wide receiver at the next level provided his gifted athleticism and promising ball skills. Williams' current coach claims that he has 4.3-second speed in the 40 yard dash, which is actually believable given his impressive, 21.14-second personal record in the 200-meter dash.
Florida finds itself in Williams' top six schools currently. He is scheduled to officially visit UF from June 4-6 and will be among the highest-rated recruits in attendance as a consensus five-star.
DT Chris McClellan
Offer: March 2021
20 or so minutes northeast of Williams' current and McGee's old stomping grounds leads one to Owasso, Okla., home of 2022 defensive tackle Chris McClellan. He isn't as highly rated by the consensus as other prospects on this list, but McClellan is talented nonetheless and is coveted nationally. Since Florida offered in early March, McClellan has received an additional 11 offers.
The 6-foot-3, 290-pound defensive tackle, being recruited by David Turner as well as McGee, carries impressive upper-body strength that allows him to plow through offensive linemen with ease at the high school level. His first step needs improvement but McClellan moves well for a player of his size when he hits a second-gear moving into the backfield. He has experience playing both strong-side defensive end and along the interior.
McClellan has yet to release a top schools list. He is scheduled to officially visit UF from June 4-6.