There are just two days until National Signing Day and at that point, the Florida Gators will have finally wrapped up its 2021 recruiting class, paving the way for incoming freshmen to earn opportunities to compete with the SEC, and on the Florida roster officially.
With the class wrapping up shortly, Sports Illustrated All-American has officially released its final ranking of the season prior to signing day, placing the Gators at No. 13 overall, their class had been ranked at No. 11 overall in January.
Here is what SIAA had to say about the Florida recruiting class thus far during this period:
Longtime in-state offensive tackle Adrien Strickland and Florida recently parted ways, yet another offensive line defection from the commitment list. Despite the short fall to No. 13 nationally, the Gators fan base would probably care less considering how well Dan Mullen and company are doing in the transfer market. Arik Gilbert may well replace Kyle Pitts as soon as possible.
Those within the SEC ahead of the Gators, includes Texas A&M (6), LSU (5), Georgia (4) and Alabama (1). Florida is also ranked behind in-state rival Miami (10). SIAA notes that Florida has four players ranked in the SI99, including cornerback Jason Marshall (22), defensive ends Jeremiah Williams (52) and Tyreak Sapp (73) and safety Corey Collier.
While National Signing Day on Feb. 3 will certainly bring plenty of intrigue across the nation, the majority of the recruiting classes are locked up, signing most of their recruits during Early Signing Day in December.
While NSD won't be as popular as it has in the past, especially this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, it will still cement teams, officially able to move on to next year's class.
On ESD in December, the Gators landed a total of 22 prospects, 12 of which have already enrolled early at the university. Headlining the class is one of the nation's top cornerbacks in Marshall (Miami Palmetto, Miami, Fla.) Standing at 6-foot-2, 180 pounds, Marshall is a true modern-day cornerback that has the skills to make an impact at The Swamp right away.
Florida also landed plenty of other top-ranked recruits, such as Miami Palmetto's Collier, a safety and a teammate of Marshall's. Cartersville, Ga. quarterback Carlos Del-Rio is also one of the top-ranked prospects within the class, looking to compete for playing time at quarterback somewhere down the line.
While the Gators' 2021 recruiting class may leave something to be desired, it has made up for it within the transfer portal, landing multiple former five-star recruits just prior to this year, including tight end Arik Gilbert and running back Demarkcus Bowman.
Moving forward, look for the Gators to potentially add more to its class on Wednesday, with Tallahassee safety Terrion Arnold expected to make his decision, Florida is viewed highly by Arnold at this time.