Florida Gators Top Remaining Targets for the 2020 Class
Immediately following the Early Signing Period, Dan Mullen made it known that with the limited spots left available in this year's class, he and his staff would continue to pursue 5-6 targets and take the “best available” prospects.
Since then, there has been a shift in who the Gators consider the best available prospects, and some new faces have appeared at the forefront of the Gators recruiting efforts.
Every player left on the board is a suitable prospect for Florida, so GatorMaven is here to take you through what each player brings to the team and the possibility they have to join the 2020 class.
High school targets
Safety Avantae Williams (Deland - Deland, FL):
Possibly the biggest recruit left on the board for the Gators in 2020, Williams would put an exclamation point on Dan Mullen’s best class yet.
After a season where the team saw the inconsistent play and blown coverage in the back end of the secondary on multiple occasions, Williams presents an exciting skill set that could allow him to see playtime immediately within the Gators defense.
Being such a versatile piece that can play anywhere from outside corner to STAR to safety, Williams is a perfect fit for the Gators defense and can present a hard-hitting and speedy presence.
The 5-11, 170-pound prospect out of Deland, Florida, has shown serious interest in Florida following his decommitment from Oregon back in December.
The addition of his cousin to the class, running back Lorenzo Lingard, could prove vital in Florida being able to obtain who many claim to be the number one safety in this year's recruiting class.
ATH Damarcus Beckwith (Florence - Florence, AL):
Visiting on the second to last weekend before signing day, Florida is atop the list of schools Beckwith is considering going into his final decision.
Competing with the likes of Auburn, Ole Miss, Kentucky, and even Tennessee (a team in Beckwith will be taking his official visit on January 31st), the Gators are looking to make one last push to ensure the athlete comes to Gainesville for the next 3-5 years.
A 6-4, 215-pound athlete from Florence, Alabama, Beckwith provides incredible length that is an unteachable trait the Gators tend to look for in their receiving corps.
Beckwith is far from being a polished receiver and will need some work with his route running ability, but the plays he’s able to make with the ball in his hand is too much to go unnoticed.
The smooth prospect who can play nearly any skill position is getting a lot of interest, but Beckwith will officially visit Florida on January 24th.
RB Ashaad Clayton (Warren Easton - New Orleans, LA)
The Louisiana native from Warren Easton high school is an interesting prospect for the Gators.
Measuring up at 6-0, 200 pounds, Clayton is a bruiser out of the backfield. A physical, downhill runner that also has the intangibles to play in third-down situations.
With a solid pass protection background and pass-catching ability out of the backfield, Clayton would bring a lot more depth to Florida’s backfield, given the unknown status of new transfer Lorenzo Lingard.
But, the Colorado commit, who has shown very slight interest in the Gators, looks as if he will stick with his commitment and make his way to Buffalo country.
With Clayton visiting on January 24th (according to Rivals), a big weekend for prospects on the fence about attending the University of Florida, the Gators look to make a late push for the talented four-star prospect.
OL Sedrick Van Pran (Warren Easton - New Orleans, LA):
Another prospect out of Warren Easton high school, Van Pran would possibly be the most significant flip of the process if Dan Mullen can pull it off.
Playing center and defensive tackle during his time as an Eagle, Van Pran projects to be one of the best centers in this year's recruiting class. Ranked third in the nation, the Georgia Bulldog commit is high on the Gators board as they look to steal him from their SEC foe.
As a stout interior offensive lineman, his 6-4, 305-pound frame allows him to be an aggressive run blocker with a bit of a mean streak. He also brings needed pass protection intangibles to any of the three interior positions.
While it is likely he sticks to his commitment with Georgia, the Gators get the last chance to leave a lasting impression on him as he will visit UF the weekend before National Signing Day (according to Rivals). Flipping Van Pran would prove tremendous for Dan Mullen and his efforts to anchor down the trenches in the 2020 class.
RB Jahmyr Gibbs (Dalton - Dalton, GA):
The player that many are regarding as the best running back prospect in this year's class, the Gators have made a big push in obtaining the talented back out of Dalton, Georgia.
With Gibbs, you’re getting one of the most explosive playmakers in this year's recruiting class. Stepping onto the field with a smaller, more compact build at 5-9, 191 lbs., Gibbs brings pure track speed and incredible vision with the football in his hands to his arsenal.
His play style and abilities make any coach in college football that likes to run the football drool over his skills. He is a flashy, talented back that has the chance to captivate a fan base and get playtime early on in his collegiate career.
After some speculation that the speedy back would change his January 24th official visit from Florida to LSU, Gibbs chose to keep his schedule the same with Florida in the 24th slot (per Rivals).
While Ohio State and Georgia Tech are currently the leaders for Gibbs, Florida’s coaching staff will look to make a strong push for him during his visit to try to flip him from his Georgia Tech commitment.
RB Zachary Evans (North Shore - Houston, TX):
The talk of the town since being released from his letter of intent at the University of Georgia, Evans is an interesting prospect.
The five-star talent out of Houston, Texas, has been linked to the Gators as a sleeper addition late in the recruiting process.
Possessing elite athleticism at 5-11, 200 pounds, Evans mixes start-and-stop ability that makes players miss with ease and top-end speed that allows him to make big plays from anywhere on the field.
While it looks as if Texas A&M is the leader to sign the highly touted recruit, there is a chance the Gators reach out to the number one running back in the nation to bring him to Gainesville once the dead period of recruiting ends.
From the Portal:
WR Justin Shorter (Penn State):
Since Mullen’s time at Florida, the Gators have been known to pluck talented players from the transfer portal and use them in significant ways.
For example, since arriving on the scene in Gainesville, Mullen has been able to obtain guys like Van Jefferson, Trevon Grimes, Brenton Cox, Lorenzo Lingard, and others through the portal to beef us his roster despite average recruiting classes prior to the 2020 haul.
This season isn’t much different. Already holding one of the top ten recruiting classes in all of college football, Mullen could add another former five star to the list of players he’s taken from the portal, in efforts to add even more steam to this class.
After committing to Penn State last season, Shorter quickly found his way out of Happy Valley after a slow start to a highly anticipated college career.
Standing 6-4 and weighing 226 pounds, Shorter brings the prototypical physical attributes you want to see from a star wide receiver. With the size and length along with loads of athletic ability, Shorter would be one of the top receivers on the Gator team in the Spring.
Shorter pairs his physical makeup with quick acceleration off the line of scrimmage and a 4.5 40 time to be one of the most intriguing receiver prospects the Gators have seen in quite some time.
With little chance to make an impact in the 2019 season due to transfer rules/difficulties, Shorter would still be a great get for the future of the program.
The talented wide receiver was the number one overall ranked wide receiver in the class of 2018 and would be a massive addition for Dan Mullen and the Gators if he is to make his way to the Swamp.