What's Left for Florida's 2020 Recruiting?
National Signing Day has come and gone.
And yet, the Florida Gators technically aren't done with their 2020 recruiting.
The Gators still hold two commitments, both coming from the South Florida region. Wide receiver Leonard Manuel (Stranahan - Fort Lauderdale, FL), a long-time commit, and athlete Marc Britt (Miami Christian School - Miami, FL) both stand on their commitments to Florida, but have yet to sign.
Manuel will sign on April 1st, choosing between Florida and Ole Miss. He visited Lane Kiffin and Oxford on January 24th and canceled his scheduled visit to UF the weekend after. Though, head coach Dan Mullen and wide receivers coach Billy Gonzales paid Manuel a visit at school during that week.
There's no known reason for the delay in Manuel's signing, but his situation will obviously be one to monitor. The Gators have done a good job of adding wide receiver talent in the 2020 class, securing signings from Xzavier Henderson and Jaquavion Fraziars, plus adding former Penn State receiver Justin Shorter via the NCAA transfer portal.
At 6-4, 212 lbs., Manuel would add another perimeter threat to a receiver class build on height. Henderson is the shortest receiver in the class, standing at 6-3 1/2. During his senior season at Stranahan after transferring from Vanguard (Ocala, FL), Manuel tallied 39 receptions for 645 yards and nine touchdowns, averaging 16.5 yards per catch.
Britt, on the other hand, will make his decision on February 20th. Like Manuel, Britt is currently committed to Florida, but will choose between the Gators and Ole Miss.
In early January, Britt told SI All-American that he was "all Gator" and was planning to sign with Florida. Though, Ole Miss started to make a push the athlete, who would play safety at Florida, while the Gators made their final push for Deland safety Avantae Williams.
However, on National Signing Day, Williams made the surprising decision to sign with Miami over Florida. Could that decision impact Britt's decision?
The Gators already got pen-to-paper with two 2020 safety prospects in Rashad Torrence II and Mordecai McDaniel, so the room would get a little crowded with any more than three signings at the position. Remember, Florida rotated between four safeties in 2019, and three of those players will return in 2020 in Shawn Davis, Brad Stewart, and Donovan Stiner.
Perhaps with the spot at safety vacated by the pursuit of Williams will be able to keep Britt in the class.
Gators head coach Dan Mullen also acknowledged the idea of adding more talent (whether it be high school prospects or transfer) with the team's remaining spots after signing day, during his press conference on Wednesday.
Well, we'll see. I don't know how many spots we've held, but in today's world, there -- a couple years ago if a guy transferred it was a little bit bigger deal than it is now. You know, and you look at some of our guys, we had two great players transfer in December out of our program who -- I mean, both played significant playmakers for us, but are going into their final year of football, so you sit down with them and you understand, years ago that probably -- even up to three or four years ago that probably wouldn't have been the case. Those guys would have stuck it out, finished with your program.
There's always going to be that possibility for another spot or two coming up that we'll create, and there may be some openings that get created within our team.
While there isn't much high school talent left out there to take in the 2020 class, the NCAA transfer portal is constantly filled with talent that the Gators could poach.
As for now, the remaining storylines to follow for Florida's 2020 recruiting class are Manuel and Britt. However, recruiting is recruiting, and anything could happen.