Image Credit: 247Sports
Reports of the Florida Gators‘ demise as “DBU” were greatly exaggerated. Head coach Jim McElwain squashed that talk in a major way on Wednesday, locking up the two top remaining defensive backs on his board in four-star Christopher Henderson (Miami, FL) and three-star Brian Edwards (Miramar, FL).
In doing so, Florida beat out Miami for both prospects despite many believing the Hurricanes were poised to land Henderson and Edwards on National Signing Day.
Henderson (6-foot-1, 175 pounds) immediately becomes the Gators’ third-highest rated pledge of the 2017 cycle as he’s ranked No. 135 in the 247Sports Composite. He joins four-star lineman Tedarrell Slaton (Fort Lauderdale, FL) as a top-tier commitment on signing day, and the duo makes up two of UF’s top three pledges this year.
Edwards (6-foot-3, 195 pounds) projects more as a safety and was a highly coveted prospect despite his rating.
In adding Henderson and Edwards, along with four-stars DB Brad Stewart (New Orleans, LA) and Marco Wilson (Fort Lauderdale, FL), the Gators have done a tremendous job rebuilding DBU following another set of massive departures this offseason. Florida’s defensive back class also includes three-stars Shawn Davis (Miami, FL) and Donovan Stiner (Bellaire, TX).
Of course, this all comes after the Hurricanes were reportedly negatively recruiting the Gators … with a fake alleged NCAA violation concocted by a Miami message board poster.
Trust that Florida getting two over on Miami is not lost on anyone, especially McElwain.
“[Negative recruiting is] something that we will never do. It’s something we just don’t believe in. Some of that stuff catches the fire and then the truth comes out and who looks like the idiot? The guy that reported it,” he said.
“At the University of Florida, you’re a target because everybody knows the ability and what can happen as this thing keeps growing. … We’ll take that, and yet, our coaches won’t do that. We won’t stoop to that level. That’s not the level of the Florida Gators. … The ability to put anything you want out there nameless and not be responsible for it, that happens, and yet we got a good laugh out of it, too, when it was getting hit and the guys that jumped back on board when they were trying to sway.”