Florida Gators recruiting: Football looks to build 2019 class in offseason

By Adam Silverstein
April 29, 2018
Florida Gators recruiting: Football looks to build 2019 class in offseason

Image Credit: @UFGatorBand / Twitter

The Florida Gators did not see the overwhelming recruiting success other programs did during their respective spring game weekends, but it’s tough to make such a comparison considering a new coaching staff is in town and one would expect many prospects to have a bit of a “wait and see” attitude until they get a glimpse of the Gators on the field in 2018.

Nevertheless, Florida did add two new verbal pledges in April, and they happen to be the program’s top commitments for the Class of 2019 at this time. Four-stars linebacker Tyron Hopper (Roswell, GA) and quarterback Jalon Jones (Baltimore, MD) jumped aboard over the last few weeks with Hopper making his pledge on Thursday.

Though neither is ranked among the top 300 prospects in the nation, per the 247Sports Composite, their additions are positions of need for the Gators.

The question now is what’s next for Florida with Friday Night Lights still months away and the 2018 season not starting until September.

The Gators’ top target at this time is five-star running back Trey Sanders (Bradenton, FL), the No. 7 prospect nationally who will play his senior season at IMG Academy. Every major program is recruiting Sanders, but he recently visited Florida unofficially over consecutive weekends in April and has been getting along great with head coach Dan Mullen. It surely doesn’t hurt that his brother, JUCO LB Umstead Sanders, will be on the roster this season.

UF is also all-in on four-star wide receiver Mycah Pittman (Calabasas, CA), the No. 64 player in the country and one of the best pass catchers this cycle. Despite living across the country, Pittman visited Florida twice over the last six weeks.

Four-star defensive back Kaiir Elam (North Palm Beach, FL), another top-100 prospect, has long been a Gators target and expected eventual commit. Elam’s uncle is former Florida star safety Matt Elam, and you know what that means: Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer is vying for his services as well. Though Mullen was not on staff when the elder Elam joined UF, there is surely a familiarity and comfort there.

Additional four-star prospects to keep an eye on are tight end Keon Zipperer (Lakeland, FL) and DBs Jaden Davis (Fort Lauderdale, FL) and Chester Kimbrough (New Orleans, LA), all in-state talents that have high interest in the Gators.

Where things will shake out for Florida recruiting this cycle remain to be seen, but the Gators presently have the No. 17 ranked class in the nation, despite only having two four-star pledges and eight commitments overall. Take a look at the class as it stands below.

Diwun Black (53)
Moh. Diabate (144)
Tyron Hopper (207)
Jae. Humphries (215)
Jalon Jones (258)
Jaydon Hill (264)
William Harrod
Wardrick Wilson
Chester Kimbrough
Riley Simonds
Ja'markis Weston
Ethan White
Jesiah Pierre
Trent Whittemore
Dionte Marks

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