Florida Gators recruiting: Targets to watch through 2016 National Signing Day

By Adam Silverstein
February 1, 2016

Currently *26 members strong with 10 more commitments entering 2016 National Signing Day compared to this time last year, the Florida Gators’ recruiting class has only a few spots left and not many candidates to fill those potential scholarships.

Head coach Jim McElwain has done a good job filling some of his team’s needs, but the Gators also appear to be limping towards the finish, either being eliminated or not seriously in contention for some of the top remaining uncommitted players.

With National Signing Day set for Wednesday, Feb. 3, Florida does still remain a contender for some of the best players in the country. Whether the Gators will be able to lock up any of these prospects remains to be seen, but UF is absolutely in the hunt for at least a couple of these players, who will be making their decisions this week.

Be sure to visit OnlyGators.com’s live coverage of National Signing Day, which will kick off Wednesday morning at 8 a.m. It will feature a live blog that will be constantly updated throughout the day and a checklist to keep track of every signed National Letter of Intent (NLI) and new commitment.

For now, OnlyGators.com breaks down which players the Gators are still waiting to hear from and when they may learn of their respective decisions. This is everything you need to know ahead of the biggest day of the offseason for Florida.

Wide receiver Tyrie Cleveland (Houston, TX)
247Sports Composite: No. 33 overall, No. 2 wide receiver
Leaders: Houston
Contenders: Florida, Arkansas, TCU
Skinny: Though currently committed to Houston, Cleveland visited Gainesville over the weekend and has definitely been considering his options with trips to TCU (Jan. 15) and Arkansas (Jan. 22) this year. Cleveland moved to Houston to play high school football and currently lives with his aunt, but he’s from Jacksonville and has his immediate family in the state of Florida. He appears to be a kid pulled in many different directions – all of them away from Houston. What the Gators can offer Cleveland is immediate playing time and potential to develop just like Antonio Callaway did last year. That may be too much for him to pass up.
Announcement: 9 a.m. ET
Prediction: Florida | Confidence: 65 percent

Defensive end Brian Burns (Fort Lauderdale, FL)
247Sports Composite: No. 51 overall, No. 5 weak-side defensive end
Leaders: Florida, Florida State
Contenders: Alabama, Georgia
Skinny: After his visit to Gainesville two weeks ago, the Gators felt confident they would land Burns. After his visit to Tallahassee over the weekend, it now looks to be the Seminoles set to land his commitment. Burns could really go either way.
Announcement: TBD
Prediction: Florida State | Confidence: 65 percent

Cornerback Kristian Fulton (Metairie, LA)
247Sports Composite: No. 21 overall, No. 2 cornerback
Leader: LSU
Contender: Florida
Skinny: The Gators have a good program and have proven they can churn out top-tier defensive backs, but Florida is not only going against the one team that can claim equal success in that area (LSU) but doing so for a Louisiana prospect. UF can and has won its share of recruiting battles against the Bayou Bengals, but it looks like there are long odds for the Gators on this one.
Announcement: 1 p.m. ET
Prediction: LSU | Confidence: 75 percent

Offensive lineman John Simpson (North Charleston, SC)
247Sports Composite: No. 151 overall, No. 7 offensive guard
Leader: Clemson
Contender: Florida
Skinny: Compared to how often he’s been able to visit the Tigers, his trip to see the Gators was likely just for due diligence. Though some believe Simpson could pull a shocker on signing day, ultimately it is most likely that he remains in state and commits to a team coming off a national title game berth.
Prediction: Clemson | Confidence: 70 percent

Offensive tackle Malcom Pridgeon (Central Islip, NY)
247Sports Composite: No. 4 overall JUCO, No. 3 offensive tackle
Contenders: Florida, Baylor, Ohio State
Skinny: Most expect Pridgeon to wind up with the Buckeyes, but he’s a hard prospect to read and some believe West Virginia is in the mix for the third-year transfer.
Prediction: Ohio State | Confidence: 65 percent

Linebacker Dontavious Jackson (Houston, TX)
247Sports Composite: No. 89 overall, No. 4 inside linebacker
Leader: Texas
Contenders: Florida, Alabama, Florida State, Michigan
Skinny: Jackson has been all over the country over the last three weeks, visiting the Gators, Crimson Tide and in-state Longhorns. Ultimately though, it doesn’t appear likely that the SEC outsiders will be able to sway him from staying close to home.
Announcement: 10 a.m. ET
Prediction: Texas | Confidence: 80 percent

One Comment

  1. gatorforever says:

    dang, from what i’ve seen I thoughtfor sure we would get 2 of 3: cleveland, fulton, burns.

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