Florida Gators football recruiting: National Signing Day 2022 predictions, preview

By Adam Silverstein
February 1, 2022
Florida Gators football recruiting: National Signing Day 2022 predictions, preview
Football

Image Credit: Tim Casey / UAA

With 2022 National Signing Day set for Wednesday, one of the top stories nationally is whether Florida Gators head coach Billy Napier will be able to put together a strong close to his transitional class. Florida enters the day ranked No. 19 nationally in the 247Sports Composite team rankings, a move of 60 spots from where the class stood shortly after Napier took over.

If the way the Gators closed the early signing period is any indication, there may well be some surprises in store Wednesday. Still, nothing is guaranteed as Florida will be going up against other heavy hitters for some of the top remaining prospects in the nation.

The Gators enter the day ranked ninth among SEC teams with seven four-star commitments and nine three-star pledges. They will also be adding a number of transfers in the offseason, though those players will not be factored into the recruiting ranking.

There are a number of uncommitted prospects that Florida will be trying to haul in Wednesday, so let’s take a look at each along with their finalists and where UF stands entering the day. All times Eastern

Targets

Five-star LB Harold Perkins (No. 8 overall): This is the Gators’ big fish, so to speak. Perkins was long committed to Texas A&M before rescinding his pledge. He is now deciding between a trio of top-tier SEC programs as Florida made a late run for his services. The Cypress, Texas, native would be taking quite a trip to play at UF compared to his other options, but there’s no questioning the opportunity to see the field right away given the significant departures from the middle of the defense. In fact, Perkins could potentially start as a true freshman. This will likely come down to a Gators vs. Tigers battle, and it’s one UF would absolutely love to win.

Announcement time: 4:30 p.m. on CBS Sports HQ
Finalists: Florida, LSU, Texas A&M
Prediction: Florida | Confidence: 50%

Four-star S Jacoby Mathews (No. 38): With Mathews from the small town of Ponchatoula, Louisiana, it was thought that a bond with the coaching staff could convince one of the top defensive backs in the nation to join Florida’s extremely talented class. Rather, this appears to be a battle between the other teams who UF will also be fighting for Perkins’ services.

Announcement time: 7 p.m. on CBS Sports HQ
Finalists: Florida, LSU, Texas A&M
Prediction: LSU | Confidence: 50%

Four-star RB TreVonte’ Citizen (No. 107): As with Mathews, the coaching staff made some quick inroads with the Lake Charles, Louisiana, product. Citizen may feel some trepidation joining the Gators as they already have four-star RB Trevor Etienne committed; however, LSU is also strong at the position, and Auburn is in the midst of major coaching staff turmoil. Florida may wind up being the softest landing.

Announcement time: 10:30 a.m.
Finalists: Auburn, Florida, LSU, Miami
Prediction: Florida | Confidence: 33%

Four-star DL Caden Story (No. 204): The Gators need to get stronger up front and have pressed Story to join the class, but it looks to have been too large a hill to climb to pull him away from the significant momentum that Clemson’s had throughout his recruitment.

Announcement time: 10:30 a.m. on CBS Sports HQ
Finalists: Auburn, Clemson, Florida
Prediction: Clemson | Confidence: 80%

Three-star WR Caleb Douglas (No. 470): The 6-foot-3, 185-pound speedster from Texas has been a target of Florida’s for some time, while LSU just got into the conversation with an offer a couple of weeks ago. Too little too late for the Tigers.

Announcement time: 2:15 p.m.
Finalists: Florida, LSU
Prediction: Florida | Confidence: 85%

Three-star ATH Arlis Boardingham (No. 492): Originally scheduled to commit on signing day, Boardingham has pushed his decision toward the end of the week. It has long been believed he’s a lock for the Gators, who plan to play him at tight end.

Announcement time: TBD
Finalists: Florida, Oregon
Prediction: Florida | Confidence: 70%

Commitments

Florida is expecting National Letters of Intent from six commitments: Trevor Etienne (four-star RB), Max Brown (three-star QB), Jalen Farmer (three-star OL), Hayden Hansen (three-star TE), Miguel Mitchell (three-star S), Andrew Savaiinaea (three-star EDGE). Of those six, only Farmer is a potential waiver with Kentucky making a significant push for his services.

CommitPos.Rating
Kamari Wilson (43)
DB*
Shemar James (66)
LB*
Chris McClellan (112)
DL*
Trevor Etienne (186)
RB*
Devin Moore (263)
DB*
Tony Livingston
TE*
Jamari Lyons
DL*
Arlis Boardingham
ATH
Jack Pyburn
EDGE*
Caleb Douglas
WR*
Andrew Savailinaea
DL*
Jalen Farmer
OL*
Miguel Mitchell
ATH*
David Conner
OL*
Christian Williams
OL*
Max Brown
QB*
Hayden Hasnen
TE*
Trey Smack
K*

All rankings cited via 247Sports Composite

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