Florida football recruiting: Four-star OL Fletcher Westphal commits joining Gators’ No. 3 class

By OnlyGators.com Staff
July 10, 2023
Florida football recruiting: Four-star OL Fletcher Westphal commits joining Gators’ No. 3 class

Image Credit: UAA

Success on the summer recruiting trail continued for the Florida Gators on Monday as yet another blue-chip prospect decided to join the Class of 2024. Four-star offensive lineman Fletcher Westphal (Leesburg, VA) committed to the Gators in a somewhat-surprising announcement given the way it was believed his recruitment had been trending.

Westphal (6-foot-8, 335 pounds) had long been expected to join Clemson, one of his four finalists along with Arkansas and Georgia. Instead, momentum shifted toward Florida late Sunday with his scheduled commitment date upcoming.

“I picked a school where my educational and football opportunities are matched. I will [be] committing to THE University of Florida,” Westphal wrote on Twitter after making his announcement live on Instagram.

Having taken his official visit to UF less than a month ago, Westphal told 247Sports that he spent a lot of time speaking with offensive line coaches Rob Sale and Darnell Stapleton as the entire program displayed a positive outlook about its future under head coach Billy Napier.

Those Gators assistants have been subject to criticism this cycle for not landing higher-level prospects at one of the most important positions on the field. Prior to Westphal’s pledge, three of Florida’s four lowest-rated commitments were offensive linemen with the best of the bunch, three-star Marcus Mascoll (Snellville, GA), checking in 683rd in the 247Sports Composite.

Westphal, ranked 288th in the composite, becomes the second-highest rated player at his position that Sale and Stapleton have acquired in two recruiting cycles. That still leaves a lot to be desired given the number of top-tier big men signing with the Gators’ rivals and national championship contenders.

With Westphal now in the class, Florida remains No. 3 nationally in the 247Sports Composite team rankings, though it has pushed further past Michigan (No. 4) while closing the gap with Ohio State (No. 2). The Gators are unlikely to finish in the top three overall at the end of the cycle given scholarship limits; however, their average class ranking should again be near the top of teams nationally.

Though Florida finished No. 14 in the team rankings for 2023, the prospects Napier & Co. brought to town had the sixth-best average rating in the nation — a far cry from the talent level of players acquired by the prior administration.

DJ Lagway (4)
LJ McCray (6)
Myles Graham (81)
Fletcher Westphal (124)
Aaron Chiles (138)
Amir Jackson (139)
Kahnen Daniels (187)
Jerrae Hawkins (229)
D'antre Robinson (252)
Tawaski Abrams
Jadan Baugh
Josiah Davis
Mike Williams
Gregory Smith III
Teddy Foster
Michai Boireau
Marcus Mascoll
Noel Portnjagin
Brien Taylor (9-juco)

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