Recruiting: Mullen reaches out to 2018 class, visits 5* QB Justin Fields

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Justin Fields, one of the top quarterback prospects in the country, throws in a drill during Friday Night Lights, the annual Florida Football high school camp, in Gainesville in July. [Brad McClenny/The Gainesville Sun]

There’s less than a month until Dan Mullen’s first signing day as Florida’s new head coach, and that means there’s no time to waste.

After his introduction Monday, Mullen hit the recruiting trail, including making calls to all of Florida’s 2018 class and visiting five-star quarterback Justin Fields on Tuesday. With three weeks until the Early Signing Period, Mullen’s time will be devoted to re-building and improving the Gators.

Mullen’s first offer for the Gators as head coach went to JUCO product Stephen Guidry, a 6-foot-4 wide receiver out of Hinds Community College. Guidry’s college recruitment has taken many twists and turns, but he’s currently committed to Mississippi State.

UF assistant Billy Gonzales paid a visit to Malik Heath, a 6-foot-3 wide receiver who is also committed to MSU.

Later, Gonzales apparently visited Esambia wide receiver Jacob Copeland, who de-committed from the Gators prior to Mullen’s hiring. And Mullen traveled to Bainbridge, Georgia, to visit UF running back commit Dameon Pierce. While Mullen’s attire isn’t what you’d typically expect a head coach to wear on a recruiting visit, the Jordan’s did serve a necessary purpose.

Then came Tuesday night, when Mullen traveled to Kennesaw, Georgia, to see Fields, one of the most intriguing prospects of the 2018 class. Flight records show the UAA-owned plane didn’t leave Kennesaw until the early hours of the morning, where it then traveled for Naples.

It wasn’t all good news in Mullen’s first 72 hours in Gainesville. 2019 commit Maurice Goolsby posted his de-commitment on his Twitter account Monday after Florida’s hiring of Mullen, making him the second 2019 commitment in as many days to back off their pledge.

18 COMMENTS

  1. we need to have a yacht at img in Bradenton if that’s allowed…probably not. who knows. that’s like 20 blue chippers every year
    living and dying by who goes where is a mistake. first thing after the bowl game last year mac went after the qb that helped auburn beat bama. if the guy had come here, its auburn introducing dan mullen this week.
    we got the better end of the deal

  2. Mullens wants the job, has high energy, wants to win badly, really wants to recruit, great QB coach, demonstrates a lot of excitement and has the platform to really push it up a notch. I was a big Frost fan and yesterday’s press introduction sure swayed my thinking. I realize he has a lot of work cutout for himself but going directly after Justin Fields shows me he wants what makes his offense go. Of course getting Fields sounds like a stretch but after hearing him talk I know he’ll tell him a great story. It is also great that he is only 45 years old. I’m really getting fired up about his hire.

    • From an ESPN article on the coaching carousel and recruiting, which mentions several recruits:

      Quarterback Matt Corral had taken a visit to Alabama, but says that he is optimistic about what Mullen brings.

      “The coaching change has been hard, just because it was all unknown at the time,” Corral said. “(The hire) for sure removes uncertainty because of Dan Mullen’s resumé. A lot of coaches I know, and look up to, talk very highly of him, so I have no doubt that he will develop me into a young man and a great football player.

      “I haven’t talked to Coach Mullen yet, but if I am the quarterback he wants, then I am on board.”

  3. Some times decommitments aren’t as much to do with coaching changes, but more to do about academics.
    Some recruits hide the fact they can’t make the grades. It’s that simple. Even Saban could be turned down for this reason, although Bama and FSU would probably find a way to get a recruit in grades or no grades.

    • Yeah, that’s what it is, academics. Lol. Here comes the typical Gator fan kool aid. “If he doesn’t want to come here, it’s because he’s dumb and can’t handle the academics”. Lol. What a freaking joke. How about everybody return to reality?

      • Justin Fields actually said in an interview that he’s going to pick a school based on academics and the environment that the school provides, so it’s definitely a factor.

        • Were we talking about Justin Fields? Did he commit to Florida and then decommit? He was stating that players sometimes decommit due to academics, in reference to some decommitments. Does Justin Fields fit that description? Also, has the academic requirements changed at Florida since the “commitment”? He committed to Florida, then decommits and its because of academics?? Like the academics just changed? Like I said, lets not make all Gator fans look like morons by making baseless comments on the academic prowess of kids.

      • LT-You might want to check his academic standing and then you’ll know. It’s been reported previously. No cool-aid, just facts! Schools with academic standards like FL lose recruits every year because of grades.

        • What is his academic status? Since you seem to be up to date on the academic progress of 2019 recruits. Regardless, his intelligence nor Floridas academic standards haven’t changed since his commitment so why would it affect his status? Let be realistic instead of pulling the typical Gator fan bs I previously talked about. What kind of fans have a coaching change and when a kid decommits because of it, try to make the kid look like he wasn’t intelligent enough to come here? And you make statement about FSU and Bama making inappropriate concessions to help kids get in school? Like Florida doesn’t do that? I got news for you, Reche Caldwell was borderline illiterate when he was here. I doubt he could write in complete sentences yet Florida took him and did they best they could to keep him in school. His decommitment and Floridas coaching change is NOT a coincidence. Lets just be realistic.

  4. Great to see some immediate developments holding this class together. It’s not only about the recruits we had but the ones we need, no matter what the national ranking.

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