UF recruiting: Key weekend before early signing period

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The final weekend for official visitors before the early signing period is expected to be monumental for Florida’s 2018 class.

With just five days until the inaugural early signing period, Florida’s coaching staff is expecting to host six football players this weekend in Gainesville.

Headlining that group is five-star Long Beach Poly (Calif.) quarterback Matt Corral, who will have an opportunity to meet with UF coach Dan Mullen for the second time in under a week.

Corral hosted Mullen and new UF assistant coach Brian Johnson on Monday, and all indications point to Corral signing early with the Gators on Wednesday.

Corral won’t be the only UF commit taking an official visit over the weekend. David Reese, a linebacker out of Vero Beach High, and Tyquan Thornton, a wide receiver out of Booker T. Washington High, will take official visits before signing a national letter of intent next week.

Despite the departure of former coach Jim McElwain, the pair of south Florida prospects haven’t wavered in their commitments, and an official visit to Gainesville should all but solidify their decisions.

The recruitment of IMG Academy defensive back Brendan Radley-Hiles appears to be drawing to a close. Radley-Hiles, who de-committed from Nebraska on Oct. 31, will take an official visit today to UF. Despite the previous commitment to the Cornhuskers, the 5-foot-10 prospect has long envisioned playing in the SEC, and it appears his collegiate decision will come down to LSU and the Gators. Radley-Hiles will be joined by his mother on the final official visit of his recruitment as both look to gather more information before reaching a decision.

Radley-Hiles isn’t the only in-state defensive back zeroing in on the Gators before the early signing period, however.

Mainland High safety John Huggins, who de-committed from Florida State on Dec. 1 following Jimbo Fisher’s departure for Texas A&M, will officially visit Florida over the weekend. Huggins won’t sign early, and he still has an official visit to Miami set for Jan. 26, but new UF defensive coordinator Todd Grantham has prioritized recruiting Huggins in the brief period he’s been at Florida. Mullen and Grantham have talked daily with the Daytona Beach native, and the latter went in-home with the four-star prospect Sunday, as Florida’s new staff looks to rebuild a youth-laden and injury-riddled secondary.

Dutchtown (Ga.) safety Trey Dean initially planned to officially visit Florida last weekend, but opted to head north, where he was hosted by Kentucky. But the Gators should get the last crack at Dean as he’ll take his final official visit to Gainesville today before he signs Wednesday. The Gators remain in contention for Dean’s signature, despite a full slate of SEC powers vying for the four-star defensive back.

And Florida will host JUCO offensive lineman Noah Banks on Saturday, as Banks continues to evaluate his recruitment. Banks, who remains committed to Arkansas despite the firing of coach Bret Bielema, is wrapping up an official visit to Texas today before making the trip to Gainesville. The 6-foot-7, 305-pound Pensacola native has reportedly eyed a destination closer to home, and it appears his collegiate decisions will come down to a pair of SEC programs — Auburn and the Gators.

17 COMMENTS

  1. LOVING the way that Dan is attacking this job. It’s a mission for him. I think we’re gonna be OK folks. Time will tell, but I feel TONS better than any of the other hires.

    • Ditto. Lots to be thankful for now, sure, some disappointments recently, but DM is owning this job. That, to me, seems to be a big difference thus far.

  2. All indications are that Mullen and staff are doing a great salvage job with this class. We’ll know soon enough.

    Make no mistake about it, Matt Corral is the key recruit in this class and the glue holding it together. I’ve been excited about Corral since he verbally committed. He picked Florida and has stayed with his decision throughout everything that has transpired. He’s also been a recruiter and leader of sorts for the class.

    • As usual, I agree with you 100%, mtn2top. If Corral is indeed the “one”, I’m not worried about him not fitting in Mullen’s offense…..Mullen has a history of tailoring it to the strengths of his QB. I just hope we can get that O-line working right, and shore up the defense with some more strong personnel. In any event there, I think the new DC is going to kick some ass and take some names.

  3. Matt Corral’s decommittment is very discouraging. Others will fall to his coattail. We are looking at years of rebuilding to get back to the top. Prediction:
    2018: 4-8
    2019: 5-7
    2020: 7-6
    2021: 9-4
    2022:???

  4. Corral flip to Ole Miss. DM should call 3* Dual Threat QB Wyatt Rector, Leesburg, FL ASAP. Get him on campus today or 8am Saturday. Local boy, loves the Gators and is his dream school choice. Then go chase the 5* BIG DOGS.
    May make great Gator bait for a I can beat any 3*. Rector could be a sleeper Fitzgerald 2.0, easily.

  5. Gator Mike, no way we are 4-8 next year and take more than 4 years to win ten! Step off the ledge. Mullen will coach what QBs we have, and they will be better for getting real coaching for the first time ever. As for recruiting, it’s all about relationships, and almost all coaches fail to land a great first class. He will probably land a top 15 class, though, with his limited coaching staff on campus now. That’s about as good as Mac EVER did. If we look like we actually practice on offense next year, he should get the “second year bounce” coaches at good programs normally get. Just having about 40 players available next season that weren’t for all or most of this one will help alot, as will the large number of young players, especially on D, that played this season and gained experience. It’ll take a few years to rebuild it, but 4 win seasons are a thing of the past.
    He did better than that with less talent in a stronger division consistently.

  6. Trask was much more accurate than Frank’s back in August. Will take 10, 20 and 40 yard pops that move the ball all day long. Big arm is not everything. Everyone keeps overlooking Allen. You don’t win 7A State Titles in Florida by being a head case clown. Getting 3* QB Wyatt Rector is a great start. Not sold on Frank’s unless Mullen can turn him.
    Trask, Allen, Rector and a 4* or 5* star Dual Threat QB is the ticket forward.

  7. For Mullen to lose Matt Corral is disgusting. He had to work and struggle to convince this kid NOT to come to Florida and he succeeded. He was a lock and Mullen ran him off. Hey look at the bright side. When Mullen reels in the worst recruiting class in the history of Florida football the publicity will be wonderful. It will draw attention to the dumpster fire that the UF football program is. Now the recruiting class in in the tank and so are the next 4 years. With Corral goes Pitts, Pierce, and many more. I am sick of hiring coaches whose names starts with an M.

  8. Steve, please. We have 40 kids on the present roster. When we sign our 3-4 2 star athletes for this cycle we will have 43 assuming there are no transfers. Good luck playing a scrimmage in April with that roster. Face it….Dan Mullen ran Corral off. That makes 9 kids he has run off since he got here but he got a commitment from a kicker. There will be a total of 4 signees in this cycle. Thank you Scott Starkville.

    • So Gary…..you’re saying we will sign 4 2-star players, so no 3 or 4 stars. And you’re saying we will have 43 players on our roster. You put those numbers in print. I’d love to see how you come up with your figures. Hope you didn’t do your own taxes, bruh. Oh, I think I hear your mom calling you to come eat lunch.

  9. John
    If Frank plays qb at Florida the stadium will be half empty. You can’t teach him how to be a QB. His football brain doesnot exist. If you are outside the box he takes the loss rather than chunk it out of bounds. Franks a great guy but the fans will not tolerate him at qb. Coach Mac, you are smarter than my 75 yr old brain when I was a Gator water boy on full scholar ship with Larry Libertore at qb with Kelly, Cash and Infante running the tickets. Looking for a great year. Go Gators And go new staff ,,,,,,,,

  10. Just look at the roster before you trash me. I am blaming Mullen entirely, but the facts are there. We had 49 on the roster at the end of the season. I believe, and may be wrong, we lost 9 to graduation and/or NFL which bring it down to 40 if you got past the 1st grade which is doubtful. Mullen has 8 commitments left and if you can read….also doubtful…..go look up their twitter accounts. They will all decommit by Wednesday leaving a roster of 40, give or take one or two. Don’t show your ignorance by labeling me as a moron. Go read the facts and see the smiles on Scott Starkville’s face when his wonderboy coach signs nobody on early signing day. Stricklin already admitted his loyalties are with the Cowbells and he is begrudgingly doing this job because he is “legally obligated to serve the interests of UF”….HIS WORDS.

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