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.