Complete Bios for UF signing class of 2018

Andrew Chatfield, a defensive end from American Heritage High School, announces he is signing with Florida on national signing day, Wednesday, Feb. 7 in Plantation. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Compiled by UF’s Sports Information Department


Andrew Chatfield, Jr. / 6-2, 226
LB / Plantation, Fla. / American Heritage
• Played three years of varsity football where the team went a combined 37-2 including undefeated State Championship runs his junior and senior seasons
• Finished his varsity career with 220 tackles, 41 sacks, two interceptions, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery
• 2017 Florida All-USA First Team (USA Today)
o Totaled 92 tackles, 25 tackles-for-loss, 14 sacks, two interceptions, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery and two defensive touchdowns as a senior
• 2016 Class 5A All-State First Team
o Tallied 84 tackles, 27 tackles-for-loss and 21 sacks as a junior
• Participated at The Opening Finals All-Star camp
• Played for coach Pat Surtain
• Chose Florida over FSU, Miami, Oklahoma, Kentucky and Louisville
247Sports Info
• star rating: 4
• national ranking: 213
• position ranking: 12
• state ranking: 38

Jacob Copeland / 5-11, 186
WR / Pensacola, Fla. / Escambia
• Competed at the 2018 Under Armour All-America Game for Team Highlight
• Over the course of his career he recorded 2,261 receiving yards and 19 touchdowns on 104 receptions
o Also recorded 685 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns on 99 attempts
o Finished his career with 3,245 all-purpose yards, including 196 kickoff return yards
• Helped Escambia to an 8-3 overall record and a 3-0 district record in 2017
o Throughout the season, he registered 29 receptions for 613 receiving yards and five touchdowns, 11 rushing attempts for 125 yards and two touchdowns and 118 combined punt and kickoff return yards
• Played for coach Mike Bennett
• Chose Florida over Alabama, Tennessee, LSU, Clemson and Georgia
247Sports Info
• star rating: 4
• national ranking: 69
• position ranking: 12
• state ranking: 14
Personal Info
• His sister, Kayla, is currently a student at Florida – she is studying Special Education
• Hopes to study Sports Management at Florida

Richard Gouraige / 6-5, 271
OL / Tampa, Fla. / Cambridge Christian
• Competed at the 2018 Under Armour All-America Game for Team Spotlight
• Participated in the Opening Finals All-Star Camp
• Played on the offensive and defensive line throughout his career at Cambridge Christian
o Defensively, he recorded 210 total tackles 23.5 sacks, eight pass breakups, seven forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and two blocked field goals
• Helped CCHS to a 9-3 overall record and a 3-0 conference record in 2017
o Recorded 51 total tackles, six sacks, six quarterback hurries, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery and two pass breakups as a senior
• Played for coach Bob Dare
• Played basketball at CCHS and averaged 6.4 points per game
• Chose Florida over Ole Miss, Clemson, North Carolina, FSU and Alabama
247Sports Info
• star rating: 4
• national ranking: 81
• position ranking: 7
• state ranking: 18
Personal Info
• Hopes to major in accounting at Florida

Malik Langham / 6-6, 269
DL / Huntsville, Ala. / Lee
• Played three-years of varsity football and reached the Alabama State Playoffs in his junior and senior seasons
• Named to the 2017 Alabama Sports Writers Association 5A All-State First Team
• Totaled 104 tackles and 11 sacks in his senior season as he helped the Generals to an 8-4 record
• Recorded 64 tackles, four tackles-for-loss, six sacks and a forced fumble as a junior
• Notched 40 tackles, six tackles-for-loss, two sacks and a fumble recovery as a sophomore
• Played for coach Tony Woods
• Played basketball all four years of high school
• Chose Florida over Tennessee, Alabama, Vanderbilt, Ole Miss and Kentucky
247Sports Info
• star rating: 4
• national ranking: 314
• position ranking: 14
• state ranking: 11

Griffin McDowell / 6-4, 267
OL / Leesburg, Ga. / Lee County
• Led Lee County High School to a 14-1 record and a state championship in 2017
• Coached by Dean Fabrizio
• Chose Florida over Mississippi State
247Sports Info
• star rating: 3
• national ranking: 1464
• position ranking: 22
• state ranking: 142

Justin Watkins / 5-11, 172
ATH / Clermont, Fla. / East Ridge
• Played three seasons at wide receiver, running back and defensive back in high school.
• Over the course of his career, he recorded 3,087 rushing yards and 39 rushing touchdowns on 340 attempts
o Also registered 866 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns on 42 receptions
• Recorded two punt return touchdowns and four kickoff return touchdowns
• Played at three different high schools over the past three years: East Ridge – 2017, Vanguard – 2016, North Marion – 2015
• Garnered 2017 Florida All-USA First Team accolades by USA Today
o Tallied 72 carries for 615 yards and seven touchdowns, 18 receptions for 552 yards and seven touchdowns on offense as a senior
o Played both ways as a senior at East Ridge as he tallied 14 tackles, two tackles-for-loss and an interception as a defensive back
• Recorded 113 carries for 1,122 yards with 18 touchdowns, 16 receptions for 213 yards with three touchdowns and two punt returns for touchdowns as a junior
• Notched 155 carries for 1,350 yards with 14 touchdowns, eight receptions for 83 yards with a touchdown and four kickoff returns for touchdowns as a sophomore
• Played for coach Jason Robinson at East Ridge HS his senior season, Edwin Farmar at Vanguard HS his junior year and Stephen Filed at North Marion HS his sophomore season
• Chose Florida over Alabama, FSU, Miami, Georgia and Clemson
247Sports Info
• star rating: 4
• national ranking: 89
• position ranking: 16
• state ranking: 20

Early Enrollees:
• Florida’s nine early enrollees is tied for third for the most since 2004.
o OL Noah Banks (Pensacola/Iowa Western College)
o OL Chris Bleich (Hanover Township, Pa./Wyoming Valley West)
o RB Iverson Clement (Mount Holly, N.J./Rancocas Valley Regional)
o RB Dameon Pierce (Bainbridge, Ga./Bainbridge)
o WR Van Jefferson (Brentwood, Tenn./Ole Miss)
o WR Trevon Grimes (Fort Lauderdale/Ohio State)
o DB Trey Dean (Hampton, Ga../Dutchtown)
o ATH Amari Burney (Clearwater/Calvary Christian)
o QB Emory Jones (LaGrange, Ga./Heard County).
— Both Jefferson and Grimes join the Gators by way of transferring from Ole Miss and Ohio State, respectively. Meanwhile, Banks is the lone junior college transfer of this class.
— Jefferson and Banks have enrolled at the University of Florida as redshirt juniors with two years of eligibility remaining, while Grimes will enroll as a freshman with three years of eligibility left.
All nine student-athletes are enrolled in classes at UF.


Noah Banks / 6-7, 305
OL / Pensacola, Fla. / Iowa Western College
• Played in 10 games in the 2017 season for Iowa Western College, helping the Reivers to an 11-1 overall record
• Helped his offense average 515.4 yards per game – 240.3 passing yards per game and 275.2 rushing yards per game
• Coached by Scott Strohmeier at Iowa Western
• Played for Murray State in 2016, seeing time in 10 games under coach Mitch Stewart
• Coached by Harry Lees during high school
• Chose Florida over Arkansas, Texas, Auburn, FAU and Iowa State
247Sports Info (JUCO)
• star rating: Three
• national ranking: 28
• position ranking: 6
• state ranking: 2

Chris Bleich / 6-6, 313
OL / Hanover Township, Pa. / Wyoming Valley West
• Named First Team All-USA Pennsylvania as a senior in 2017
o Helped Wyoming Valley West to a 7-7 record
• Anchored an offensive line that allowed Wyoming Valley West to rush for 260.1 yards per game and 46 touchdowns
• A Pennsylvania Class 5A All-State selection in 2016
• Attended the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. for part of his junior season
• Played for coach Pat Keating
• Chose Florida over UCLA, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Maryland and Nebraska
247Sports Info
• star rating: 3
• national ranking: 434
• position ranking: 29
• state ranking: 15

Amari Burney / 6-1, 219
ATH | Clearwater | Calvary Christian
• Played three seasons at both wide receiver and safety. Defensively, he recorded 182 total tackles, 10.0 tackles-for-loss, three interceptions, three forced fumbles, three fumbles recoveries, 23 pass deflections, two sacks, 22 quarterback hurries and three defensive touchdowns. Offensively, he compiled 992 receiving yards on 54 catches while scoring 12 touchdowns
• Senior season: 18 total tackles, one defensive touchdown, one interception and a tackle-for-loss … On offense he caught 33 passes for 558 yards and five touchdowns
o Also rushed the ball 10 times for 48 yards and a score
• Played his freshman, sophomore and junior years at Clearwater Central Catholic
o Sophomore season: Had 91 total tackles with 54 solo tackles while he intercepted two passes, forced 21 pass breakups, forced two fumbles, recovered five fumbles and scored five times on defense. Offensively, he caught 20 passes for 404 yards and seven touchdowns.
o Freshman season: Had 73 total tackles with 41 solo tackles. Also recorded five tackles-for-loss, two sacks, 19 quarterback hurries and one forced fumble.
• Played for coach Todd Yoder
• Chose Florida over Florida State, Miami, Ohio State, Tennessee and Auburn
247Sports Info
• star rating: 4
• national ranking: 169
• position ranking: 15
• state ranking: 30
Personal Info
• Amari’s uncle graduated from UF in 2004
• Amar’s cousin plays football at Virginia Tech
• Enjoys playing Madden and NBA 2K

Iverson Clement / 5-11, 199
RB / Mount Holly, N.J. / Rancocas Valley Regional High School
• A three-year starter for Rancocas Valley, Clement compiled 3,404 yards on the ground while finding the endzone 46 times in his career including five receiving touchdowns
• Led his team to a 10-2 record his senior year and a berth in the South Jersey Group Five Championship Game
• Senior season: rushed for 1,419 yards on 199 carries, averaging 7.1 yards per carry and 129.0 yards per game while scoring 13 rushing touchdowns. Also, caught 10 passes for 128 yards and two touchdowns
• Junior season: rushed for 1,430 yards on 194 carries, averaging 7.4 yards per carry and 158.9 yards per game while scoring 19 rushing touchdowns. Also, had seven receptions for 24 yards and a touchdown.
• Sophomore season: rushed for 555 yards on 92 carries, averaging 6.0 yards per carry and 69.4 yards per game while scoring nine rushing touchdowns. Also caught the ball 18 times for 171 yards and two touchdowns.
• Played for coach Dan Haussman
• Chose Florida over Ohio State, Michigan, Tennessee and Baylor
247Sports Info
• star rating: 4
• national ranking: 285
• position ranking: 11
• state ranking: 7
Personal Info
• Enjoys cutting and styling hair
• Would like to wear number seven

Trey Dean / 6-2, 180 DB / Hampton, Ga. / Dutchtown
• Selected to participate in the 2017 Under Armour All-American Game
o Had two pass breakups and one tackle in the game
• In 19 games on varsity, he recorded 45 tackles, three interceptions and 10 pass breakups
o He also forced a fumble and recovered a fumble during his career
• Helped his team to a 7-4 record overall and a 5-3 record in region play in the 2017 season
• Coached by Clifford Fedd
• Chose Florida over Alabama, Kentucky, Tennessee and Georgia
247Sports Info
• star rating: Four
• national ranking: 249
• position ranking: 22
• state ranking: 27
Personal Info
• Cousins with former Gator great and All-American Ahmad Black
• Grew up a Gator fan his entire life
• Has two sisters, Kayla and Jada

John Huggins / 6-0, 200
DB / Deltona, Fla. / Mainland
• Helped his team to a 7-5 record overall and a 4-0 district record in 2017
• Coached by Scott Wilson at Mainland
• Chose Florida over Louisville, Missouri, Miami, FSU and USF
247Sports Info
• star rating: Three
• national ranking: 434
• position ranking: 32
• state ranking: 77

Emory Jones / 6-2.5, 195
QB / LaGrange, Ga. / Heard County
• Selected to participate in the 2018 Under Armour All-America Game
o Recorded nine yards passing and eight yards rushing in the game
• Participated in the Elite 11 Finals all-star camp in 2017
• Through the first eight games of his senior season, he went 61-of-103 for 1,197 yards and 10 passing touchdowns
• Also rushed for 494 yards and six touchdowns in those eight games
• Coached by Tim Barron
• Chose Florida over Ohio State, FSU, Auburn and Alabama
247Sports Info
• star rating: Four
• national ranking: 40
• position ranking: 4
• state ranking: 7

Dante Lang / 6-5, 222
TE / Boca Raton / Boca Raton
• Started his high school career primarily playing defensive end before switching to tight end for his senior season
• Compiled 70 tackles and 20 sacks during his junior season in 2016
• Played for coach Eric Davis
• Chose Florida over Georgia, LSU, Virginia Tech, Arkansas and Kentucky.
247Sports Info
• star rating: 3
• national ranking: 609
• position ranking: 33
• state ranking: 102
Personal Info
• Chose Florida so his family could come see him play
• Interested in studying sports therapy or sports medicine

Evan McPherson / 6-0, 165
K | Fort Payne, Ala. | Fort Payne
• Selected to participate in the 2018 Under Armour All-America Game
o Went 2-for-2 on PATs and successfully executed an onside kick during the game
• Kicked and punted for Fort Payne HS for four seasons
o During his senior season, he made a 60-yard field goal, which was one yard shy of the Alabama High School state record. In addition, he recorded an 84-yard punt in a game, which was also one yard shy of the state record.
• Helped Fort Payne to a berth in the 6A State Playoffs
• Selected to the Under Armour All-American Team
• Rated as the No. 1 kicker and No. 5 punter by the Kohl’s Kicking Camp
• Played for coach Paul Ellis
• Chose Florida over Mississippi State
247Sports Info
• star rating: 4
• national ranking: 1381
• position ranking: 2
• state ranking: 44

Dameon Pierce / 5-11, 208
RB | Bainbridge, Ga. | Bainbridge
• A four-year starter for Bainbridge, Pierce compiled 6,779 yards on the ground while finding the end zone 92 times in his career including two receiving touchdowns
• Led his team to a 8-4 record his senior year and a berth in the AAAAA State Playoffs
• Senior season: rushed for 2,123 yards on 227 carries, averaging 9.4 yards per carry and 193.0 yards per game while scoring 32 rushing touchdowns. Also, caught four passes for 124 yards and a touchdown
• On October 20th, passed Herschel Walker on GHSAA’s All-Time rushing list.
• Finished his career in the top 10 in the state’s rushing list
• 2017 Class AAAAA All-State
• Junior season: rushed for 1,686 yards on 243 carries, averaging 6.9 yards per carry and 168.6 yards per game while scoring nine rushing touchdowns. Also, had 20 receptions for 248 yards and a touchdown.
• 2016 Class AAAAA All-State
• Broke a school record when he rushed for 330 yards and four touchdowns on Oct. 1, 2016 against Rickards HS (Fla.)
• Sophomore season: rushed for 2,060 yards on 308 carries, averaging 6.7 yards per carry and 147.1 yards per game while scoring 33 rushing touchdowns. Also caught the ball 13 times for 148 yards
• Freshman season: rushed for 910 yards on 164 carries, averaging 5.5 yards per carry and 82.7 yards per game while scoring seven rushing touchdowns. Also, caught eight passes for 51 yards
• Played for coach Jeff Littleton
• Chose Florida over Alabama, Florida State, Miami, Georgia, South Carolina and Auburn.
247Sports Info
• star rating: 4
• national ranking: 200
• position ranking: 10
• state ranking: 24
Personal Info
• Fan of snacks, including fruit roll ups, gushers, gummy worms and Nutella
• Has two older brothers and a younger sister
o Braided his younger sister’s hair each morning before school when they were young

Kyle Pitts / 6-6, 239
TE / Abington, Pa. / Archbishop Wood
• Selected to participate in the 2018 Under Armour All-America Game
o Recorded one catch for 11 yards in the game
• A 2017 Under Armour All-American selection
• Led Archbishop Wood to an overall record of 11-2 and a State Championship
o Totaled four tackles, two interceptions and a touchdown reception in the title game
• Recorded over 300 receiving yards and five touchdowns during his senior season
• A versatile athlete who also spends time at defensive end for the Vikings
• Played for coach Steve Devlin
• Chose Florida over Georgia, Alabama, Miami, Ohio State and Tennessee
247Sports Info
• star rating: 4
• national ranking: 148
• position ranking: 6
• state ranking: 4
Personal Info
• His favorite food is dry baby back ribs

David Reese / 6-1, 213
DB | Fort Pierce, Fla. | Vero Beach
• Played four-years of varsity football, three at Fort Pierce Central before transferring to Vero Beach for his senior season
• Helped Vero Beach to an undefeated regular season and a berth in the State Playoffs
• During his senior season, he recorded 47 total tackles with 16.5 tackles-for-loss, 10.5 sacks, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery, four pass deflections and a blocked punt. In addition, he had two offensive scores as he tallied two carries for 50 yards and two receptions for 13 yards.
• Played for coach Brad Paulson at Fort Pierce Central and for Lenny Jankowski at Vero Beach
• Also, played three years of varsity basketball playing both power forward and small forward. Averaged 9.5 points per game. 5.0 rebounds, 1.1 steals and 1.1 blocks
• Chose Florida over Alabama, Florida State, Miami, Georgia and Tennessee.
247Sports Info
• star rating: 4
• national ranking: 289
• position ranking: 20
• state ranking: 54
Personal Info
• David’s mother, Patricia, is the Dean at Fort Pierce Westwood High School
• His mother is friends with former Florida volleyball player Benavia Jenkins
• David’s brother, Stewart, just finished his freshman season at Mississippi State
• Talented artist as he draws in his free time

Randy Russell/ 5-10, 176
DB / Opa-Locka, Fla. / Miami Carol City
• Helped lead Miami Carol City to a 9-5 overall record and a 2-2 District record in 2017
o Team made it to the 2017 Regional Finals
• Assisted Miami Carol to an State Championship in his junior season
• Played for coach Benedick Hyppolite
• Chose Florida over Georgia, Miami and UCLA.
247Sports Info
• star rating: 3
• national ranking: 389
• position ranking: 28
• state ranking: 71
Personal Info
• Enjoys reading novels
• Has four siblings: three sisters and one brother
• Plans to major in something related to the medical field

Van Jefferson / 6-2, 195
WR / Brentwood, Tenn. / Ole Miss
• Transfer from Ole Miss
• Finished second on the team in 2017 with 456 receiving yards and one touchdown on 42 catches
o Saw action in 10 games – starting three
• Best game statistical game in 2017 came against California – he recorded 94 yards on 10 catches
• Earned Athlon Freshman All-America third team honors in 2016 to go along with Freshman All-SEC first team accolades (Coaches, Gridiron Now)
o Also named Freshman All-SEC second team by Athlon
• Finished second on the team in 2016 with 49 catches, third with 543 receiving yards and he also tallied three touchdown receptions
• Started every game as a redshirt freshman in 2016
• In high school, he was selected to play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl
• Garnered Tennessee Sports Writers Association All-State and the Tennessean All-Midstate honors after recording 1,223 yards and 13 touchdowns on 67 catches
• Coached by Will Hester in high school
• Father Shawn Jefferson played for 13 years in the NFL as a wide receiver and has coached in the NFL as a wide receivers coach for the Detroit Lions, Tennessee Titans and is currently with the Miami Dolphins

Trevon Grimes / 6-4, 202
WR / Fort Lauderdale, Fla. / Ohio State
• Transfer from Ohio State
• Saw action in two games and recorded three receptions for 20 yards
• Finished his career at St. Thomas Aquinas with 42 receptions for 770 yards and 11 touchdowns
• Notched an average of 18.3 yards-per-reception
• St. Thomas Aquinas won state titles in 2015 and 2016
• Sustained a season ending injury in the third game of his senior season in 2016
o Grimes had 15 receptions for 274 yards (18.3) and two touchdowns as a senior before his injury
• Named All-Broward County as a junior after a 27-catch, 496-yard season with a team-best seven touchdown
• Attended The Opening in Beaverton, Ore.
• Played for coach Roger Harriott at St. Thomas Aquinas
• Ran track in high school
o State of Florida 300-meter hurdles champion as a freshman and sophomore, and was 110-meter hurdles runner-up as a freshman
o Named Broward County and Sun Sentinel Class 4A-3A Track Athlete of the Year in 2015
Personal Info
• Originally, from Indianapolis, he moved to Florida in the sixth grade with his parents, Leah and Lebron Grimes.


    • Well ain’t that the drizzlin’ do-do. Guess that settles that, a lot of guys on this forum really high on him. We’ll survive, I’m quite sure. The mystery is, why Arkansas, who is going nowhere in particular, and not Florida who is on their way up to the moon. Hard to figure sometimes.

      • Dorian Gerald was basically asked to wait until we signed our class on NSD. He was very public on twitter about wanting to sign with us on NSD too. We got a much superior player in Langham. That said, we would not have turned him away Friday, but right now DT isn’t a major area of need. Gerald chose to go to Arkansas with a number of his close friends. I wish him the best there.

  1. i think the big question we should all be asking is, which 8 of these guys will be committing credit card fraud against the university? The rest of the conference will be waiting with much anticipation!!

    • dave fisher. I think an even bigger question is how many FSU and Georgia trolls will repeatedly post insults and nonsense on Florida sites between now and the start of next season.

      • I think he is apprentice Port-O-Let attendee under the tutelage of Mike Winter / Black JuJu / TheTebowCurse / The Truth, et al.

        • Never thought of it much until now, but I wonder if any Gator fans are doing the same on FSU, UM, and UGA sites. I tend to doubt it though, as most Gator fans are actually good sportsmen who don’t need to use hate to make any point, much less those that are meaningless in the first place. Am I wrong?

  2. I was a good transition class. 19 total signees, ranked #13 overall by ESPN without the transfers being added in and ranked #7 in Star Rating Power and we didn’t even have any 5*’s in this group (even higher than fsu’s class with 21 players an a 5* included). That speaks a lot of quality in this class.

    Interesting note, Mullen signed only one class in the top 20 at Miss. St,. in his nine years there, and look at the level he had them playing at.

    The 2019 class is already starting to line up with Spring camps closing in on us too. We will be in serious play for up to half a dozen 5* players next year.

    • Exactly right, Todd. He did more with less than any SEC coach during the time he was there. Had he been able to pull off a finish to that #1 season, he might even still be there. Let’s face it though, MSU was never going to be able to do that with the recruiting base it has….as opposed to the Gators who sit right smack dab in the middle of the best turf in the country and have historically been able to win even if we couldn’t always develop that talent in the last few years. So what DM needs to do now is post a significant season and turn around the garnered perception produced by the last two regimes, signal the change in play, and if he builds it, they will come. Completely agree.

  3. Wondering whether the two wide receivers who transferred to UF (from Ohio State and Ole Miss) will be eligible to play this year. Any word?


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