Florida primed to reload in Early Signing Period

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Florida head coach Dan Mullen. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack, File)

With Wednesday marking the second iteration of the Early Signing Period, the Florida Gators and coach Dan Mullen are poised to sign all but two commits in the 2019 class over the next 72 hours.

Sixteen of Florida’s 18 verbal commits will put pen to paper before the day is done, and it remains a possibility that the two holdouts — offensive guard Riley Simonds and linebacker Diwun Black — finalize their collegiate decisions before Saturday at midnight.

Programs have emphasized the advantages of signing early, and top prospects have jumped at the opportunity to lock in a destination and begin preparing for the collegiate level. While Florida will sign more than a dozen prospects, it remains to be seen just how many will be eligible to enroll at UF in January.

Jalon Jones, ranked the No. 11 dual-threat quarterback in the 2019 class by 247Sports, will sign with the Gators at 8:30 a.m., and UF’s future signal-caller hasn’t wavered when it comes to enrolling at Florida in time for the Spring semester.

Highly recruited linebacker Mohamoud Diabate began the early enrollment process with Florida several weeks ago, and the 6-foot-4, 215-pounder will be one step closer to making an impact in Gainesville when he signs his letter of intent at 1:30 p.m. at a ceremony at Auburn High School.

He’ll be joined on campus in January by fellow linebacker Jesiah Pierre, who will sign with the Gators out of Mount Dora Christian Academy with the intentions of enrolling early.

UF’s depth at defensive back will be bolstered when four-star defensive back and early enrollee Jaydon Hill signs at 4:45 p.m. Hill has been aggressively recruited by South Carolina and coach Will Muschamp down the stretch, but, barring a last-minute change of heart, Hill will follow through with his commitment and sign with UF.

Florida could lose as many as four starters on the offensive line next season — meaning the position is one of great need in the immediate future. Fortunately for Mullen and offensive line coordinator John Hevesy, the Gators will add five offensive linemen — Kingsley Eguakun, William Harrod, Michael Tarquin, Ethan White and Wardrick Wilson — in January.

And Buchholz High standout Trent Whittemore will sign early with Florida, but the multi-sport athlete intends to finish out BHS’ basketball season before joining the Gators just prior to the summer.

Yet the list of current commits aren’t the only prospects the Gators could sign before the weekend.

Florida is favored to land the Lakeland High trio — offensive guard Deyavie Hammond, defensive end Lloyd Summerall and tight end Keon Zipperer — when the three state champions announce their commitments during a ceremony broadcast on ESPN2 at 10 a.m.

The Gators hosted Siaki Ika on an official visit over the weekend, and the No. 5 defensive tackle is expected to sign with either LSU or Florida at 8 a.m.

Finally, Florida is still in the running to land dynamic running back Trey Sanders, who joined Ika on an official visit last weekend. While he has plenty of familial connections to UF, Sanders seems poised to shock the recruiting world and become the next top-ranked running back to sign with Kirby Smart and Georgia.

However, as always when it comes to recruiting, nothing is guaranteed until the ink has dried.

 

13 COMMENTS

      • I’ll second that, Rog……I’m still laughing about the, “Wall of Mush”, and “Reaching your Inner Mush” — even tho I’m one of those weird guys who actually likes Champ. I tell you, if there were no JawsofTruth, we should need to invent him!

        I don’t know what he does for a living up there in New Jersey, but he missed his calling in any event. Probably another CPA! (😜)

  1. Just about Any time a player from Lakeland high School signs with us it turns out good so fingers crossed.

    These ratings sell newspapers but they don’t tell the whole story. Georgia signed a big time QB last year which seemed odd at the time and now the kid is moving on because the guy Fromm as much as I hate to say it is incredibly good and getting better every time he hits the field.

    So dis Georgia really have the class the newspaper said last year? Inversely we had no glamour but after the signing day brought in 4 elite transfers so were we as low as the newspaper said?

    Yes we have a few holes still and all if the guys need more time but I like this group so far and look forward to seeing how the coming months play out for transfers and the rest, particularly defensive line.

  2. Very pleased with the talent and depth that our prospective class of 2019 signees bring to the table. This is a testament to the hard work Coach Mullen and the Gator coaching staff have exerted in recruiting as well as developing the Gator football team into a much better program in a single year. I cannot say just how proud I am of the Gator football coaches and players who have committed themselves to excellence on the field and in the classroom. This is what the Gator Nation has been waiting for, and with continued discipline, hard work and execution, the Gators will return to the SEC championship game, and ultimately the national title game. GO GATORS!!!

  3. We are trending in the right direction. UGA has been on top for two years and has been recruiting well. To steal CDM’s line even a blind squirrel finds a nut every now and then. They are solid no doubt but anyone with eyes can see we are back. I’d venture to say that Mullen has more players in the NFL than Smart and there is something about this staff that feels better to me than what is going on in Athens. They appear more of the flash in the pan than the long haul. Coach and Staff are building the next UF dynasty that will elevate the East to the top and not for 3-4 years but hopefully a generation.