Gators in chase for these 5 prospects

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Florida coach Dan Mullen said the Gators will be focused on the defensive line and secondary in the weeks leading up to Feb. 6, National Signing Day. "We still have a bunch of work to do," Mullen said. [Alan Youngblood/Staff photographer]

Florida signed 20 football prospects during the early signing period, and the Gators have one prospect in the 2019 class — five-star linebacker Diwun Black — currently committed.

Coach Dan Mullen’s first full recruiting cycle could crack the top 10 (UF’s early class is ranked No. 16 by ESPN) — if the Gators were to land several of the following prospects. Take a look at five prospects still in the mix to sign Feb. 6 with Mullen and the Gators on National Signing Day.

4-star Chris Steele, defensive back — St. John Bosco, Bellflower, California.

Steele has long had the Gators on his radar, and almost committed to Florida before pledging to the University of Southern California on July 7. But Steele de-committed during his senior season and has seemingly narrowed his choices to Oregon, UF and USC. He’ll announce his decision Jan. 5 during the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, and current projections on 247Sports predict Steele will make the cross-country trip and sign with Florida.

4-star Kaiir Elam, defensive back — The Benjamin School, North Palm Beach

Elam, the son of former NFL safety Abram Elam and nephew of former Gator safety Matt Elam, has seemingly narrowed his commitment down to Miami, Florida and Georgia. He took an official visit to Miami on Dec. 7 before the early signing period, and he’ll take visits to UF and UGA in January. Those visits are still being set up, and the Gators will likely look to push for his final visit. Those close to the situation believe that, despite familial ties to Florida, Kaiir hasn’t been pushed to UF by his father or uncle, meaning Georgia could be the team to beat.

4-star Nathan Pickering, defensive tackle — Seminary HS, Seminary, Mississippi

He’s long been on Florida’s radar, and there’s little reason to believe he doesn’t sign with Mississippi State in February, but Pickering has received significant interest from Florida and Alabama despite his commitment to the Bulldogs. The Gators will prioritize defensive back and defensive linemen during January, so expect Mullen to continue pushing Pickering to flip to Florida.

4-star Khris Bogle, defensive end — Cardinal Gibbons, Fort Lauderdale

Bogle is down to Miami, Georgia, Florida, Alabama and Tennessee, and, like Steele, he’ll announce his commitment Jan. 5 during the Army All-American game. Florida isn’t the team to beat here, not by any stretch, but UF’s need for depth along the defensive line could make the Gators a dark horse candidate in the next two weeks to land Bogle.

4-star Quashon Fuller, defensive end — Lehigh Senior, Lehigh Acres

Fuller, currently committed to Florida State, is reevaluating all options before signing Feb. 6. The Gators will get an official visit in January, and they’ll prioritize recruiting his entire family — a factor that initially led him to commit to the Seminoles. Auburn has also pushed hard for Fuller, so the Gators may have to stave off an SEC competitor if they hope to land the highly recruited defensive lineman.


Up next

What: Peach Bowl

Who: No. 7 Michigan (10-2) vs. No. 10 Florida (9-3)

When: Noon, Saturday

Where: Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta

TV: ESPN

Radio: 103.7-FM, AM-850

18 COMMENTS

  1. Interesting. I’d feel good if we get two of the five we want, and Kingsbury –> USC shouldn’t be a big factor since Steele is a DB. If Elam hasn’t felt any loyalty push to the Gators, then I wouldn’t be surprised if he is seduced to Georgia. I still think it’s all going to fall apart up there at some point, but that’s just one view. Among the remaining, who is it? Or do we get none of them? Patience, patience, patience.

    • According to what I’ve heard, Steele has already sent in his LOI, but it wont be announced by the school until he announces at the all-star game (I believe that LOI is in Gainesville). I believe we get Elam and we have decent shot with Pickering….after that it’s a crapshoot.
      Go Gators….let’s post back to back wins against UMs!!!

  2. Steele has already signed his LOI and did so before USC made its new OC hire. He just asked his already chosen school to not make an announcement and let him announce his decision at the all-star game on January 5. Stevenson, the DB from the Miami area, has done the same thing. Other recruits have as well. Steele’s announcement at the all-star game, if it is for Florida, will clearly help some with the recruitment of other players the Gators are after. And Georgia just kicked DeAngelo Gibbs (former 5-star DB recruit who played safety for the Bulldogs) off the team and that opens a spot for Elam at Georgia. I think, like Stevenson, he signs with Georgia and another two top Florida recruits leave the state. And the Elam loss to Georgia, if it happens as being talked about on recruiting sites, will sting because the Elam is so tied to Florida and Georgia is the Gators biggest rival in the SEC.

  3. Mullen and company took some heat earlier in the year from some recruiting services for spending time and money chasing California recruits, Pittman, Steele and Thibodeaux. Many thought it was money not well spent. If Florida does indeed land Steele, Mullen should feel some vindication.

    If Elam doesn’t sign with Florida, it will be a sore blow to Gator fans. Elam and Steele would setup to be the next great pair of CBs of DBU a la Wilson/Tabor and Wilson/Henderson. With Wilson and Henderson likely leaving after their junior seasons, they would get a lot of playing time next year.

    With the current disarray at FSU, I feel the best chance of flipping a D-Lineman is Quashon Fuller. It seems like he is waiting for the family blessing. While his mom is a big FSU fan, the family may decide to make a business decision and send him to Florida. While Florida would love to have Pickering, he seems settled on being close to home not withstanding his close relationship with Mullen. Bogle may be a surprise flip to someone with Miami in a downward spiral.

    • Mullen’s a smart guy. He knows that you can’t just rely on Florida talent. There are too many schools in Florida alone that fight for these players, not to mention the other top recruiting schools that poach here. California has some major talent, and right now is a good time for getting in there while the top programs out there are struggling.

  4. Pickering is a long shot. I don’t see him in our class. Hope we get him, but I doubt it.

    I heard Steele is signed with UF and wants it kept under wraps until he announces. Black didn’t sign because he’s catching up on academics.

    But these names aren’t the only ones we are after. I can see us getting Fuller and flipping Akeem Dent from fsu.