Live Blog: National Signing Day 2019

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Cardinal Gibbons defensive end Khris Bogle does the Gator Chomp during a National Signing Day ceemony at the school in Fort Lauderdale earlier this month. The top recruit had been expected to sign with Alabama, but instead signed with UF. (Joe Cavaretta/South Florida Sun Sentinel)

1:08 p.m.: Florida lands Kaiir Elam, giving the Gators two top-10 defensive backs in this class, with Chris Steele being the other. Dan Mullen will address the media in 15 minutes, followed by new Florida assistants Torrian Gray and David Turner.

11:16 a.m.: Charles Moore is heading to Auburn. A former Mississippi State commit, Moore visited UF in January. Furthermore, appears UF is no longer an option for Wellington High athlete Mark-Antony Richards. I could see him joining Moore at Auburn or following in the footsteps of his brother, Ahmmon, and signing with Miami. Penn State is also still in play.

9:34 a.m.: Bogle has finalized the flip and faxed in his signed letter of intent. I still think they’re mostly faxing them, but I’m not sure — several Division II coaches have posted about receiving signed letters of intent through Snapchat. Either way, Bogle is locked in with the Gators. Update: Mullen deleted the tweet and re-posted it 26 minutes later. No idea why.

8:58 a.m.: Arjei Henderson has faxed in his signed letter of intent, giving the Gators a four-star pass-catcher to go along with an already deep receiving corps. Florida officially has signed all of their current commits — but the day is far from over.

8:28 a.m.: What a steal for Dan Mullen as the Gators flip Khris Bogle from Alabama on Signing Day. Once again, Mullen keeps a top defensive end away from the Crimson Tide’s clutches. Bogle is regarded by many as the state’s top pass-rusher.

8:18 a.m.: Diwun Black has sent in his signed letter of intent, UF coach Dan Mullen confirms. This is a long-time coming for Mullen and Black, and it erases any doubt about Black’s qualification status. The Gators clearly believe he’ll qualify and enroll in Summer. Formerly ranked as a top-50 prospect in the 2019 class, Black has next-level talent and the ability to play multiple positions on defense.

8:00 a.m.: Khris Bogle will be announcing his decision in 15 minutes. Chris Fischer will be Periscoping his announcement.

7:30 a.m.: It’s that time of year again! I know, it feels as if Signing Day already came and went this year — but that’s just the Early Signing Period, in which UF signed 21 prospects. Today won’t be nearly as busy, but the action gets underway sooner than later.

Two Florida commits — linebacker Diwun Black and wide receiver Arjei Henderson — are expected to sign with Florida by 9 a.m. today. At 8:15 a.m., Khris Bogle will announce his collegiate destination. Bogle is expected to either stick with Alabama or flip to Florida — from what I’ve heard over the past 48 hours, Alabama believes Bogle could surprise many and flip to Florida. Stay tuned.

60 COMMENTS

  1. As the sun creeps over the horizon, steam rises from the still waters of a distant swamp. A line of Gators watch warily as a grotesque, undead elephant with baby pooh brown hair stamps its way among the live oaks, roaring, “Rat poison! You’re all rat poison!”

    What’s this? Behold! Three mighty warriors ride with the sun, their armor gleaming in the golden light, and they raise their swords, alight with the flame of glory, and strike down the fell beast, which howls and cries out in terror– “Mullen!!!!”

    The warriors three kneel, wiping the burning blood of the demon elephant from their blades, thinking– we have chosen the future, the greatness, the Imperial Gator Empire, and it is good!!!!!

  2. Bogle is the type of elite commitment that eluded the Gators over most of the McElwhiner era. According to 247, Bogle has put the 2019 Gator class into the top 10. Now CDM needs to reel in Elam as the icing on the cake that is this class.

    The Gators will be feasting on Gator bait for as long as CDM is in charge!

    Go Gator!!!

  3. According to what I found Richards announces at 12:15 and Elam and Moore announce at 1:00 pm. I thought Moore was a true interior DL but a lot of his profiles say SDE which is it? I haven’t given up on him based on his long relationship with Mullen and the many positive things he said about Florida. If he can play interior DL I feel that he is a bigger need then the others and hope he joins the class. No matter what ends up happening I’m happy with the class as it stands, but feel very good about Elam commiting. If we did sweep them all and were still above 85 after transfers would the coaching staff then go to the least successful older players and tell them they would like to keep them as a preferred walk on but understand if they wish to transfer? How would that be handled? Plus we would also still want a slot for the Georgia Tech OL transfer.

  4. Nick , you are asking questions about the ugly side of college football that doesn’t get talked about a lot. I too am curious a to how that issue would be handled at UF. I do know that at some schools, a walk-on that had received a scholarship might have theirs pulled. Or a kid may be asked to ” grayshirt ” which I think is sort of like a “preferred walk-on ” . Any way you look at it though, it’s a good problem to have and knowing coach Mullen he will find a way to handle it with class. At least I would hope so.

    • Scholarships are issued on an annual basis and renewed at the school’s pleasure. That’s why players who declare early for the NFL have no legal issues walking away.

      After NFL bound juniors declare in January, scholarship renewals are discussed with all the remaining players. Those “on the bubble” are told then and encouraged to seek “other opportunities” lest they end up as walk-ons in August. Those that choose to stick around through spring practice do it hoping fewer recruits sign on, or some don’t academically qualify, or others ahead of them on the scholarship list tranfer before they have to. Ultimately, those who must go are given the face saving option to voluntarily transfer. Smaller schools snap them up.

      That’s the way it works.

      • Thanks for the info STL, You always have to hope that the unfortunate ones that wind up with hind teat in that situation leave on amicable terms and don’t get vindictive and start bad mouthing the program. Obviously a coach that communicates and relates well with the players goes a long way towards that end. I think most of the kids understand that these days college athletics is a multi million dollar business and as such, much like any other business there are always going to be some are going to wind up unhappy with their situation and the way things shake out. As long as our staff doesn’t purposely mislead or outright lie to them in the process, things usually have a way of working out in the wash.

        • True all that Pappa! Just ask Justin Fields and his dad about a “staff purposely misleading or outright lying to THEM about the process.”

          Kirby needed a talented backup QB to Fromm once he knew Eason was transferring out and a potentially elite starter after Fromm is done. He told the Fields duo whatever they wanted to hear in order to get Justin to sign up with UGA. Now, the kid has lost 1 year of eligibility sitting behind a starter in a pro style offense that didn’t fit his talents and may lose another year of eligibility due to transfer restrictions.

          Don’t think for one minute that the Fields fiasco didn’t weigh into the last minute decision made by Kaiir Elam to spurn the Dawgs and come play for the mighty Gators.

  5. Three down, three to go. I love my orange and blue tinted glasses!
    8:00 am GATOR–100% WR Arjei Henderson
    8:15 am GATOR–75%-DE Khris Bogle
    9:00 am GATOR–100%-LB Diwun Black
    11:oo am 75%-ATH Mark-Anthony Richards
    1:30 pm 75%-DB Kaiir Elam
    TBA 60%-DE Charles Moore

  6. Bogle is a big get. Love it. Need to focus on Florida. Moore going to Auburn I understand because of distance. etc….Richards, I don’t get if he ends up there. He said academics are important(don’t they all), cant be if he picks Auburn. Malzahn is 4 maybe 3 or less losses away from losing his job. Maybe 1 loss to BAMA would do it. Pickens saw the writing on the wall. It’s the state of alabama, education isn’t important in the whole state. The only states that are worse are Louisiana and Mississippi. Surprised Henderson signed. What a weird recruitment. Glad we got him and hope he does well here. Get Elam and it was a good day. Lock down Florida, kick UGA and BAMA out.

    • Richards ended up there. I don’t get it either. Not sure how a lame duck coach keeps landing these top recruits. They’ll probably just transfer next year and get immediate eligibility off the claim of being lied to by the recently fired coaching staff.

  7. Boogle was a big win. Moore and Anthony-Richards are big losses. I hope things work out with Elam. This is a good class, but to truly compete with the big boys, it is not good enough. I am pleased with what Mullen & Co have done, but I have to be real: No one wins national championships without 5 stars. They just don’t. The 2020 and 2021 class has potential to be better. In short, they absolutely MUST be better. Otherwise, we will flounder behind UGA, Alabama, Clemson, etc., for the foreseeable future. Today continued a positive trajectory, but the trajectory must continue going upward, and once it reaches that higher level, it must stay there. Classes that loiter around the top 10 will never compete for a national championship. We must start landing top 5 classes. It is that simple. I am very pleased we upgraded the roster, and I am excited about a number of these players. We just need to upgrade it more.

      • GatorBrian. Florida did not have room for Moore or MAR with Bogle and Elam signing with Florida. At least one UF scholarship player will have to leave or lose a scholarship for Florida to have both Bogle and Elam on the roster for next year. That will likely work itself out in the coming weeks with at least one more transfer announcement. Likely more, if the Ga. Tech OG decides to come to Gainesville as well.

    • Finished with the #9 class, which is only 2.43 composite points away from the #5 class. In other words, there’s not a big difference at all between the #9 and #5 classes. With Mullen at the helm, they’ll compete with anyone bringing in classes like this. It’s an amazing recruiting job for his first full cycle and claiming it’s not enough is really nit picking.

      • It is not nit picking if the expectation is an SEC and national championship. This is a really good class, yes. The problem is that Clemson, Alabama, Georgia, LSU, and Texas A&M have better ones. You can’t win championships without elite players at key spots (I mean superstars) along with high caliber players littered across the field. You just can’t. My point, which I did state rather pessimistically, is that the trajectory is good, but it has to get even better if we are really serious about winning the SEC and beyond. We must be elite. Anything less than this won’t cut it. I am a firm believe that this must be reflected by signing top classes consecutively. A #9 class is ok every now and again. But the pattern has to be better than that. And this is a good class, just not quite as good as the teams I mentioned above. They have the edge, and in a game of inches a slight edge here and there makes all the difference.

    • The only way we are going to get elite recruits is to stop BAMA and UGA from cherry picking Florida. They recruit well without Florida but they solidify their Top rankings with florida recruits. They had more success recruiting in Florida than they did in their own state. UGA signed as many of the top 10 Florida recruits as the top 10 Georgia recruits. BAMA signed 4 of Alabama’s top 10 recruits and 3 of Florida’s top 10. If not for Bogle switch, they would have been the same too. Florida is easy pickings for them. The worse part is none of the recruits they took were from North Florida, so the recruits are far from both. FSU and Miami being horrible has only made UGA and BAMA stronger. We have to go through both to win our conference.

    • Brian I think you are being too pessimistic and this class is more than good enough as is. Moore is not a big loss because we landed Bogle, and MAR would have been nice but more like a luxury where Elam is more a need and if we get the OL transfer he fills another need. We can and will compete for championships with classes like this but more important, with coaches like these. Just wait and see.

      • You’re right, that is about their average. The difference is they have superstars. Since 2015 Clemson has signed eleven (if I counted correctly according to 247 rankings) five star players, with the big year being in 2018, when they signed five. The Gators have only signed two since 2015. If this Gator class had two or three five star players and a few less three stars, I would be tickled pink. Those sorts of things really do matter, IMO. I actually do believe the rankings are generally accurate. I know not everyone will agree with that, and that’s ok.

  8. Got to give ole Gus his props , he sure can crute if their not brown baggin. Especially given the tedious state of his employment. I wasn’t counting on Moore as he was all over the map and seemed like every place he visited was his latest favorite, but the MAR miss hurts a bit, not sure we have another K T type jitterbug on the roster and he would have filled that role nicely from the tape I’ve seen. Still, if we can pull in Elam it will have the makings of a very good but not great class. We just need to continue on the same upward trajectory. CDM has surpassed my expectations in pretty much every area thus far and I haven’t been this excited about Gator football in a long while.

  9. First, our Gators definitely wanted MAR. Scholarship total numbers have a way of magically working themselves out over the summer. The fact is Auburn was already recruiting MAR before Mullen was our coach. Gus sold him on playing at RB, which is where he wants to play. Sadly, a high school senior doesn’t remember what Mullen did with Percy.

  10. Everybody loves the highly rated and touted 4 or 5 star athlete who is going to score 100 touchdowns for their program. They are nice to get, but I think when we are dominating the SEC with our running game in a few years we will look back and remember Mullin and co. Recruiting 4 OL last year, 7 this year, and who knows how many next year in order to build a team with both high quality and large quantity of big men to put in the trenches and move people that any 2 star RB or athlete could get behind and look like an all American. OL is the toughest position to evaluate and they are normally 3 or 4 star players. Rarely are they 5 star. Most of the time the 5 star guys just grew into their frame earlier on. Mullin has proved he can develop players and when he develops all of these O-lineman and combines it with his scheme and play calling ability our offense will be hard to stop. That is why I personally love this recruiting class.