If you didn’t know any better, you would think this weekend’s visitor list was for a regular season football game.
Hosting over 60 recruits on unofficial visits is rarely seen in the fall, so to see the UF coaches pull this off in April is quite impressive.
And although the stage in The Swamp won’t be as big as when teams like Alabama or Florida State come to town, there will still be plenty for the prospects to pay attention to.
This is Will Muschamp’s first chance to show what kind of progress he’s making in his second year at the helm. While Junior Days are key to recruiting — as evident from the six commitments UF landed on Feb. 18 — the most important thing is the product he puts on the field.
With a dozen 2012 signees and all of the 2013 commitments on hand, Saturday will also serve as an opportunity for the future Gators to sell the program to their targeted attendance.
“We’re going to be like one big recruiting company out there,” UF running back verbal Adam Lane said. “Whoever the coaches want, we’ll be all over them. If they’re like on the borderline of committing, we’re going to try and influence them to finally take that step. I want us to have the No. 1 class.”
There are top prospects at every position of need visiting this weekend.
New UF offensive coordinator Brent Pease is hosting his top quarterback target on Friday in Cooper Bateman. Bateman unable to stay for the spring game, but getting him on campus is huge because he’s never been to Gainesville. Ranked the No. 6 QB by Rivals.com, he also went to Alabama, Auburn and LSU in the last week.
Although the Gators already have Lane and Kelvin Taylor committed, running backs Ryan Green and Josh Mercer are visiting. It’s unlikely a third RB will be added in this class, but these two could be candidates if that becomes the case.
There are six receivers with offers attending the game. The best of the bunch is Ahmad Fulwood, who is making the trip with close friend and UF commitment Nick Washington. Richard Benjamin, Carlos Burse, Reggie Davis and Taj Williams are also visiting, and Florida is believed to be the favorite for all four of them.
The Gators are looking to add 3-4 more offensive linemen in addition to Rod Johnson, and there’s four candidates coming down with committable offers — Josh Cardiello, Tyrone Crowder, Cameron Dillard and Joshua Outlaw. Outlaw, who hails from the same high school as UF running back Mack Brown, is most likely to pull the trigger this weekend.
At defensive end, Florida will have top-notch prospects Jonathan Allen, Joey Bosa and Demarcus Walker on campus. Rivals100 DE Allen has UF tied with Alabama as his leader, Bosa is the nation’s No. 14 overall prospect on Rivals, and Walker is making his third trip to Gainesvile this spring (second in two weeks).
The most talented group of visitors comes from the secondary, with defensive backs Mackensie Alexander, Adrian Baker, Tre Bell, Marcell Harris and Leon McQuay III scheduled to be in the stands. All five prospects have Florida at or near the top of their list.