Florida’s biggest home game of the season was postponed due to Hurricane Matthew, and the game has yet to be re-scheduled.
Along with an important SEC match-up, Florida’s staff missed a critical opportunity to host recruits on campus.
Four-star linebacker Anthony Hines (Plano East, Tex.) and five-star wide receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones (Detroit, Mich.) were scheduled for official visits, yet both canceled Thursday due to weather concerns.
Change of Plans for this weekend ! pic.twitter.com/b6nfhRhZ0t
— Donovan P. Jones (@dpeoplesjones) October 6, 2016
On Monday, Gators coach Jim McElwain discussed the impact the game’s cancellation had on Florida’s recruiting efforts.
“Yeah, two guys we had to cancel official visits that ended up going to Ohio State, conveniently for them. But there was no way,” McElwain said.
“You couldn’t get in and out. The campus was totally closed with people preparing for the aftermath of what this could have done. There was no way. That was the least of our worries. For their safety and the safety of the people around that was a no-brainer.”
Alongside the two official visits, the Gators were expecting upwards of 30 highly recruited prospects in Gainesville, including 2017 California prospects Elijah Blades and Rahyme Johnson.
Blades and Johnson re-scheduled their visits for the weekend of Nov. 15.
PSA: Due to weather conditions, I will NOT be at the university of Florida this weekend.
— R.Johnson #16 (@rahyme_johnson) October 5, 2016
While Hines and Peoples-Jones reportedly enjoyed their visit to Columbus, the Gators will be hoping to get both players back to Gainesville in the near future.
“Absolutely, but you go back,” McElwain said when asked if the cancelation affected recruiting efforts. “Yeah, we missed a lot, and yet, why don’t we go walk through the aftermath of some of this and ask, ‘How important was that?’ We can make up an official visit.”