Gators to host multiple top 2019 prospects on campus

Florida football coach Dan Mullen answers questions from reporters during media an availability Tuesday at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. [Lauren Bacho/Gainesville Sun]

Although they haven’t slowed down in the slightest on the trail, Florida’s recruiting efforts will continue in the penultimate weekend before the Orange and Blue Debut Game. In addition, UF coach Dan Mullen will host a coaching clinic, giving prospects and high school coaches alike an opportunity to see Mullen’s methods.

Arguably the biggest visitor worth mentioning isn’t a lone prospect, but an in-state football powerhouse – IMG Academy. Several topflight IMG prospects – including former UF linebacker commit Jaleel McRae, offensive linemen Dontae Lucas and Deyavie Hammond, running backs Trey Sanders and Noah Cain, and dual-threat quarterback David Baldwin – have indicated their intention to visit UF this weekend.

The big coup for Florida is the opportunity to continue re-building a relationship with IMG Academy, a powerhouse program that garners talent from across the country. UF has struggled in the past pulling talent out of the Bradenton-based program, meaning coach Dan Mullen and co. have their work cut out if they hope to become a player in the recruitment of IMG athletes.

Elsewhere, defensive end Nathan Pickering will make the trip to Gainesville from Seminary (MS). Pickering was very familiar with Mullen when the UF head coach was at Mississippi State, with the Bulldogs and Ole Miss being the first two programs to extend scholarship offers to the strong-side prospect.

Another defensive end who has no shortage of suitors, Derick Hunter, will arrive on campus for a weekend visit with the Gators. Hunter has received significant interest from Florida State and Miami, in addition to programs across the country.

And Florida’s top quarterback prospect – Baltimore (MD) dual-threat QB Jalon Jones – will take an unofficial visit to UF this weekend. Jones was previously committed to Mississippi State and Mullen, and the two still have a strong relationship that could lead to UF landing the top 2019 quarterback prospect on their board.

Also expected in Gainesville are a pair of UF commits – DeLand wide receiver Dionte Marks and 2020 IMG Academy defensive end Josh Griffis. With the efforts of UF’s recruiting coordinators and coaching staff, it seems to be only a matter of time until their endeavors pay dividends.