With Wednesday marking the second iteration of the Early Signing Period, the Florida Gators and coach Dan Mullen are poised to sign all but two commits in the 2019 class over the next 72 hours.
Sixteen of Florida’s 18 verbal commits will put pen to paper before the day is done, and it remains a possibility that the two holdouts — offensive guard Riley Simonds and linebacker Diwun Black — finalize their collegiate decisions before Saturday at midnight.
Programs have emphasized the advantages of signing early, and top prospects have jumped at the opportunity to lock in a destination and begin preparing for the collegiate level. While Florida will sign more than a dozen prospects, it remains to be seen just how many will be eligible to enroll at UF in January.
Jalon Jones, ranked the No. 11 dual-threat quarterback in the 2019 class by 247Sports, will sign with the Gators at 8:30 a.m., and UF’s future signal-caller hasn’t wavered when it comes to enrolling at Florida in time for the Spring semester.
Highly recruited linebacker Mohamoud Diabate began the early enrollment process with Florida several weeks ago, and the 6-foot-4, 215-pounder will be one step closer to making an impact in Gainesville when he signs his letter of intent at 1:30 p.m. at a ceremony at Auburn High School.
He’ll be joined on campus in January by fellow linebacker Jesiah Pierre, who will sign with the Gators out of Mount Dora Christian Academy with the intentions of enrolling early.
UF’s depth at defensive back will be bolstered when four-star defensive back and early enrollee Jaydon Hill signs at 4:45 p.m. Hill has been aggressively recruited by South Carolina and coach Will Muschamp down the stretch, but, barring a last-minute change of heart, Hill will follow through with his commitment and sign with UF.
Florida could lose as many as four starters on the offensive line next season — meaning the position is one of great need in the immediate future. Fortunately for Mullen and offensive line coordinator John Hevesy, the Gators will add five offensive linemen — Kingsley Eguakun, William Harrod, Michael Tarquin, Ethan White and Wardrick Wilson — in January.
And Buchholz High standout Trent Whittemore will sign early with Florida, but the multi-sport athlete intends to finish out BHS’ basketball season before joining the Gators just prior to the summer.
Yet the list of current commits aren’t the only prospects the Gators could sign before the weekend.
Florida is favored to land the Lakeland High trio — offensive guard Deyavie Hammond, defensive end Lloyd Summerall and tight end Keon Zipperer — when the three state champions announce their commitments during a ceremony broadcast on ESPN2 at 10 a.m.
The Gators hosted Siaki Ika on an official visit over the weekend, and the No. 5 defensive tackle is expected to sign with either LSU or Florida at 8 a.m.
Finally, Florida is still in the running to land dynamic running back Trey Sanders, who joined Ika on an official visit last weekend. While he has plenty of familial connections to UF, Sanders seems poised to shock the recruiting world and become the next top-ranked running back to sign with Kirby Smart and Georgia.
However, as always when it comes to recruiting, nothing is guaranteed until the ink has dried.