Friday Night Lights set to feature multitude of commits, uncommitted prospects, future talent

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Steve Spurrier-Florida Field at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. [Alan Youngblood/Gainesville Sun]

The 2019 iteration of Florida’s annual Friday Night Lights recruiting showcase is set to be a consequential one. 

After opening preseason camp in the morning, the Gators will return to Ben Hill Griffin Stadium for the football program’s largest recruiting event of the cycle. 

UF coach Dan Mullen and the Gators coaching staff will welcome multiple highly recruited prospects in the 2020 class, in addition to several rising underclassmen prospects, to The Swamp for the festivities, set to kick off at 7 p.m. today.

When it comes to Florida’s committed prospects, 10 have indicated intentions to attend Friday’s showcase, including local Eastside quarterback Anthony Richardson and Ocala Vanguard wide receiver Leonard Manuel. In addition to the two local commits, the Gators expect to welcome defensive lineman Gervon Dexter, linebacker Derek Wingo, cornerback Avery Helm and wide receiver JaQuavion Fraziars back to Gainesville for the showcase. Offensive linemen Richie Leonard and Gerald Mincey plan on making the trip, too, as does committed tight end Jonathan Odom and safety Rashad Torrence II. 

But — with all due respect to the prospects already committed to Florida — Friday is about building on Florida’s highly ranked 2020 class. 

Two prospects high on UF’s board — offensive lineman Marcus Dumervil and running back Keyvone Lee — indicate they’ll be on campus come Friday night. Still in need of a commitment from a premier running back, Florida is looking to get Lee back in the fold after the 6-foot athlete backed off his UF pledge on Feb. 22. 

The Gators also expect to get a crack at flipping Jahquez Robinson and Tim Smith, a pair of prospects committed to Alabama. 

A highly rising cornerback out of Jacksonville, Robinson committed to the Crimson Tide back on Feb. 18, but that hasn’t stopped UF from him. Smith’s pledge, however, is far more fresh. Ranked the No. 13 defensive tackle in the 2020 class by 247Sports, Smith committed to Alabama on July 17, but the 6-foot-4, 340-pound Sebastian River native doesn’t plan on shutting down his recruitment any time soon.

Along with the commits and 2020 targets expected in Gainesville, the Gators will take on another vital endeavor — building relationships with prospects in the 2021, 2022 and 2023 classes. Considering the top-ranked classes often get highly recruited prospects in the fold sooner than later, Friday could pay dividends when it comes to building on Florida’s already-promising recruiting classes of the near future. 

Miami Palmetto defensive back Corey Collier, regarded as one of the top cornerbacks in the 2021 class, intends on making the trip north for Friday Night Lights, and he’ll have teammate Jason Marshall in tow. The two lockdown cornerbacks are ranked No. 3 and No. 5 in 247Sports’ cornerback rankings, respectively, and both have the Gators high on their lists of prospective programs. 

Five-star defensive end Dylan Brooks, ranked the No. 1 weak-side defensive end and the No. 23 overall prospect in the 2020 class by 247Sports, has indicated he’ll make the trip south from Roanoke, Alabama, to Gainesville. 

And, as Florida fans know all too well, you often need a top-ranked quarterback to compete in the SEC, and the Gators expect to host highly rated 2021 signal-caller Carlos Del Rio, in addition to in-state 2022 quarterback Gunnar Smith. The 6-foot-3 Del Rio is ranked the No. 12 pro-style quarterback in the 247Sports rankings, although he’s regarded as a dual-threat prospect at the next level. Gators quarterbacks coach Brian Johnson hasn’t made his interest in Del Rio a secret, and many expect the Powder Springs, Georgia, native to give the Gators a serious look as he searched for his collegiate destination. 

With multiple commits, uncommitted prospects and future top-ranked talent bound for Gainesville, Friday could be a momentous occasion for the future of UF’s football program. 

Prospects expected to attend: 

Florida commits:

WR JaQuavion Fraziars

DL Gervon Dexter

CB Avery Helm

OLB Derek Wingo

OL Richie Leonard

QB Anthony Richardson

WR Leonard Manuel

OT Gerald Mincey

S Rashad Torrence

TE Jonathan Odom

OLB Derek Wingo

 

2020 targets:

OT Marcus Dumervil

RB Keyvone Lee

DT Tim Smith

DB Jahquez Robinson

WR Trevonte Rucker (former UF commit)

WR Kentron Poitier

ATH Tae Williams

 

2021 underclassmen:

DE Dylan Brooks

CB Corey Collier

DL Bryce Langston (former UF commit)

CB Jason Marshall

DB Kamar Wilcoxson (former UF commit)

DL Savion Collins

QB Carlos Del Rio

RB Brashard Smith

 

2022+ underclassmen: 

2022 QB Gunnar Smith

2022 RB Isaiah Gordon

2023 QB Raheim Jeter

7 COMMENTS

  1. I already see that CDM and his staff will be stockpiling potential recruits. Now we need to land those that want to be a part of GATOR NATION! I want to see our defense’s return to the time like we had when we played Ohio St., and held them to I thing was 84 total yards. I was stationed in Ft. Irwin, Ca., and all I kept hearing was how bad OSU was going to pummel my GATORS. All I would say was “they have never seen a defense like ours.” Now 41 – 14, and another NC later, that is the type of defense we should have here year in and year out. To any young man out there reading this – Bama doesn’t guarantee you a NC. U of F can’t make that guarantee either, but if we keep our Florida boys in state and still filch some talent from other local states, we will have that defense again. GO GATORS!!!

  2. There is a principle in business 80/20 rule. 20% of your workforce will yield 80 % of your production. You cannot ignore the 80% (it’s been tried and failed) but the quality of the 80% will impact the total. If some of these guys stay with us sign, qualify, and put cleats on the field CDM will have a group to mold and cast as fighting GATORS! Some of the weak (mentally and physically) will fall by the wayside. Gators or Gator Bait. Some that go elsewhere will wish they had chosen differently. The SWAMP is a hard place even for Gators but those that make it will be the elite of the Swamp feasting on dawgs, vols, game hens, they will change the tide with their power, and have tiger for a snack. OK not my usual rambling but here it is again.
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