Friday Night Lights proved to be another annual success for Florida football recruting, as the Gators landed the top receiver for 2015 and put themselves in great position with a several of other prospects.
The story of the night on the field was the play of UF commit Will Grier, who once again showed the future of Florida’s quarterback position is in good hands.
He also took the opportunity to recruit receivers such as ESPN150 member Travis Rudolph. He hasn’t spoke to the media since the showcase but appeared to be having a good time interacting with Grier and Joker Phillips.
Obviously the biggest news outside of the camp was five-star Adoree’ Jackson. The two-sport athlete gave positive marks about his trip and enjoyed his time in Gainesville.
One thing that should not be underestimated in Jackson’s recruitment to Florida is his relationship with track coach Mike Holloway.
Holloway doesn’t miss on many prospects he personally recruits, and Jackson calls him on a weekly basis — sometimes every other day. A source even told The Sun that Holloway has already started giving Jackson personal workouts to do back home in California.
There is still a lot of time left with Jackson, who wants to take his officials and announce on signing day, but the Gators have to be happy about where they currently stand.
The same can be said about linebacker Richard Yeargin III and cornerbacks Chris Lammons and Quincy Wilson. The Fort Lauderdale trio came up for FNL and left giving off strong vibes about UF. Although they each have a Top 5, Florida is clearly the favorite for all of them right now.
As is the case every year, some recruits did not make it in. Alabama running back commit Bo Scarbrough and his cousin, UF tight end commit C’yontai Lewis, were two of them.
Although Scarbrough was always going to be tough to pull out of Tuscaloosa, the Gators’ chances look even slimmer with his latest no-show (he also didn’t camp in June).
Defensive end Trent Harris, a longtime UF-lean who was initally scheduled to decide at his spring game, chose not to attend Friday Night Lights after Florida picked up Justus Reed last Thursday. The Gators had room for only one of them, and Harris simply got beat to the punch. He committed to Miami on Monday.
For those questioning why the coaches couldn’t wait on Harris, a higher-rated prospect, Reed came to camp, impressed the staff, earned his offer and didn’t wait long to jump on it.
Although a few 2015 prospects weren’t on hand as planned, including running back Jacques Patrick, offensive lineman Martez Ivey and LSU cornerback commit Kevin Toliver II, it didn’t stop the Gators from laying a solid foundation for the next recruiting cycle.
They added their first member of the class in Da’Vante Phillips. He is the No. 1-ranked receiver in the ESPN300 and gives UF another Miami product, as he joins running back commit and Central teammate Dalvin Cook.
Florida strengthened its lead for defensive ends Byron Cowart and CeCe Jefferson. The close friends, who want to be roomates in college, worked out alongside each other throughout the event and even discussed pulling the trigger that night.
The Gators also made a big impression on linebacker Jeffery Holland. Unlike Sherrod Pittman, the UF coaches would take Holland right now, and he appears to be leaning their way.
Florida also improved its standing with defensive tackle Trenton Thompson. The Gators went from out of his Top 3 to No. 2 following FNL. Georiga remains in front for Thompson with a sizable edge, but UF should be encourged by the move it made for him.