With the departures of Mack Brown and junior Matt Jones, the Gators are in need of a running back for their 2015 class.
Jim McElwain made the position a priority as soon as he became Florida’s coach, and one prospect he zeroed in on was Miami commit Jordan Scarlett.
The previous staff tried recruit the U.S. Army All-American but to no avail. However, McElwain and offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier’s history with running backs, specifically at Alabama, sparked Scarlett’s interest.
“It’s attractive,” he said. “That definitely was appealing. The type of backs they’ve used on their championship teams are similar to my style, so that’s a good thing for me.”
The Gators pitched that to Scarlett last month in a graphic that he posted on his Twitter account.
— Manchild (@Famousscarlett) December 19, 2014
The 5-foot-11, 207-pounder from Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas officially visited UF last weekend, where McElwain, Nussmeier and running backs coach Tim Skipper sold him on the opportunity he has in Gainesville.
“They’re telling me I’m the guy they want and I can come and change the program,” Scarlett said. “With the coaching staff being new, they want players like me to build the team around.”
It wasn’t just the coaches trying to flip Scarlett. Two UF players from South Florida, running back Brandon Powell and cornerback Quincy Wilson, joined in on the action. Powell hosted Scarlett on his visit, and Wilson was teammates with him at University School in 2013.
“They both told me just look at what they did last season,” Scarlett said. “They both played as freshmen, so Florida isn’t afraid to use young guys on the team if they can have an impact.”
Scarlett will officially visit Florida State this weekend and make a final decision afterward, likely on signing day.
“I’m just looking,” he said, “for the best opportunity for me.”
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