UF targets making moves before NSD


The Gators seem poised to make a big splash on National Signing Day, thanks to several late movers and shakers who could end up in Florida’s 2017 class.

Six prospects in play for National Signing Day made big decisions last week that could lead them to Gainesville.


Kai-Leon Herbert

The four-star offensive lineman seemed set to spend the next 3-4 seasons in Ann Arbor, but Herbert backed off his commitment to the Wolverines on Sunday.

“Things just went south,” Herbert told Land of 10. “There were some other factors …. It just wasn’t good.”

Herbert took an official visit over the weekend to Miami and he’ll visit Florida this weekend, and all signs point to the American Heritage standout giving either the Hurricanes or Gators his signature.

Florida coach Jim McElwain and defensive coordinator Randy Shannon went in-home with Herbert on Tuesday before he arrives on campus.

Nick Smith

Nick Smith, a three-star linebacker in the 2017 class, won’t be joining the Wolfpack after all. The Dr. Phillips standout withdrew his verbal commitment to N.C. State on Jan. 15 after taking an official visit to Michigan State, but that doesn’t mean he’s bound to leave the state.

The Gators hosted Smith for an official visit last weekend, and Smith will decide between UF and the Spartans on National Signing Day.

That is, unless he decides at the last minute to take an official visit to either LSU or Louisville.

Breyon and Brandon Gaddy

The Gaddy twins, a pair of talented defensive tackle prospects out of Virginia Beach, Virginia, have reportedly narrowed their final decision to Maryland or Florida. The twosome committed to the Terrapins on Dec. 11, but the Gators and Tennessee have remained in the mix.

Florida coach Jim McElwain and staff will have a chance to leave a strong impression on the Gaddys when they arrive Friday in Gainesville for their final official visit.

It will be the first time either has been on campus in Gainesville, and the Gators will look to leave a strong impression and hopefully bolster a position in need of depth next season.

Zech Byrd

Byrd’s recruitment has been an interesting one, but not for the reasons you’d think.

With a week until National Signing Day, the 6-foot-6 three-star tight end has yet to take an official visit.

He was scheduled to arrive in Gainesville on Friday, but Byrd postponed his official visit to Jan. 27. He’ll be on campus this weekend before making it official Feb. 1.

Mike Harley

Things can really change in a month. After releasing a statement on Twitter that he was shutting down his recruitment, the three-star St. Thomas Aquinas wide receiver de-committed from West Virginia and his back on the market.

The Gators will sign his former high school teammate, quarterback Jake Allen, on Feb. 1, and there’s reason to believe Harley might not be far behind.

Florida has a lot of ground to make up, however, in the next week.

But with just one wide receiver committed to the 2017 class to date, the Gators could be the team to beat to sign Harley.