UF expecting 5 official visitors with three weeks until National Signing Day

Students walk to class across University of Florida's campus during their first day of spring semester classes on January 8, 2018. (Lauren Bacho | Gainesville Sun)

With a complete staff in the fold, new Florida football coach Dan Mullen is continuing to build momentum on the recruiting trail.

And now, with just over three weeks until National Signing Day on Feb. 7, the Gators will once again host prospective signees in the 2018 class on campus this weekend.

Florida expects to host five official visitors this weekend, including three out-of-state prospects.

Noah Boykin remains committed to the University of Maryland, but his recruitment continues to trend in Florida’s direction, and the 6-foot-2, 185-pound defensive back from Washington, D.C., arrived Friday in Gainesville for an official visit. Despite a commitment to the Terrapins, and with Notre Dame in full pursuit – Irish head coach Brian Kelly went in-home with Boykin earlier in the week – the Gators are in prime position to flip Boykin, ranked the No. 33 defensive back in the 2018 class by 247Sports.

A highly regarded wide receiver in the 2018 class, Justin Watkins will make the trip north from his hometown of Citra for an official visit. The uncommitted Watkins, who built a rapport with UF quarterback Emory Jones at the Under Armour All-America game, is considered likely to commit to the Gators if all goes as planned, thanks in part to a strong relationship with UF tight ends coach Ja’Juan Seider, who has heavily recruited him throughout the cycle.

The Gators are also trending in the right direction for Columbus (Ga.) Northside High outside linebacker Caleb Johnson, and the 6-foot-4 prospect will have an opportunity to evaluate UF over the weekend. Before the early signing period opened Dec. 20, the Gators didn’t appear to be a factor in Johnson’s recruitment, but the addition of Todd Grantham as defensive coordinator has Florida in the mix to land a signature from Johnson come signing day.

Perhaps the biggest mystery of all is Fort Lauderdale American Heritage defensive tackle Nesta Silvera, who remains verbally committed to Miami, yet has continued evaluating his options. He’s expected to arrive in Gainesville on Friday for an official visit, but the Hurricanes have worked diligently to keep him in the fold.

And Caleb Tannor, who remains a heavy Georgia lean, will give the Gators one last shot to make headway in his recruitment when he takes an official visit over the weekend. Tannor, a strong-side defensive end who could also play outside linebacker at the SEC level, is expected to sign with either Auburn or Georgia, but a positive experience at UF could have the Gators back in the mix to sign the consensus four-star prospect.

Either way, the Gators have two additional weekends in the near future to lock in some of the top uncommitted prospects, and the final stretch will definitely have ramifications on Mullen’s inaugural season as UF’s latest head coach.