Florida’s season opener will also give coach Dan Mullen and his coaching staff an opportunity to build for the future, as the Gators will host four 2019 prospects on official visits.
Nay’Quan Wright, a 5-foot-9, 185-pound running back out of Miami Carol City, arrived Thursday night in Gainesville for his official visit.
Momentum has been trending in Florida’s favor with Wright, leading to his attendance at Friday Night Lights on July 27.
Ranked one of the top running backs in the 2019 class, Wright has long held UF in high regard, and the Gators have done their part to stay near the top of Wright’s list, keeping in contact with the speedy playmaker while he recuperated from serious injury last season.
Making the trip with Wright will be his Carol City teammate, cornerback Jarvis Brownlee. Although he remains committed to Miami, Brownlee has shown Florida consideration throughout the process, including attending FNL with Wright, leading to the official visit Saturday.
It’s no secret the Gators need offensive line depth — Mullen has continually emphasized the need for longterm depth at the position — as soon as possible. While UF did sign four offensive linemen in the 2018 class, the position remains one in need of additions.
William Harrod, a 6-foot-5, 310-pound offensive lineman out of National Christian Academy in Fort Washington, Maryland, arrived in Gainesville today for an official visit. A four-star OL prospect by 247Sports’ composite, Harrod has UF, Tennessee and North Carolina at the top of his list of prospective schools as he looks to make a decision on his athletic future, although many analysts have him pegged to eventually sign with Michigan. Harrod spent the summer attending multiple camps, including at Penn State and UNC, while also picking up offers from the likes of Florida State and Clemson.
And Florida will look to steal a defensive back from an SEC foe when Maurice Hampton arrives for his official visit over the weekend. Hampton, who committed to LSU in June of 2016, will give the Gators a look after picking up an offer back in January.
Ranked the No. 10 defensive back in the 2019 class by 247Sports, Hampton is seemingly a lock to sign with the Tigers despite pressure from programs closer to his hometown of Memphis, Tennessee.
While they won’t be official visits, the Gators expect to host multiple highly recruited 2019 prospects on unofficial visits come Saturday.
IMG Academy running back Trey Sanders has indicated his intentions to arrive in Gainesville on Saturday for the game, and it remains a possibility he’ll have several IMG Academy teammates in tow. And UF will also host three 2019 commits — linebacker Diwun Black, safety Trent Whittemore and offensive lineman Ethan White — on unofficial visits. Black recently revealed he will officially visit UF on Oct. 6 when the Gators play LSU, while the other two 2019 commits have yet to schedule official visits to Florida.
And Florida will make sure to continue prioritizing those locked in for the future. Two prospects committed to Florida’s 2020 class in quarterback Anthony Richardson and defensive end Josh Griffis will take unofficial visits over the weekend to UF.
With 13 commitments in the 2019 class to date, the Gators will look to maintain momentum on the recruiting trail indefinitely, and there aren’t many better opportunities to impress prospects than by hosting during a football game.