Update: Predicting how National Signing Day unfolds for the Gators


There’s less than 48 hours until National Signing Day, and the Gators are in a prime position to sign several of the top football recruits left in the nation.

Florida can sign nine prospects Wednesday, and with three verbal commits among them, that leaves six prospects who will announce throughout the day their intentions to sign with UF’s 2018 class.

All of the effort the coaching staff has put in is complete: the dead period has arrived and that means contact between recruits and coaches is impermissible.

With that said, here’s our prediction of who will sign with Florida coach Dan Mullen’s inaugural class. Have some thoughts? Drop us a comment.

[Update 2-6-18, 1:25 p.m.]: I’m switched out a name in my mock class after gathering more info in the past 24 hours.

DB Noah Boykin (6-foot-2, 170 pounds) – 4* (Washington, D.C.)

DE Andrew Chatfield (6-2, 225) – 4* (Plantation)

WR Jacob Copeland (6-1,195) – 4* (Pensacola)

DE Dorian Gerald (6-3, 265) – 3* (Florence, S.C)

OL Richard Gouraige – (6-5, 270) – 4* (Tampa) — verbally committed

DL Caleb Johnson (6-4, 267) – 3* (Columbus, GA)

OL Griffin McDowell (6-4, 280) – 3* (Leesburg, GA) — verbally committed

DL Nesta Silvera — (6-2, 310) — 4* (Plantation)

ATH Justin Watkins (5-11, 175) – 4* (Clermont) — verbally committed


  1. Graham, it seems from Twitter that Chatfield will go where Silvera goes. So, if you do not have Silvera, neither will the Gators. It appears that both will be in Miami or both will be in Gainesville. And the Gators only signed 13 early, so they will likely sign more than 9 recruits on Wednesday. I think they ink 10, and Mullen and staff may sign 11 if they get a waiver on the signed recruit that can no longer play football. And my prediction includes Silvera and Lamar, with Gerald opting for Texas A&M.

    • I think Silvera could be in this class, but Chatfield should sign with the Gators regardless of what Silvera does. The two transfers count against the current counter, so the maximum they can sign based on available scholarships is 9. Unless UF knows something we don’t know and expects someone to be off scholarship before a signee arrives.

    • Each school can sign 25 each cycle. For this cycle, I have the following 15 already signed:
      Van Jefferson, Noah Banks, Trevon Grimes, Emory Jones, Iverson Clement, Dameon Pierce, Kyle Pitts, Dante Lang, Chris Bleich, David Reese, Trey Dean, Amari Burney, John Huggins, Evan McPherson, and Randy Russell.

      Unless my list above is inaccurate, that means we have 10 spots left. We could possibly sign 11 if we get approval from the NCAA to not count Randy Russell. However, since it’s unlikely we will hear back from the NCAA by NSD, I would sign no more than 10.

      I understand that the other limitation is that there can be no more than 85 scholarships on roster at any time. Currently, we have 63 returning scholarship players for next year which includes 2 walk-ons. This means we can only sign 22 of the 25 spots IF there are no more attrition and IF we keep the walk-on on scholarship. However, since the new signees won’t enroll until the summer or fall and typically there will be more attrition between now and fall and furthermore, considering we don’t have to renew the walk-on scholarships, I would be perfectly comfortable over-signing the 85 limit on NSD. Basically, you can’t over-sign the 25 yearly limit but you could over-sign the 85 scholarship limit by anticipating some attrition before the signees actually enroll. Therefore, I believe we could sign up to 10 more on NSD although I don’t think we will reach that number based on what’s left on the board.

  2. Graham, I think Silvera is all Miami, but I agree that Chatfield will be a Gator come Wednesday. I think you are pretty close with your prediction list, although I don’t think we get Frere, but I hope I’m wrong. I think he ends up with Notre Dame, although I do think we do have a shot and I believe it is between us and the Fighting Irish heading into Wednesday. ND has been on him for a long time and I don’t know that we have had enough time to catch up in terms of building a bond and strong relationship with him. However, if he decides to stay closer to home then we would obviously be looking good. Ohio State was a big player for him as well, but the reports of Gregg Schiono leaving to go to the Patriots could bode well for us and ND, because he was Frere’s main man at Ohio State.
    I think Lamar ends up at FSU, but I agree Gerald is a Gator. I don’t see him going to Texas A&M, especially not after his outstanding visit to Gainesville this past weekend and us being his leader for a while now. I think Caleb Tannor could be the last spot in this class class, unless Frere picks the Gators, then I think Tannor would be the odd man out and ends up at Nebraska (Auburn & Georgia are about filled up). I think Lovett was a back up plan and will end up at Miss. State unless something drastic behind the scenes happens in the next 24-48 hours. It is also possible that Gouraige could flip to Clemson and I would not be shocked, but I believe he will be a Gator when it is all said and done.

    • I should have added a caveat — although I’ve certainly said it in the videos, on Twitter and on the radio — that I believe Nicholas Petit-Frere is incredibly hard to read and I believe it’s 50-50 between Florida and Notre Dame for him. UF has done all they can and it’ll come down to factors outside of just football for him. He’s certainly the one I’m least sure of in this entire mock class.

  3. Based on what the NCAA calls “counters” it seems our class size is limited to 24 this year. That leaves nine spots, ten if a waiver is granted for Randy Russell’s spot. I think we’re trending up for Petit-Frere and have a shot at Silvera. Two we can’t afford to lose are Copeland and Gouraige.

  4. Excellent group if we manage to sign them all (even if we don’t, there will be others who will be a good fit ). Andrew Chatfield at 6’2″ 225 lbs might be a better fit at linebacker, where we definitely need more depth. Hoping we land all of them – this will be a great day for the Gators if we do – GO GATORS!!!

  5. With the recent loss of Gamble, Gators will probably Sign Beal. He has the upside to be a TE/OL/DL.
    As a side note, the NCAA should change the the early signing period guidelines. It should be only for players eligible to enroll for January classes.

  6. On this Tuesday morning the outlook for Nesta Silvera to Florida is gaining some momentum. It might be hard right now to believe but we might be holding signed LOIs tomorrow from the top offensive tackle in the country, the second-rated defensive tackle, the most coveted in-state receiver and the third-best rated in-state offensive tackle: Petit-Frere, Silvera, Copeland, Gouraige, plus Watkins, McDowell, Boykin, Chatfield, Gerald or Tannor.

  7. All of this upward trending is awesome. It might be too euphoric cause we always get disappointed by some recruit(s).

    My question would then be…what happens if they all want to come. Are th ey telling some recruits to wait and see? That would stink for the 3 star kids. Thoughts?

  8. Will FL. ever start gray shirting like Alabama? They over sign every year, go look, 25 here 30 there another 30 the next year. I know a 5* OL they signed a couple of years ago, he tweaked his knee and they pulled his scholarship the next year and gave it to another 5* gray shirt so he transferred. This is a fact. So if we are ever going to compete against the SECs only football school and play with them shouldn’t we over sign to make sure our bench is like theirs, heck their bench was better than the rest of the SEC combined. Just an honest question.

  9. Barry. Gray shirting is when a recruit agrees to pay his own way the first year with a promise of a scholarship the next year, I think. Most are recovering from a serious injury and redshirt. Bama had a top recruit who did that a couple of years ago. I believe it was Scarborough.