The 2018 Florida Recruiting Class. The basic overview of the class, the relative strength, what you need to know if you don’t care about recruiting, the star, and the depth chart hole going into the season.
Florida Recruiting Class Overview
As has been the case throughout the SEC – and other places – that underwent a big coaching change, the recruiting season has been rough. Of course, the new head men haven’t had time to work, and the uncertainty over the last year proved costly.
Even so, Dan Mullen has done some really, really nice things with this first haul.
Stealing QB Emory Jones away from Ohio State was big, but coming up with a few nice running backs in Iverson Clement and Dameon Pierce – at least keeping their commitments – was a big help for the offense.
There aren’t a lot of top receivers, but getting Justin Watkins to commit, and keeping tight ends Kyle Pitts out of Pennsylvania and Dante Lang from just outside of Miami helps.
The defensive side didn’t do anything for the line, but LB David Reese from Vero Beach is a good one, and landing safeties Johnathan Huggins and Trey Dean at the early signing period was a big help. But …
The Florida Class Is Heavy On …
Mullen didn’t sign on a slew of superstars, but 6-5, 275-pound Richard Gouraige out of Tampa – getting him away from Clemson and Auburn – was big.
Gouraige is for the future after hitting the weights, but 6-7, 295-pound JUCO transfer Noah Banks is to help the tackle situation right now. There are more on the way to develop, too.
The Star of the Florida Class Is …
QB Emory Jones, 6-4, 180
All is fair in love, war, Chutes & Ladders, and recruiting.
The Gators went really, really hard after star quarterback prospect Justin Fields, even though he already verbally committed to Georgia. But they were able to flip Jones – a dual-threat star from just outside of Atlanta – after he originally was all in at Ohio State.
Clemson was in mix, and Florida State made a late push, but Mullen got his guy. And now, with the quarterback situation an issue, the new guy might just take over right away.
The Florida Biggest 2018 Depth Chart Hole Is …
The Gators lost their great punter Johnny Townsend – who averaged close to 48 yards per kick – they now have to replace Eddy Pineiro, too, after he left early for the NFL. The one good part to the Florida offense, he hit 17-of-18 field goals. Now the hope is for big-legged Evan McPherson out of Alabama to step in right away and be a factor.