It’s Friday. Time for the Friday Five. At this time of the year, the staff spends a lot of time evaluating potential recruits. Of course, the top guys they’ve identified and have been working hard on for a year or more. But now, they start to dig a little deeper. There’s always guys who may not have been on the radar as sophomores, but after big junior years they start to see their recruitment blow up. Today I’ll mention a couple of those.
Nobody has been hotter on the Gator recruiting trail the past week than Jacksonville, FL Bishop Kenny offensive tackle Tyler Jordan, 6’4 280. Jordan has seen his recruitment blowing up of late getting new offers almost daily. While he’s listed as an offensive tackle, the staff is recruiting him as a center a position which is currently short on depth with the graduation of three year starter Jonathan Harrison. They currently have only one true scholarship center on the roster in redshirt freshman Cam Dillard.
Jordan visited the school this past Monday reportedly meeting with the staff including offensive line coach Mike Summers, offensive coordinator Kurt Roper, and head coach Will Muschamp. He’s also expected to make another trip back down this coming weekend. Jordan, from the same school as current Gators wide receiver Ahmad Fulwood is a solid student-athlete who fits the bill as the type of kid the Gator staff wants to recruit to Florida- a hard working, talented kid on the field and solid character off the field.
Jordan grew up as a Gator fan which is a big plus for Florida. He is continuing to gain offers by the minute, but I think this kid is Florida’s to lose at this point.
Palm Beach Gardens, FL linebacker Tevon Coney is another who’s recruitment has been blowing up of late. An unknown a year ago, a strong junior season has gotten him a lot of attention from a lot of top prrgrams including Miami, Ohio State, and Alabama in addition to Florida.
Coney, 6’2 215, is a strong kid who plays with good pad level. He fills the hole well and can shed blocks and he’s a good pass rusher from the middle linebacker position. He’s also equally skilled in pass coverage with good speed and quickness and a nose for the football. He’s got a solid frame to add another 20-25 pounds and reminds me a lot of Jon Bostic coming out of high school.
He’s another player who grew up liking the Gators calling their offer a dream offer and the consensus opinion is that he’ll likely make a commitment to the Gators sooner rather than later.
Miami, FL Killian safety Jaquan Johnson is another who the Gators are hot on the trail after. Of course, the hometown Hurricanes are as well. Johnson, 5’11 180 is considered an athlete but the Gators are most certainly recruiting him to play safety. The Gators are expected to try to take two safeties in the 2015 class and Johnson is one of the tops.
Johnson has good size, strength, and speed with a solid frame to add another 20 pounds easily. He’s a hard hitter and is versatile enough to play up in run support or back in coverage as a safety or as a nickel or dime corner. This one is likely a Miami-Florida battle in the end. Most expect the Canes but he was very impressed with Florida when he visited for Junior Day.
Hampton, GA Lovejoy receiver Preston Williams is a big receiver with all the physical tools. At 6’5 200, Williams is a matchup nightmare with his great size, strength, and speed. He’s a true vertical threat who can run past defenders as well as outjump them for the football and has great hands. With his size, he has the physicality to catch footballs over the middle and in traffic and is very difficult to bring down in the open field. He has breakaway speed to get deep and can run away from defenders once he has the ball in his hands. Describe him in two words- Dynamic Playmaker.
Williams is currently committed to Tennessee but, of course, it’s still early. The Gators are definitely interested as are most schools across the SEC and the nation. He is expected to visit UF this weekend with a lot of other potential offensive recruits. With so much time between now and signing day 2015 expect him to get the full court press moving forward. If there’s a recruit for coach “Flipper” to flip, this would be the guy.
Tampa Hillsborough high quarterback Dwayne Lawson is a dual threat qb who holds a Florida offer. While the Gators really covet top qb Torrance Gibson, so does every other program in America. After bringing in two top rated qb’s in 2014 the likelihood they bring in the top guy in 2015 is low. Lawson, however, is a lot more likely for the Gators.
Not that he’s a plan b. He’s a four star qb in his own right and has offers from Tennessee and Ohio State among others. He is very high on the Gators. He’s the cousin of former Gator receivers Andre and Reche Caldwell and admittedly loves the Gators. He also likes new offensive coordinator Kurt Roper and thinks he’s a good fit for the spread system Roper will employ at Florida.
In two varsity seasons, he’s thrown for over 3,500 yards and has 34 touchdowns against 20 interceptions. Last season he rushed for over 1,000 yards with 9 td’s. Reportedly he expects to commit before the season so there’s a long ways to go with his recruitment, but it’s safe to say the Gators lead for his services.