The Florida Gators hosted another Junior Day this past weekend bringing in a lot of offensive targets and getting recruits some face to face time with the new offensive staff. By all accounts, it was a successful weekend with a couple of new commits, a few new offers, and a top target who received the full court press.
The weekend had barely started on Friday morning before head coach Will Muschamp received a phone call from Orlando, Fl Lake Nona high school receiver Deondre Farrier who had decided to go ahead and make the commitment to the Gators. Farrier is a high school teammate of recent Gator signee and fellow receiver Ryan Sousa. He’s built in a similar mold to Sousa and is a very hard nosed receiver who is a playmaker when he gets the ball out in space. He is solidly built with great hands and deceptive speed and he’s able to both fight through tackles as well as run away from defenders.
As a junior he caught 55 passes for 909 yards and 7 td’s. He’s a good pickup for the Gators as they look for speedy playmakers for new offensive coordinator Kurt Roper to feature in the new spread offense.
On Saturday, the Gators picked up the second commitment of the weekend and third in the 2015 class when Jacksonville, Fl Bishop Kenny offensive tackle Tyler Jordan pulled the trigger for the Gators. Jordan, 6’4 270, is a prototypical line recruit for Will Muschamp- a big, strong player with long arms, a solid frame to add weight, and a nasty streak. He’s also a good student with solid character and a strong work ethic. He’s a guy who’s recruitment had just started to really blow up with a lot of top schools showing interest of late but after two trips to Gainesville in a week he felt like it was home and where he’d like to play his collegiate ball so he went ahead and ended his recruitment early. Despite being listed as an offensive tackle, the Gators are recruiting him as a center.
A couple of new offers went out this weekend as well from the Gators. First, Moore Haven, Fl running back Markeis Hallback received a Florida offer and also received a ton of attention from the staff showing up early on Friday. At 5’11 190, Hallback has a good combination of size and speed able to get the tough yards inside the tackles, bounce it outside and outrun linebackers, as well as break away once he gets to the next level. He’s another kid who’s recruitment is just now starting to blow up as more of the top schools take notice. He’s certainly one to keep an eye on moving forward.
Hallback seemed to be impressed with Florida on his trip apparently coming close to committing according to his Twitter account.
The about line on his Twitter simply says “Florida Gator”. Hmmm. He would have to be on commitment watch for the Gators.
Next, Jacksonville, Fl First Coast high receiver Tristan Payton also earned an offer this weekend. Payton, 6’2 190, is a big receiver with good speed who is raw at the position but has a high ceiling. He’s split time as a quarterback and receiver in high school but possesses natural abilities in the open field to make people miss and outrun defenders. He looks very good running the zone read as a qb and could very well be utilized in that role with the Gators in addition to playing wideout.
He looks like a very versatile player with the speed to play outside or inside, the toughness to play in the slot, and he can run the jet sweep as well. If his Twitter pic is any indication he’s high on the gators.
Out of all the recruits who visited this weekend, the highest ranked player was wide receiver Preston Williams. A Tennessee Vol commit, Williams is taking a few unofficial visits around the Southeast and the Gators were his first stop. He came away impressed with Gainsville and the Gators.
“It’s was great,” Williams said. “I had a lot of fun saw lots of things .. It was what I expected.”
Williams is the top rated wide receiver in the nation according to Scout.com and 247sports. He did mention that the Gators are squarely in the mix in his recruitment despite his Vol commitment. With offers from most of the major football programs, and him visiting Georgia and South Carolina soon, the Gators certainly have their work cut out for them to land this big fish. However, head coach Will Muschamp has earned the nickname “Flipper” for his penchant for flipping top recruits the last few seasons. If there is one recruit in the 2015 class he needs to flip, Williams would be the one.
Another top rated recruit on the Gators board left Gator fans wondering. On saturday shortly after Tyler Jordan became the Gators third commitment for 2015, defensive end CeCe Jefferson from St. Mary, FL tweeted this.
He has not, however, publicly committed but most analysts think it’s only a matter of time before he does commit to the Gators. Interestingly, the 247sports crystal ball has him 100% for the Gators. Stay tuned.
Overall it was a very successful weekend for the Gators. Two commitments, a receiver and a lineman both of which are positions of need for the Gators, two new offers to a running back and wide receiver both of whom came away strongly leaning towards the Gators, and an impressive trip for a five star receiver. That all adds up to a strong recruiting weekend for Will Muschamp and company.