As signing day 2015 approaches, the Florida Gators new staff is hard at work trying to shore up this year’s recruiting class and get a jump start on the 2016 class as well.
Five star defensive end Byron Cowart who is down to Auburn and Florida announced he will not be taking any visits this weekend, the last before signing day.
There was speculation he might take a visit to FSU particularly with the addition of former Florida defensive line coach Brad Lawing to the Seminole staff.
That apparently isn’t going to happen and he is expected to choose either Auburn or Florida on signing day.
The Gators have long been considered the favorites to land the nation’s top ranked prospect in the ESPN rankings. However, that was before the previous staff was let go.
Since then Auburn has been trending as the favorite due to the presence of former Florida head coach Will Muschamp and defensive backs coach Travaris Robinson.
Realistically, the Gators staff will have to win over his mom and overcome their unfamiliarity with the Gators new staff if they hope to have a chance to sign him on Wednesday.
The fight for Adonis continues.
Lawrenceville (GA) linebacker Adonis Thomas, who was originally committed to Florida before the instability of the coaching situation led him to back off that pledge, is still squarely in the cross hairs of the new staff.
Despite his pledge to Alabama in December, new Gators head coach Jim MacElwain and defensive coordinator Geoff Collins have been recruiting him hard since the final contact period began in an attempt to get him on campus and give the Gators one final look before signing day.
Collins met with him on Tuesday followed by Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart with an in-home as well.
The Gators face an uphill battle here but aren’t willing to concede just yet.
Four star wide receiver Ryan Davis is expected to host Gators staff for an in-home visit on Wednesday. Auburn should be in-home as well with Davis on Wednesday.
Davis has long been a top target for the Gators and that has not changed. He took a visit to UF last weekend spurning a scheduled trip to Alabama and by all accounts the visit went well.
“I felt the energy. A new type of energy in the building,” Davis told 247Sports. “They impressed me, it was a good feeling. I’ve been at Florida so many times. That’s not something I had seen, so that’s one of the things that impressed me.”
Most likely he will choose between Auburn and Florida on signing day.
The Gators staff went in-home on Tuesday with Gainesville (GA) athlete Chris Williamson (6-1 190).
The three star recruit has been at the top of the recruiting board ever since the new staff took over.
They made it very clear he was a top priority sending four staff members to visit including coach Mac, Collins, defensive backs coach Kirk Callahan, and offensive line coach Mike Summers.
He’s a good two-way player who could play either wide receiver or defensive back but it appears the Gators are recruiting him for defense.
Despite being scheduled for an official visit to UF this upcoming weekend there had been speculation that he might not take it. Georgia, for one, has been trying to snag that last visit and they also went in-home with him on Tuesday.
No worries, however, as the Gators apparently were able to secure a visit this weekend. He is expected to announce his decision on Monday and all signs point to the Gators being in a good spot here.
Looking ahead, the Gators staff put out a couple new offers for 2016.
One offer went to Panama City (FL) Bay defensive end Janarius Robinson (6-5 232).
The four star recruit according to 247sports composite rankings is the 3rd ranked weak side DE and a top 50 recruit overall.
He is currently committed to FSU but the Gators new head coach Jim McElwain made it abundantly clear he intends to take back in-state recruiting for the Gators and will not shy from trying to flip other schools’ commits.
Another offer went out to La Puente (CA) Bishop Amat WR Tyler Vaughns (6-3 175).
The four star receiver (#35 overall prospect nationally) comes from a football powerhouse where he receives top notch coaching. He has great hands, snatches passes effortlessly, and runs crisp routes. Despite his slight build, he has long arms, big hands, and outstanding leaping abilities.
USC has to be considered the favorite here but it will be interesting to see how strongly coach Mac pursues him moving forward.
It also appears the Gators have offered Janarius Robinson’s Bay high teammate Christion Gainer as well.
The 6-6 280 pound offensive tackle is unrated as of yet but that will surely change moving forward.
Finally, could the Gators be making a strong play for 2016 five star receiver Nate Craig-Meyers?
The 6-2 205 pound superstar from Tampa (FL) Catholic has been committed to Auburn since last July but holds an offer from the Gators and just about everyone else.
He’s been in constant contact with the new staff and coach Mac has been very vocal about taking back in-state recruiting strongholds, especially the Tampa area, which had long been a very pro-Gators recruiting area.
It’s one of the major reasons McElwain went after defensive backs coach Kirk Callahan. He is a great recruiting personality and has deep ties in the Tampa area. His father is longtime Seffner (FL) head coach Sean Callahan and was himself an all state player from there.
For his part, the #1 wide receiver and #10 overall prospect for 2016 says he’s still 100% committed to Auburn according to Keith Niebuhr of Auburn247sports.
“Right now I’m just 100 percent,” Craig-Meyers said of his Auburn commitment. “It (leg injury) was just frustrating because I didn’t have the opportunity to come up. Whenever I come back, it just feels like home.”
However, despite his Auburn pledge expect his recruitment to heat up across the board once the 2015 cycle ends. Major competitors here will likely be FSU and USC among many others but Florida with McElwain and offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier will be actively involved in trying to bring his elite skill set to Gainesville.
Stay tuned to Swamp Music for more Swamp Rumors and the latest updates on Florida Gators recruiting as we countdown to signing day.