Swamp Rumors: Final Recruiting Weekend In The Books, Time For Some Final Decisions

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A busy final recruiting weekend for the Florida Gators resulted in three verbal commitments. Three more came in on Monday.

The Gators are hoping the commitment train continues to roll over the next 36 hours as we approach national signing day which officially begins this year at 7 am local time Wednesday February 4th.

Offensive line is a position of extreme need for the Gators this cycle as they return only eight scholarship lineman next season.

The Gators currently have five commits along the line but could take up to three more.

The Gators are hoping one of those could be big offensive tackle Tyree St. Louis ( from IMG Academy in Bradenton (FL). St. Louis, a Miami commit, visited the Gators this past weekend and appeared to be impressed with his visit according to Andrew Spivey of Gatorcountry.com.

“It was a fun visit, I had a great time down there in Gainesville,” St. Louis said… “The basketball game was great, it was a great atmosphere there. Florida has a great fanbase.”

The Hurricanes, as the team he was already committed to, have to be considered the odds on favorite but the Gators have certainly given him something to think about.

He will likely be a signing day decision.

“I’m still committed to Miami but I’m going through the process and looking at everything,” St. Louis said. “I’m going to make my final decision on either Tuesday or Wednesday. I’m probably going to just sign and be done with it.”

Another offensive lineman the Gators would really like to reel in is Washington D.C. Friendship OT Quarvez Boulware. He also visited Florida this past weekend as well.

He is set to announce his choice of schools live on local news Tuesday evening. His finalists are Florida, Maryland, and Wake Forest.

However, at this point, Florida still has to be considered a long shot with distance from home being a major factor.

While those two recruits are a toss-up for the Gators at this point, one offensive line recruit who appears more and more likely to switch to Florida is Dunwoody (GA) offensive tackle Nick Buchanan (6-4 280) who backed off his pledge to Cal on Monday via Twitter.

Coming on the heels of an official visit to Florida there is much speculation that Florida will get the flip.

The Cal SBNation site published a story where this little gem slipped out:

“.. today the Florida Gators managed to officially flip him (Buchanan)away from the Bears in the hours leading up to National Signing Day.”

Now whether or not that was a writers slip, assuming something that is as of yet uncertified, or if the writer has some inside info is not clear.

What is clear is the consensus opinion appears to be that it’s only a matter of time before Buchanan completes the Florida flip.

He appeared to have a great visit to Florida. Here’s what he told
Jake Rowe from 247sports following that visit.

“It was real nice. It was really cool. I got to see the Swamp, got to meet the coaches, it was nice. I really liked it… just walking out into the Swamp. Walking out, it’s just amazing. A lot of the stadiums you see they go out, while the Swamp goes up. The Swamp was really steep.”

Other members of this Florida recruiting class are recruiting him hard. Good friend and Gator early enrollee Daniel Imatorbhebhe and offensive line commit had this Twitter exchange Monday night after another friend Chris Williamson committed to Florida.

No word on exactly when he will announce. It could come Tuesday, but more likely on Wednesday.

It’s been no secret that the new staff is looking for a quarterback in this class and they’ve been recruiting two who are currently committed to other schools. Deondre Francois from IMG Academy in Bradenton, previously announced he was sticking to his commitment to FSU shortly after an official visit to Florida.

Many believe that to not necessarily be the case and think that he is still mulling over the offer from Florida.

The brouhaha over a decommitment via Twitter which was blamed on hacking didn’t help to stem the tide of disbelief.

Some think the recommitment was merely a smokescreen to deflect attention while he agonizes over his decision. If so, he likely would not make the flip until signing day.

The other qb the Gators would like to flip, assuming Francois sticks with FSU, is Louisville commit Lamar Jackson (6-3 195) from Boynton Beach (FL) Community. He took an official to Florida this past weekend and appears to be torn between the two schools.

Conflicting reports have come from a variety of sources some saying Florida has a good chance at getting the flip while others claim he’s leaning toward sticking with his Cardinal commitment.

He will be a signing day announcement but the Gators have to like their chances. If the Gators do not get either Francois or Jackson, however, they likely will not sign a qb this cycle.

While the Gators have been in the midst of a commitment avalanche, all is not completely rosy. Long time receiver commit Derrick Dillon from Franklinton (LA) Pine appears to be slipping away from the Gators as we approach signing day.

After a late push and offer from the home state team LSU, which he called “a dream come true”, Dillon appears poised to make the flip on signing day.

“He’s looking at which school is going to be able to get him the ball and the relationships that he has with the coaches,” said Pine head coach Bradley Seal in a 247sports article. “That’s what he has been thinking about the most.”

While ordinarily that would benefit the team a recruit is currently committed to, with the turnover in staff at Florida, Dillon likely has a longer standing and more more complete relationship with the LSU staff who began recruiting him in earnest back in November before the new staff took over.

Additionally, a planned unofficial visit to Florida this past weekend was scuttled. The idea was to take another look at the Gators after visiting LSU which would give him the opportunity to compare and contrast as well as give the new staff an opportunity to sell him on their vision for success.

Without that trip it appears he’s set on making the signing day flip to LSU.

In his place, the Gators might extend an offer to Pensacola (FL) athlete Gerold Bright (5-11 175). According to Luke Stampini of florida247sports, the Gators may extend a signing day offer to the Utah State commit if Dillon does indeed flip. If so, expect Bright to sign with the Gators.

The Gators lost a 2016 commitment when cornerback/receiver Tre Jackson (5-10 160) backed off his verbal pledge to Florida on Monday via Twitter.

No word on exactly why he opened up his recruitment or if he’s still going to be considering the Gators moving forward.

However, historically, it has been very difficult to steal recruits out of Louisiana particularly from Baton Rouge.

The hometown LSU Tigers tend to have the state’s top recruits on lockdown.

As a quick note, the Gators appear to be trending for four of the top recruits on their board OT Martez Ivey, DE Byron Cowart, DE CeCe Jefferson, and WR Ryan Davis.

The Gators staff appears to be very comfortable with where they’re at with Ivey and Auburn not as much. Considering the Gators have long been his personal favorite, it’s not likely he signs elsewhere. He’ll choose between Auburn and Florida on signing day.

The staff reportedly had a great visit with Cowart the other day and may have answered all the questions he and his mother had for the Gators new staff. He’s another who is down to Auburn and Florida and he’ll announce on Wednesday as well.

Reports coming out of CeCe’s circle appear to be all good for the Gators with one person reportedly saying they’d be “shocked” if he doesn’t sign with the Gators.

He’s down to four, Ole Miss, Alabama, Auburn, and Florida. However, most believe it’s an Ole Miss/Florida battle in the end and he’ll also be a signing day announcement.

Finally, Davis has been trending upward for the Gators since last weekend when he visited Florida and the staff laid out their plans to utilize him in their new offense. He’s down to Auburn and Florida and will be a signing day announcement as well.

At running back, the Gators are looking to take two and they very well could end up with two good ones.

With Jordan Scarlett already in the fold, the Gators are strong favorites to pick up Jordan Cronkite (5-11 200) from Miami Westminster Christian.

The four star running back with an ideal package of size, speed, strength, and agility is down to two schools West Virginia, where he visited on the 16th, and Florida, where he visited on the 23rd.

He shut down his recruitment after the Florida visit canceling a planned official on the 30th and said he would make his choice known on national signing day from the two finalists.

Regardless, the timing of his shutting down his recruitment was curious, the fact that he had been eagerly awaiting a Florida offer for quite some time was telling, and factor in the snowy cold conditions he faced in West Virginia on his visit to Morgantown and all signs point to Cronkite becoming a Gator on national signing day.

Finally, Antonio Callaway (5-11 185) from Miami (FL) Booker T. Washington is another four star receiver the Gators covet.

Despite his insinuation that the Gators were out of his final list of schools over a week ago, rest assured the Gators are still squarely in the mix.

He called them his leader last summer before backing off that statement and then eventually souring a little as the season progressed.

The Gators staff succeeded in getting him to visit this past weekend and, by all accounts, the visit went well. He had previously mentioned he would know his decision by Monday.

If so, that bodes well for the Gators who got his last visit and the momentum it provides. The other major players here are West Virginia and hometown Miami. I don’t believe he’ll end up at Miami and the cold in West Virginia does not help their case.

You’ve got to believe the Gators are the leaders going into the clubhouse. It’s important they pick up both Davis and Callaway particularly with the likelihood of losing four star Dillon.

24 hours to go before national signing day and the Gators are on a recruiting roll.

Stay tuned to Swamp Music for the latest updates on Florida Gator recruiting as we count down to signing day.

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