The Florida Gators new coaching staff hosted their first junior day of the 2016 recruiting cycle on Saturday and it has already paid dividends. The Gators picked up two commitments, first from Jacksonville (FL) Raines DE Jaquan Bailey and then followed by Cocoa (FL) CB Chauncey Gardner.
Bailey, rated a three star player by 247sports, is an under the radar type player at this point. He’s raw but athletic and is very versatile equally adept at playing with his hands down at defensive end or dropping into coverage as an outside linebacker.
At 6-2 235 he’s somewhat undersized but has a good frame to add weight. Despite his smallish stature he projects more as a weak side defensive end at Florida.
He’s a high school teammate of current Gator wide receiver commit Rick Wells who was also visiting this weekend and certainly that had to help the Gators.
Bailey came to Florida this weekend without a Gators offer but committed once he received news of the offer.
Gardner (6-0 194) is a former Gator commit who backed off his pledge just before signing day for the 2015 cycle. He cited the lack of knowledge of the new staff as his reason for opening up his commitment at the time.
The new staff has done a great job getting back in on his recruitment and after securing a visit this weekend they were able to coax him into recommitting to the Gators.
With #1 corner Vernon Hargreaves expected to leave for the NFL draft after next season, it’s important the Gators sign 2-3 top corner prospects this cycle. Gardner fits that bill as he is a Rivals Top 100 player and a consensus four star prospect.
With the two today, the Gators now have five commitments overall for the 2016 class. The Gators, who start spring practice next week, will be hosting a large contingent of top prospects over the next couple weeks so expect to see a few more commitments coming in soon.