It’s almost here! That magical time of year that puts a little extra pep in your step as millions of little boys and girls wait with eager expectation and wonder. The anticipation of what surprises await is enough to drive anyone to the brink of euphoric joy and the heights of madness.
Yes, Early Signing Day is chock full of holiday bliss for college football fanatics everywhere. With that special date fast approaching, what better time than now to go over our Early Signing Day wish lists one last time?
Right now, the Gators hold the No. 20 overall ranking for their recruiting class and are tenth in the SEC. With 18 commitments, Florida has a projected team score of 229.3. Ideally, that score will be above 265 by the end of the early signing period.
Over the past ten years, the average composite score of the tenth ranked recruiting class is 266.38. Florida needs to eclipse this mark to guarantee a top ten class. So what’s the clearest path to that mark?
The short answer is signing 5-star talent. Now, Dan Mullen has shown throughout his career that he is capable of defeating more talented teams on coaching acumen alone. However, for the program to truly show that it has turned a corner and is heading in the right direction, he needs to sign a top-ten class in this cycle.
Assuming that the Gators are able to pull the Lakeland trifecta of DE Lloyd Summerall, TE Keon Zipperer, and OG Deyavie Hammond, the composite score spikes from 229.3 all the way to 241.01. Zipperer has the highest value to that increase, while Hammond simply adds depth.
Taking that same hypothetical and inserting DB Chris Steele (Bellflower, CA) to the commitment list adds another 10.6 points to the total. While there may not be an abundance of 5-star players left for the taking, the caliber of 4-star talent taken is what can make or break this class for the Gators, as demonstrated by Steele’s impact on the overall composite score.
In a dream scenario, Florida would land all of the above plus the only remaining 5-star prospect that they are still in the running for, RB Trey Sanders. Securing Sanders in combination with Steele, Zipperer, and Summerall, puts the class composite above 262.
This dream scenario may not be so far fetched as the Gators hosted Sanders on his final visit before early signing, while his brother Umstead is currently playing for the Gators.
Florida is in great position to get Summerall and Hammond but Zipperer is a bit of a wildcard at this point. Steele, is a real possibility and would almost make Mullen’s early west coast efforts seem worth it.
Mullen’s staff has been receiving help from some of the very kids they’ve recruited all year long. Guys like Diwun Black, Jaydon Hill, and Mohamoud Diabate have been ever present and vocal in their efforts.
Diabate has recently claimed that those efforts are paying off.
“We have a lot of people committed that haven’t went public yet, we’re just waiting on the right time to unleash it all.”
Who those silent commitments may be remains a mystery. But going with the most likely to sign with the Gators on Wednesday, they should finish just inside the top ten. Florida will need to sign at least five of their top 10 targets.
I like their chances with the three Lakeland recruits, Steele, and Elam. Beyond that, I believe the Gators have made incredible strides in pulling in Trey Sanders and DT Siaki Ika from Utah.
If I’m correct, that would be good enough for a 273.02 composite score. As the recruiting class rankings stand today, that would put Florida at No. 5. However, I expect the classes already in the top 5 to also improve on Wednesday. Regardless, that finish would have the Gators securely within the top 10.
With a top ten finish in recruiting and a Peach Bowl victory, the Gators will take massive strides towards improving on an already fantastic first year under Dan Mullen.