Dan Mullen and his staff closed out the 2019 recruiting cycle on a high note on Wednesday’s National Signing Day. Not only did the Gators sign every one of their verbal commitments, they also managed to steal a couple from Alabama and Georgia, respectively.
The day began exactly as it was planned when Diwun Black made his long time commitment official by signing his letter of intent. Black has been one of the most outspoken recruits in the 2019 class and has taken an active role in recruiting, himself. Despite sitting out the 2018 season, he still carried a four star rating into NSD and performed very well in the U.S. Army All American Bowl.
Not long after receiving Diwun’s letter, Dan Mullen received a fax confirming the signature of Arjei Henderson. Henderson was a long time FSU commitment but announced his intentions to be a Gator during the Under Armour All American Game. A highly skilled wide receiver, Henderson had many Gators holding their breath as to whether or not he would remain steadfast in his commitment. With his signed letter of intent, Gator Nation let out a collective sigh of relief.
Apart from the verbal commitments that still needed signatures, Florida entered the day with a quartet of high value targets. Despite missing out on DE Charles Moore and ATH Mark-Antony Richards, Mullen and company secured a top ten class when they signed four star DE Khris Bogle and four star DB Kaiir Elam.
If Elam’s name sounds familiar to you, it should. He is the nephew of former Gators’ safety Matt Elam. Coming from NFL bloodlines, Elam figures to be an early impact player, adding immediate depth and skill to a once thin secondary. His recruitment came down to the wire and was widely considered a race between Florida and Georgia.
As Elam made his announcement, he made hearts sink. First, for the Gators as he picked up a Georgia cap and then for the Bulldogs, as he tossed it aside and put on the Florida cap. This was a big win for Dan Mullen in the Florida/Georgia rivalry that looks to heat up even more in the near future.
As big as each of these signees are to the 2019 class, it was the announcement of Khris Bogle that set the tone for the day. Bogle’s recruitment was a bit of a ride, as he was heavily favored for Miami at one point. Then Tennessee. Then Miami, again before finally committing to Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide.
That commitment, likely would have remained if not for the extreme level of attrition amongst the Tide’s coaching staff. As it were, the door for Bogle’s recruitment was re-opened and several programs jumped at the opportunity and it was Florida who came out on top.
Not to be overlooked, Justin Pelic, a two star LB out of Mt. Pleasant, SC, also joined the class as a preferred walk on.
This class may not be as flashy as others on paper, but make no mistake, this is an excellent haul. Comprised of seventeen four star and eight three star recruits, the 2019 class fills much needed gaps with blue chip talent and adds a few extra toys to the chest as well.
In each of his first two classes at Florida, Mullen has managed to steal recruits away from some of the nation’s elite coaching staffs. Paired with the results of an abundantly successful first season, let this class be the signal fire to the rest of the nation that a changing of the guard is near. Dan Mullen is building a monster.