Early Signing Day is this Wednesday and I thought it might be fun to take a look at a few different possibilities for Dan Mullen’s third — or technically second and a half — recruiting class. Currently, the Gators have the seventh-ranked class with 24 total commitments. With a few early enrollees already on campus, I have Florida taking up to three more commitments on ESD, for a total of 27 commitments. However, I have seen a few scenarios in which Florida can take as many as 29 commitments. For the sake of continuity and to see just how wild Wednesday could turn out, I have chosen to make several class calculations using the 29 commitment scenario.
We’ll begin with what I believe is the most likely result and continue with a little more mayhem in each mock signing. Without further ado, let’s take a look at some of the possibilities.
In the first and most likely scene, Florida receives signed letters of intent from Donell Harris, Timothy Smith, Henry Parrish, Damarcus Beckwith, and Sam Brown. I believe the commitment from Antonio Doyle to Texas A&M opened the door for the Gators to steal Harris on ESD.
Florida makes a splash during early signing day by flipping Harris and Smith while rounding out the class with Parrish, Beckwith, and Brown. In doing so, the Gators would finish with the fifth-ranked class, according to the rankings as they currently stand. In my humble opinion, this is the ceiling for this year’s class. This class finished with a team score of 278.82.
In this next scenario, I’m upping the ante just a bit. I kept things mostly realistic but I went with a couple of longshots as well. Here, the Gators receive commitments from Sam Brown, Donell Harris, Timothy Smith, EJ Smith, and Avantae Williams. The Gators are still very much in contention for Smith, the son of Gators’ legend, Emmitt Smith, but Stanford has hung around in the hunt for some time now and has a slight edge in the crystal balls.
This scene, once again, has Florida sitting at fifth in the rankings. However, they have a higher team score, checking in at 286.04. As you could imagine, the improved score stands a greater chance of holding a fifth-place finish when factoring the movement of those schools who are already ahead of the Gators but they still have a climb ahead of them.
Finally, I wanted to take a look at what a dream finish would look like. This is the absolute least likely to happen but it’s the finish that would vindicate every fan who has ever been mocked for having “sources.”
Coming in at number four with a team score of 297.96, Demarkcus Bowman, Darnell Washington, Xzavier Henderson, Donell Harris, and Timothy Smith would be the best recruiting class the Gators have had since 2013 when they finished third. Yes, if Dan Mullen managed to pull this off, he would be hoisted upon shoulders and marched from his office and down Gale Lemerand Drive amidst a storm of confetti and streamers.
Alas, we are left in the mire of reality and will be far more likely to finish with a sixth-ranked class by Wednesday evening. That’s not all bad, however. Each year, Mullen has shown improvement on the recruiting trail and on the field as well. The tides have turned in Gainesville and the Gators are closing in on the perennial powers that have so enjoyed Florida’s absence from the elite these last ten years. Regardless of which scenario plays out on Wednesday, the Gators are winning on and off the field, once again and we can hold our heads up high knowing that it’s great to be a Gator.