For all of the hype and drama that surrounded Florida’s recruiting efforts in the week before the early signing period, Wednesday fell abundantly flat. The Gators finished the day with the eighth-ranked class, fulfilling plenty of needs along the way. However, it felt a bit like waking up on Christmas morning to find that you had received all of your gifts throughout the year and had nothing left to unwrap.
In all honesty, I understand the feeling of disappointment that has been expressed by Gator Nation, but I’m not entirely sure that it is warranted. Dan Mullen and his staff pulled in some major talent in what may just be his best signing class to date. I’m not just speaking of the national ranking. There is some serious talent coming to Gainesville for the 2020 season.
Gervon Dexter and Derek Wingo have proven to be nasty defenders with speed and intensity. In fact, both players should probably be five-star recruits (Wingo is, according to Rivals.com). More importantly, both players provide very usable depth to positions of need.
Mullen paid specific attention to the trenches with this cycle. On the offensive line, the Gators received five commitments. Of those five all but one has signed his national letter of intent. Moreover, two of those signees – Issiah Walker and Joshua Braun – are top 300 recruits that flipped to the Gators.
Defensively, Florida simply reloaded. Three of the five true defensive lineman that the Gators signed on Wednesday are ESPN top 300 recruits. Add to that, the transfer of five-star outside linebacker, Brenton Cox and the Gators are looking downright elite from a talent standpoint.
The Gators added talent and depth along the offensive and defensive lines. Likewise, they shored up some of the depth issues in the secondary and robbed one of their rivals (Tennessee, I’m looking at you) in the process.
In addition to all of this, Florida enrolled one of the nation’s top dual threat quarterbacks in hometown hero, Anthony Richardson, who is already turning heads in limited practice time.
So signing day didn’t go exactly how many fans wanted it to. That doesn’t mean the Gators didn’t recruit well. Just remember, had Mordecai McDaniel and Joshua Braun waited until Wednesday to flip from Tennessee and Georgia respectively, the narrative coming out of early signing day would be a much different one.
Although the Gators will need to bolster some of the skill positions, Florida is very much in play for several transfer and Juco targets. In the meantime, Florida has begun bringing elite talent back to Gainesville, they’ve corrected much of the depth issues that have plagued the Gators over the last few years, and they have finished with a class that ranks eighth nationally. It’s great to be a Florida Gator!