National Signing Day is this Wednesday and the Gators are hoping to finish strong. There are a total of nine unsigned top-100 recruits, five of which are verbally committed to their respective schools of choice. For Florida to move up in the final recruiting rankings, they need to make a serious play for at least one of these remaining recruits.
Currently, the Gators enjoy a comfortable lead over ninth-ranked Oklahoma and should be in no serious danger of falling in the rankings. However, with a strong showing on Wednesday, they could leap-frog Auburn and Texas A&M to finish as high as sixth. So what will it take to get there? Let’s take a look at the most likely candidates to find out.
If Florida whiffs on every other top-100 target — which could very well happen — Avantae Williams’ commitment would be enough to push the Gators ahead of Auburn with a score of 279.84. Williams is considered to be the 44th best player at any position in this cycle and would add talented depth to the Gators secondary. 247Sports gives the four-star safety out of Deland a composite score of 0.9769.
The Gators are also in contention for a pair of top-100 recruits out of the state of Georgia. They will have their work cut out for them, luring the tandem away from Georgia and Georgia Tech, however.
Jamhyr Gibbs is one of the nation’s most coveted running backs and is regarded as the number 75 ranked player in the cycle. The speedy back has been committed to Geoff Collins and the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets for some time now, but recently took an official visit to Gainesville. I believe he will remain solid in his commitment but if he were to flip, it would boost the Gators all the way up to 285.31 — combined with Williams — and propel Florida into the number six spot currently occupied by A&M.
The final piece to this best-case scenario is the nation’s 59th rated recruit, Sedrick Van Pran. Like Gibbs, I expect Van Pran to remain locked into his commitment to Georgia. However, Florida continues to be mentioned in his recruitment and Van Pran did take an official visit to Florida following his visit to Athens. Should mayhem play out and Van Pran joins Gibbs and Williams in signing with the Gators on NSD, would lift the Gators to a final score of 290.78.
The best-case scenario for the Gators is a sixth-place finish, one spot behind Ohio State. The good news is that Dan Mullen only needs to sign Avantae Williams and either Gibbs or Van Pran — not both — to reach that mark. Even if the Gators only walk away with Williams’ letter of intent, they will most likely move up in the rankings. More importantly, Florida is beginning to make their presence known on the recruiting trail, once again. This class is Mullen’s best since arriving in Gainesville and I expect that trajectory to continue.