If nothing else, the 2021 NCAA football coaching carousel has taught us that the landscape of the sport can shift dramatically, in an instant.
Perennial top tier programs saw their head coaches bolt for supposed “greener pastures.” Meanwhile, the Florida Gators went from ‘an extra point away from Alabama’ to looking for a new head coach in just a few weeks.
Scott Stricklin focused on his top choice and landed Billy Napier, though the former Louisiana coach had business to finish, leading the Ragin’Cajuns to a Sun Belt Championship.
That allotted Napier just one weekend of official visits in anticipation of Wednesday’s early National Signing Day.
After a flurry of decommitments, the Gators enter NSD with just seven prospects committed to the 2022 class. The class is rated No. 79 in the nation and dead last in the Southeastern Conference.
Billy Napier said to expect a smaller class and has iterated that he wouldn’t take a prospect just for numbers.
Here are the seven current commits:
- DL Chris McClellan #100 (247Sports)
- OT Tony Livingston #294
- DL Jamari Lyons #360
- OL Jalen Farmer #673
- OL David Conner N/R
- OL Christian Williams N/R
- K Trey Smack N/R
I fully expect all seven to sign with the Gators, as it would be surprising to see any leave the class. McClellan did visit both Oklahoma and Florida last weekend. In social media posts, he has reaffirmed his commitment to the Gators.
S Kamari Wilson, 5-Star, #28 overall
Wilson, the five-star prospect from IMG Academy, visited UF last weekend after receiving a visit at school from Napier. It would be a massive win on the trail for the Gators, but Kirby Smart has put in the work, I think he will sign with Georgia.
LB Shemar James, 4-Star, #64 overall
James was committed to Florida for four months following his official visit in June. He recently posted his Top-2 of Alabama and Georgia, but he has remained in contact with the new UF staff. It wouldn’t be a complete surprise to see him sign with Florida, but I think the Mobile, AL prospect stays in-state and signs with the Crimson Tide.
*Over the last 24 hours there has been a lot of steam about James signing with Florida, including a Crystal Ball prediction from Blake Alderman.
CB Julian Humphrey, 4-Star, #90 overall
The Texas speedster decommitted from Florida on October 25 and committed to Georgia just two weeks later. Florida naming Corey Raymond the DB head coach might help the Gators’ position, but if he signs on Wednesday, it’ll likely be on Georgia Bulldogs letterhead.
S Devin Moore, 4-Star, #253 overall
Moore is down to two, Florida or Notre Dame. The Naples, FL native was committed to the Irish, but once Brian Kelly left, Moore did the same. While neither choice would be a surprise, I expect Moore to sign with Florida.
DL Shone Washington, 3-Star, #477 overall
After visiting Florida last weekend, the Gators are right in the thick of the race for the Louisiana native, Shone Washington. Washington is currently committed to Georgia, but that could change on Wednesday. I fully expect Billy Napier to steal this one from Kirby Smart due to his ties to Louisiana.
Do you think Florida lands any surprises in the early signing period that opens on Wednesday?