Every month, SEC Country will outline three items the Florida coaches need to accomplish on the recruiting trail. At the end of the month, we revisit the list to see if the Gators checked off any boxes.
Here’s a recap of the November goals:
Keep Florida’s commits on board
Florida and former coach Jim McElwain parted ways on Oct. 29, and the initial recruiting reaction was better than expected.
The Gators went almost four weeks without a head coach and only lost one recruit in 4-star wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase. Moreover, a handful of class members publicly reaffirmed their commitments — including 4-star linebacker Dameon Pierce, 4-star linebacker David Reese, 4-star athlete Amari Burney and 4-star safety Randy Russell.
But the final week of November was not a good one for Florida recruiting.
The Gators lost a total of five recruits, including 2018 commits Jacob Copeland, Taylor Upshaw and Divaad Wilson. Copeland and Upshaw exited the class before new UF coach Dan Mullen took the job, but Wilson backed off his pledge Thursday following an in-home visit with Mullen.
Athlete Maurice Goolsby and safety Jaleel McRae, a pair of 4-star recruits in the Class of 2019, also de-committed from the Gators after the hiring of Mullen. He landed his first committed on Wednesday, flipping 3-star offensive tackle Chris Bleich from UCLA.
Maintain standing with top targets
Mullen has already made contact with multiple recruits on Florida’s radar, including a pair of top-100 targets in Copeland and 4-star offensive lineman William Barnes.
Both prospects are receiving visits this week and continue to consider the Gators despite the staff changes. In fact, Barnes and Copeland already have relationships with their potential position coaches — new Florida assistants John Hevesy (OL) and Billy Gonzalez (WR).
Auburn landed 4-star linebacker Richard Jibunor and the Tigers are now the team to beat for 4-star wide receiver Anthony Schwartz. His teammates at American Heritage — 5-star cornerbacks Tyson Campbell and Patrick Surtain Jr. and 4-star defensive linemen Andrew Chatfield and Nesta Silvera (Miami commit) — are all top targets for Mullen & Co.
The Gators failed to end their losing streak against Florida State and also had a light recruiting weekend, but that’s irreverent now.
Both programs are about to have new head coaches, with Jimbo Fisher reportedly on his way to Texas A&M after FSU concludes its regular season Saturday.
Whatever advantage or disadvantage that came from the results last Saturday doesn’t hold much weight at this point. Like Florida, the Seminoles also ended the month with three de-commitments.
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