The Florida Gators coaching staff has been busy with the spring evaluation period going on since the middle of April and that will come to end at the end of the month but the coaching staff will have no time to rest.
Jim McElwain said it best during his opening press conference when he said “recruit daily or die” and he has taken that approach with him since taking over the job. With the spring evaluation period over soon, the Gators will go right into summer camp where they hope to host several big time visitors.
Over the next week GatorCountry.com will break down each position and let you know who Florida has the best chance at landing heading into the summer as well as some guys to watch that Florida could gain on this summer.
Offense is the biggest need for the Gators so we will start on the offensive side of the ball and on the offensive line.
OL recruiting breakdown
Stone Forsythe (6-7, 331 Winter Garden, FL West Orange) is the lone commit on the offensive line for the Florida Gators right now but Forsythe is a solid commit. Forsythe has long wanted an offer from the Gators and when he got it early this spring he wasted no time in jumping on the offer and committing to Florida.
Best chance heading into the summer
Below are the guys that GatorCountry.com believes Florida has the best shot with as of right now. This list is surely to change as the summer progresses and prospects visit schools.
Parker Boudreaux (6-5, 291, Orlando, FL Bishop Moore)
Why he makes the list: Boudreaux is one of the top offensive lineman in the state and in the country and he’s one of the top prospects on the Gators board. Boudreaux says that he hears from Florida daily and that the Gators are recruiting him hard. Boudreaux also says that he will visit Florida several times this fall for games.
Teams in the race: Notre Dame and Clemson are considered the Gators biggest competition. Boudreaux has plans to visit Notre Dame this summer and that will be something to watch.
Christion Gainer (6-5, 280, Panama City, FL Bay)
Why he makes the list: Gainer is a guy that has flown under the radar for a lot of schools but the Gators did a good job of getting in the mix early on and that has helped Florida get in the lead group for the lineman. Gainer is a guy that can play guard or tackle in college.
Teams in the race: Miami, Louisville and Alabama are all in the mix besides the Gators right now. Miami is considered the team to worry about besides Florida and the big offensive lineman plans to visit Coral Gables this summer as well as Gainesville.
Marcus Tatum (6-6, 254, Daytona Beach, FL Mainland)
Why he makes the list: Tatum is arguably the prospect that has risen up recruiting boards the most and is one of the best in-state prospects as far as offensive linemen go. Florida is the team recruiting Tatum the hardest right now and the big offensive lineman plans to be on Florida’s campus several times this summer with his team and by himself.
Teams in the race: Miami, Auburn, North Carolina State and Pittsburgh are all teams that Tatum mentions as recruiting him hard besides Florida. Miami is a school that Tatum will visit this summer but right now it’s safe to say everyone is chasing Florida.
Brett Heggie (6-4, 290, Mount Dora, FL High)
Why he makes the list: Florida just offered Heggie two weeks ago and the Gators instantly became a team that Heggie was interested in. Heggie is one of the top center prospects in the country and he visited Florida this spring before even having an offer. Heggie also has a brother that attends Florida already and that could help the Gators here.
Teams in the race: Miami, South Carolina and Mississippi State are all teams that Heggie mentioned as teams he’s interested in. Heggie plans to visit Starkville and Gainesville this summer to see the Gators and Bulldogs.
Names to remember
The following list are guys that have either said they will visit Florida this summer or have said that there is a chance they could visit this summer. These are prospects that like Florida, but have yet to visit the Gators. Stay tuned to Gator Country to see if these prospects will visit the Florida Gators this summer.
Branton Autry (6-4, 320, Coffeyville, KS Coffeyville JUCO)
Why he makes the list: Autry is a native of Mobile, Alabama and says he wants to play in the SEC. Offensive line coach Mike Summers is building a good relationship with Autry and Autry says he will schedule visit when he finishes with his spring semester. Florida is a team he has talked about visiting.
Teams in the mix: Arkansas and Baylor are two teams that have been talked about a lot for Autry. Arkansas is team that Autry plans to visit this summer as well.
Michael Eletise (6-4, 302, Honolulu, HI Kaiser)
Why he makes the list: Eletise has talked about visiting Florida this summer when he travels to train at IMG Academy this summer. Eletise says he watched the Florida Gators when Tim Tebow was on the team and that’s something that Florida has to its advantage.
Teams in the mix: USC, UCLA and Florida State are all teams that Eletise has interest in. Eletise could visit Florida State this summer when he visits Florida.
Richard Merritt (6-4, 338, Washington D.C. Archbishop Carrol)
Why he makes the list: Merritt plans to visit Florida between June 9th and 13th and the Gators early playing time is something that Merritt likes. Merritt has been building a good relationship with Summers and offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier.
Teams in the mix: Alabama, Clemson, Florida State and Maryland are all teams to watch. Merritt is good friends with Maryland quarterback commit Dwyane Haskins and he also likes Alabama a lot.