Florida Gators recruiting: Jim McElwain sings Happy Birthday to a 2017 running back

The Florida Gators recruiting board for 2017 is slowly starting to shape up as the class of 2016 is now officially signed and in the rear view mirror.

Two weekends ago Florida hosted its first junior day that included 2017 running back Trey Sermon on campus and it was a special day for the running back.

“It was my birthday last Saturday when I was in Gainesville,” Sermon said. “Coach [Jim] McElwain actually sang Happy Birthday to me. It was pretty nice that he did that, he just popped up and starting signing it to me.”

Sermon, who has visited pretty much every school in the southeast, called Florida’s junior day one of the best visits to date.

“It was one of the best visits that I’ve taken, I had a great time,” he said of junior day. “I got to talk to the coaches, look at the facilities and I also went to the basketball game. The basketball game was nice and it was loud in there.”

During the junior day Sermon was able to sit down with Florida running back coach Tim Skipper and the running back was able to get a feel for what the Gators think of him.

“Coach Skipper told me that he liked me and that he wanted me to be a part of the program,” Sermon said. “He said with my abilities that he could see me being a big part of the program. The offensive coordinator said that I was a good all-around running back.”

Sermon also had the chance to finally sit down and have a long talk with McElwain, and the running back received a message from the Gators head coach.

“Coach McElwain really just said that he really liked me,” he said. “He said that he liked the person that I was and that he wanted me to be a Gator. I had a good impression of him. It was really my first time meeting him and talking to him one-on one.”

The Florida Gators recruiting board for 2017 is not set at the running back position but McElwain did give Sermon a hint as to where he stands on the board.

“Coach told me that I’m one of the top guys on their board,” Sermon said. “I feel wanted at Florida and they are one of my top schools. I like it down there and I feel I could fit in well down there. They run the ball a lot.”

Sermon is one of the top backs in the country and has well over 20 offers, but he says a few schools are standing out for him.

“Florida, Tennessee, Auburn, Ohio State, Oklahoma and Georgia are all up there,” he said. “I’m going to try and get back down there this summer for another visit.”

INSIDERS TAKE: The running back class is loaded for 2017 with a lot of good talent instate, plus in the surrounding states. Sermon is one of the guys that is high on the Florida Gators recruiting board. Sermon is from the same high school as current Florida defensive lineman Jabari Zuniga.

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Andrew Spivey
Andrew always knew he wanted to be involved with sports in some capacity. He began by coaching high school football for six years before deciding to pursue a career in journalism. While coaching, he was a part of two state semifinal teams in the state of Alabama. Given his past coaching experience, he figured covering recruiting would be a perfect fit. He began his career as an intern for Rivals.com, covering University of Florida football recruiting. After interning with Rivals for six months, he joined the Gator Country family as a recruiting analyst. Andrew enjoys spending his free time on the golf course and watching his beloved Atlanta Braves. Follow him on Twitter at @AndrewSpiveyGC.