Athletic director Scott Stricklin understands how big recruiting is to any college football program around the country and the last few weeks he taken a hands on approach with things.
Two weeks ago Stricklin was on the phone with recruits when Randy Shannon and Drew Hughes called prospects and on Saturday he met with prospects in person while they were visiting Florida.
Stricklin’s main goal was to assure these players that the Gators are looking for the right guy but he also made sure he knew a few things about each commit he was talking to.
“I was face to face to him,” 2019 defensive back commit Jaleel McRae said on how he talked to Stricklin. “He’s a good man to, he approached me. I guess he knew me and he called me the leader of the class. He told me to keep being a leader.”
When Stricklin spoke to linebacker commit David Reese, the Gators athletic director pointed out that he was also trying to keep some assistant coaches on staff for next year.
“He said that they’re working on picking the best guy possible,” Reese said on what Scott Stricklin told him. “He said they’re working on keeping as much of the staff as they can.”
Keeping a few assistant coaches is something that isn’t uncommon with a new coach and running back commit Dameon Pierce believes Stricklin knows how important JaJuan Seider is to Florida.
“I talked to Scott Stricklin and he’s a great guy,” Pierce said. “I think he understands the importance of Coach Seider being here.”
For McRae, not only was Jim McElwain his main recruiter but he was also a father figure to him and Stricklin assured the defensive back that he’s looking for someone to fill that role at Florida.
“He told me to just be patient,” McRae said on Stricklin’s message to him. “He said we’re going to get you coach that leads for you and is another father figure to you. It was great to hear from him.”
For Pierce and the rest of the commits that met Stricklin it was the first time for them to meet him but it was something that didn’t go unnoticed to these prospects.
“It was just a meet and greet, it was my first time seeing him and it was good talk,” Pierce said on meeting Stricklin. “He said he was glad that I was a Gator and he wished me luck.”