The 2016 recruiting class is loaded with talented receivers and the Florida Gators, who are in need of playmakers, have hosted dozens of receivers this season.
Miami Hurricanes receiver commit Sam Bruce (5-8, 179, Fort Lauderdale, FL St. Thomas Aquinas) is one of those prospects that visited Florida back in the fall but, as of late, the interest seemed to drop off. Despite that perception, the receiver says he still likes Florida a lot.
“The fact of getting up there was a problem, getting transportation up there isn’t always easy,” Bruce said on why the lack of interest for Florida. “It’s always love from Florida and Coach McElwain is personally recruiting me to Florida right now.”
McElwain has taken a strong role in recruiting Bruce to Florida and he has sold the same message to the Miami commit throughout the entire process.
“Coach McElwain just tells me what he wants me to bring to Florida,” he said of McElwain’s message. “Coach McElwain he’s a really straight forward guy, he has really strong judgment. Being a college coach, you have to because you’re bringing someone in from a whole another area to play football for you. Coach McElwain’s judgment on guys has been good so far.”
Bruce watched the Gators a lot this fall and he was able to see the Florida offense in person once and he liked what he saw from the team.
“Their offense did exceptionally well this year,” Bruce said. “Just as a group they did well. I feel like I can definitely go into Florida’s offense and excel in it. They have some pretty good athletes that are coming in with the 2016 class so I feel like I can be an asset to them.”
Not only did Bruce watch the Gators offense this fall but he also played with Florida Gators quarterback and early enrollee Feleipe Franks out in Oregon at the Opening this past summer.
“Feleipe is a great guy and a smart quarterback,” Bruce said of Franks. “He has a long stature and a long structure to him with a big arm. He seems as if he has his head on right and the way it seems now, they’re banking on him with [Will] Grier leaving and Treon [Harris] not doing the best right now.”
Also the Florida Gators have Bruce’s best friend Jordan Scarlett on campus already and the two have talked about Florida a lot.
“It would be great to play with him again,” he said of Scarlett. “He has been talking to me and telling me nothing but great things about Florida. He has nothing but good things to say about McElwain and the changes he has made up there. He tells me the changes that he has brought up there has done nothing but better the team.”
If those two things weren’t good enough for the Gators then 2017 quarterback commit Jake Allen might be another thing that could help Florida, as Allen is teammates with Bruce at St. Thomas Aquinas.
“Jake is a developing quarterback, he’s young and has room for improvement but he’s good,” Bruce said of Jake Allen. “He’s a smart kid and he has his head on right. He knows his objective in life; he loves the game and has a passion for the game. You can stop passion and he’s always recruiting me to Florida.”
Florida will get its opportunity to flip the Miami receiver later this month when he takes an official visit to Gainesville.
“I’m taking an official visit to Florida on January 22nd, I just need to talk to McElwain,” Bruce said. “I want to see his view of the program and see how his relationship is with the team.”
INSIDERS TAKE: Right now I think Bruce sticks with the Miami Hurricanes but if Florida was to go all out on him then I think the Gators could flip the St. Thomas Aquinas receiver.