DB Hylton Stubbs’ decision hangs on Florida’s defensive progression in 2024

The Gators hosted several top prospects for the third weekend in a row, including three defensive backs that have Florida at the top of their list. 2025 four-star defensive back and USC Trojans commit Hylton Stubbs spoke with Gator Country on Sunday to discuss his official visit.

“Great, I’m loving Florida, I’m loving everything about it,” Stubbs said. “This OV was amazing, and it was one-of-one. I loved everything about the visit.”

Stubbs got the opportunity to form relationships with current players on the team this weekend, which is something he couldn’t do on prior visits.

“What stood out to me was the players, just me building that relationship with the players, I talked with them a lot,” Stubbs said on the highlight of his visit. “Usually when you visit, you don’t get to build that connection with the players. So, I built a real connection with the players, and I liked what they were saying to me, and I like what they are feeling right now with Florida.”

The Jacksonville native has let it be known what it would take for Florida to flip the talented defensive back, and it all comes down to the progression on the field in 2024.

“A lot. I went to practice, and I like what they are doing at practice. That’s really the big thing right now, really the most important thing, is how the season is going to look,” Stubbs said. “It’s not a win or lose type of thing, but it’s about progress and how good they have become over these last few years. I want to see what Coach Armstrong has up his sleeve.”

Current Gators’ defensive back Sharif Denson served as the player host for Stubbs over the weekend, and he made it clear that the Gators could be back on the rise.

“His message is that Florida is coming back to what it once was,” Stubbs said on his time with Denson. “He was one of those guys in a class that Napier first recruited, and now he’s become one of those older guys on the team. It’s becoming their team. That’s a really good thing that they are building, and I like it, I like it a lot actually.”

Stubbs made it clear that the Gators are inching closer in his recruitment.

“It was crazy, they are making it known for sure. They are still pushing, and their message to me is that they aren’t going to stop,” Stubbs said. “They are very close, very close. I’ll give it to them.”

The 6-2, 195-pound safety plans on making his next trip back to Gainesville in late August when the Hurricanes take on the Gators in the Swamp. Stubbs will take his next official visit with Miami on the 21st of June and appears to be in no rush with shutting down his recruitment process.

“I really don’t know, it might be crazy until signing day,” Stubbs said when asked when he wants to shut it down. Florida is currently 2nd behind the Trojans in his recruitment.

The top 100 prospect ranks 56th nationally and is the 6th ranked safety in the Class of 2025 according to 247Sports’ composite rankings. In 2023, Stubbs helped Mandarin High School reach Florida’s 4M title game where he recorded 97 tackles (8.5 TFL), 6 Interceptions, 6 pass breakups, 2 forced fumbles, 3 fumbles recovered and 2.5 sacks. The four-star also totaled 84 tackles and 2 interceptions in 2022.

Gentry Hawk
Gentry Hawk is a student at the University of Florida studying sports journalism. He is a writer and reporter for GatorCountry. You can find most of his work on Twitter @gentryhawkgc, or right here on Gator country.