Looking at the Florida Gators defensive board post spring visits

The Florida Gators’ coaching staff will hit the road to start the spring evaluation period on Monday as it starts a month-long sprint across the country for the staff.

This spring has been a busy one already as the coaching staff hosted dozens of their top targets on campus during spring practice and then the orange and blue game.

GatorCountry will update you on the recruitment of the Gators top targets in this two-part series as Florida has a lot of momentum with several top prospects.

We started on the offensive side of the ball and now we will finish on the defensive side of the ball.


Defensive line

Peter Woods- Woods hasn’t visited Florida under the new coaching staff but the defensive end has started talking more to defensive line coach Sean Spencer. Woods plans to take an official visit to Gainesville in June and that big visit will go a long way to see how much interest Woods has in the Gators.

Derrick LeBlanc- LeBlanc plans to announce his decision in July and heading into that date, the Gators are the front runner for the Orlando native. The Gators have gotten LeBlanc on campus more than any other school and the defensive lineman has built a solid relationship with Spencer.

Tomarrion Parker- Parker was on campus for the spring game and heading into that visit, the Gators weren’t considered a threat but after the visit, Parker says the Gators are one of three schools recruiting him the hardest. The Alabama native plans to take an official visit to Florida in June and it’s another chance for Parker and Spencer to build on their relationship. Parker’s recruitment likely comes down to Alabama and Florida.

Will Norman- Norman has known Sean Spencer for years now and the veteran defensive line coach helped Norman while the coach was with the New York Giants. The IMG native will take an official visit to Gainesville this summer and the Gators hope to continue the momentum with him as Penn State is also squarely in the mix.

John Walker-The Orlando defensive tackle has been on campus a lot with LeBlanc and the Gators are seen as one of the top schools for Walker. UCF is also in the mix for the defensive tackle who doesn’t have a decision date in mind and hasn’t set any official visits yet.

Keldric Faulk- Faulk is another Alabama native who the Gators are in the mix for, and the defensive lineman visited Gainesville this spring. Faulk wants to get his mom on campus for an official visit as he really likes Sean Spencer and Mike Peterson as the Gators want as a rush end.

Zavion Hardy- The Gators and South Carolina are battling for Hardy who is close with Spencer and visited Florida earlier this spring. Hardy has hinted at deciding soon, but he could take a few official visits before announcing a decision.

Jordan Hall- The Jacksonville native has been on campus a lot this spring and the Gators have improved their chances with Hall. Florida State and South Carolina are also up there for Hall who plans to return to Gainesville this summer.

Kamran James- James is a guy that Florida really likes a lot and feels fits their system well and the Gators were able to get the defensive lineman on campus three times this spring. Florida was one of the first teams to offer James and the Gators are a team that sticks out for the Orlando native.

Keon Keeley- The Notre Dame commit was on campus in March but has since taken two visits to Notre Dame, so the Gators are hoping to get Keeley back on campus in June. Keeley is expected to take his official visit to Notre Dame in June and the Gators would like to host him after that visit.



Malik Bryant- Bryant named a top-five on Sunday that included the Gators and Florida also will host the linebacker on campus on June 10th for an official visit. Bryant plans to announce with other Florida targets Peyton Kirkland and Derrick LeBlanc in July. Alabama, Florida, and Miami are the three schools talked about the most with Bryant.

Troy Bowles- Florida visited him last week and are hoping to get the talented linebacker back on campus again after hosting him in March. The Gators have work to do with Bowles as Alabama, Clemson, and Ohio State are ahead.

Raylen Wilson- The Michigan commit took two visits to Gainesville this spring and has a good relationship with both Jabbar Juluke and Jay Bateman. The Gators are right there with Michigan heading into summer official visits and Florida has the best shot of any team at flipping the Tallahassee native.

Lewis Carter- Carter has been on campus several times since Billy Napier was hired and while the Gators haven’t offered him yet, an offer could be coming soon after Sean Spencer visited his school last week. If Florida offers, the Gators would be a top team for the Tampa native.

Jordan Hall- The IMG linebacker was on campus twice this summer as well and he plans to be back in Gainesville on June 3rd for his official visit. Hall also plans to take official visits to Auburn and South Carolina.

Grayson Howard- Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina seem to be the top three teams for Howard heading into summer visits. The Gators hosted Howard twice this summer and he will likely take his official visit to Florida in June as he also plans to take one to South Carolina on June 24th.

Samuel M’Pemba- M’Pemba is one of the best athletes in the country and the Gators like him at linebacker and hosted him multiple times this spring. Miami is another team that got M’Pemba on campus a lot this spring and both should host the IMG linebacker in June for an official visit.


Defensive back

Cormani McClain- The Gators have made McClain a priority since Billy Napier stepped foot on campus and they’ve also prioritized McClain’s family. The Lake Gibson star stopped short of naming Florida his leader after the spring game but it’s clear that the Gators are at or very near the top in his recruitment with Alabama.

AJ Harris- Harris has made multiple two-day trips to Gainesville with his parents and has built a great connection with the Gators’ coaching staff. Florida has a lot of momentum with Harris who loves Corey Raymond and has made it known that he thinks highly of Raymond’s coaching abilities. Harris wants to announce a decision before senior year, but no date is set.

Tony Mitchell- Mitchell is from the state of Florida before moving to Alabama a few years ago and he stated several times that Gainesville is home. Florida is competing with Alabama, Georgia, and Texas A&M for the talented defensive back and the Gators should be looked as a top contender.

Malik Muhammad- This is another Alabama, Florida, and Texas A&M battle as Muhammad has visited all three and likes the coaching staff at all three. Muhammad is a track star as well and the Gators are using their track program in hopes of that being a deciding factor.

Sharif Denson- Denson’s parents both graduated from Florida, and he has been on campus several times already and the Gators visited him in January shortly after taking the job in Gainesville. Denson hasn’t narrowed down his list yet, but the Gators and Texas A&M are two schools talked about the most.

Dijon Johnson- The Ohio State commit had high interest in Florida before committing to the Buckeyes and he has kept the communication open with the staff despite that commitment. Florida visited him last week in hopes of getting him on campus this summer.

Joenel Aguero- The talent safety made two trips down to Gainesville this spring and the Gators are battling Georgia for Aguero’s signature. Right now, it seems Georgia is the team to beat but official visits will likely decide this one.

Kenton Kirkland- The Jacksonville native was a frequent visitor to Gainesville with his last trip coming for the spring game. Florida, Florida State, and Georgia have been the teams talked about the most for Kirkland who hasn’t set a decision date or any official visits yet.

Jordan Castell- Castell plans to take an official visit to Gainesville in June and the Gators are the only school who has set an official visit up with the safety so far. Castell is a talented safety who hasn’t set a decision date yet, but the Gators are one of if not the top school for Castell.

Bryce Thornton- Thornton is another talented safety who has set up an official visit to Gainesville after visiting twice this spring. Alabama, Georgia, and LSU are also in contention for Thornton who wants to decide in August.


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.