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 will start on the offensive side of the ball first.
Eli Holstein- Holstein visited Florida for the first time last week and the visit was a good one but the Gators still sit behind others including Alabama at this time. Alabama will have a decision to make on rather to take Holstein or wait on Arch Manning’s decision. If the Gators want to have a shot with Holstein, they must get him back on campus again.
Dylan Lonergan- Lonergan put the Gators in his top five last week but right now Stanford and South Carolina are ahead for the quarterback. The Gators are hoping to get Lonergan back on campus this summer before he decides.
Penn State commit Marcus Stokes- The Nease quarterback doesn’t have an offer from the Gators yet, but he did visit Gainesville this spring. The Gators plan to watch Stokes this spring at practice and if they like what they see, an offer could come. If the Gators offer Stokes, the quarterback will take a hard look at Florida.
Richard Young-Young is one of the best running backs in the country and has been on campus multiple this spring and has built a good relationship with the coaching staff. Alabama seems to be the team in front for Young, but the Gators continue to stay in the picture here. An official from Young will likely happen in the summer or fall.
Justice Haynes- The Georgia legacy visited Gainesville this spring with his family and the visit went extremely well. Florida will get an official visit from Haynes as the Gators try to beat Georgia for the running back. Haynes plans to take an official visit to Georgia in June.
Cedric Baxter Jr- Baxter included the Florida Gators in his top five and the Gators are a school that have a real shot here. Miami and Texas A&M are also strongly in the mix here and this recruitment will go down to the wire.
Treyaun Webb- Webb will make his final decision at the end of June after he takes an official visit to Gainesville the first week of June. The Gators are running in front for Webb heading into official visits. South Carolina is also in the thick of things for the Florida legacy.
Hykeem Williams- Williams was on campus this spring and the Gators made a big move in his recruitment. Williams says the Gators are one of the teams recruiting him the hardest with Alabama, Florida State, Georgia, Pitt, and Texas A&M. The Gators need to get Williams back on campus this fall.
Daquayviou Sorey- Sorey was the first receiver in the 2023 class to receive a visit from the Gators and the staff is visiting Sorey on Monday. Sorey has family on staff in Gainesville and that helps the Gators. Sorey was on campus this spring and plans to return in the summer and the Gators sit in a good spot early on.
Aidan Mizell- The Florida legacy visited Gainesville twice this spring and he enjoyed getting to meet the staff and he found out just how big of a need he is for Florida. Mizell doesn’t name leaders but the Gators sit in a good spot after his visits to town, but Mizell is in no hurry to make a decision.
Tyler Williams- Heading into the spring, Clemson was the favorite by a good margin for Williams, but the Gators closed the gap here for the Lakeland receiver. Florida has shown Williams just how big of a need they have for him, and Billy Napier has made him and Lakeland a big priority. The Gators will look to get Williams back on campus this summer as a decision for the receiver will likely be in the fall.
Andy Jean- The former Miami commit picked up an offer from the Gators shortly after he took a visit to Gainesville. Jean said after the spring game that he will take an official visit to Gainesville, and he says Miami and Texas A&M will also likely receive a visit. Florida and Miami are the two teams linked to Jean the most.
Florida commit Tyree Patterson- Patterson committed to Florida last week after picking up an offer and the staff decided to offer Patterson after he had a good Under Armour camp. Patterson is someone that the staff sees as an underrated prospect and they were glad to pick up the commitment.
Creed Whittemore- Whittemore picked up an offer from Billy Napier earlier this spring and the Gators must be viewed as at the top or near the top of his recruitment. Whittemore is a slot receiver that the staff likes a lot and the younger Whittemore is very familiar with the staff and likes Keary Colbert.
Eugene Wilson- Wilson named the Gators his leaders after the spring game and said Florida will get an official visit from the slot receiver. Florida State and Georgia will also get one of those visits, but Florida seems to have surged to the top for Wilson.
Malik Benson- The JUCO receiver will receive a visit from receivers coach Keary Colbert on Monday and the Gators have been recruiting Benson hard for months now. Florida is hoping to get an official visit set with Benson as LSU, Georgia, and Tennessee has all set official visits for the JUCO receiver. The Gators have a big need at receiver and need an experienced receiver in the class.
FSU commit Randy Pittman- Pittman doesn’t have an offer from Florida yet but the Gators are keeping a close eye on the FSU commit. The Gators plan to evaluate Pittman this spring and an offer could come after this spring. Pittman is solid with FSU but an offer from the Gators could change things.
Francis Mauigoa- The California native moved to IMG and has visited Gainesville multiple times and plans to take an official visit to Gainesville as well. USC is considered a top school for Mauigoa but Alabama, Florida, and Oregon are right there as well. Mauigoa has been impressed by the coaching staff in Gainesville and that will keep the Gators in the mix.
Monroe Freeling- Notre Dame has felt good on Freeling for a while now but the Gators knocked his spring visit out of the park and Freeling wants to return to Gainesville with his family for another visit this summer. Right now Notre Dame is the only official visit scheduled for Freeling at this time.
Lucas Simmons- Simmons might be the guy that the Gators gained the most ground with this spring as they hosted the lineman on campus multiple times this spring. Simmons says he will name a top five soon and they will get official visits as of right now Florida State is the only team who has scheduled an official visit with Simmons. The Gators will very likely get one of those official visits.
Payton Kirkland- Kirkland plans to announce his decision in July and the Gators have all the momentum in his recruitment. Kirkland was on campus multiple times this spring and plans to return for an official visit this summer. The Gators just have to continue building the relationship with Kirkland and keep the momentum.
Tyree Adams- The New Orleans native visited Gainesville this spring after picking up an offer from the Gators. Adams says Florida, LSU, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, and Texas A&M are in his top group of schools heading into official visits.
Bryce Lovett- Lovett named Florida his leader after the spring game and he was on campus four times for practice this spring. The Gators have done a great job in recruiting Lovett and they hope to close this one out this summer.
Tommy Kinsler- Kinsler has named Florida his leader in the past and that still seems to be the case heading into the spring. Kinsler plans to be back on campus this summer and the Gators just have to continue the momentum with the lineman.
Roderick Kearney- Florida State was pulling away for Kearney in his recruitment until the new staff took over in Gainesville and they’ve made up a lot of ground for the Jacksonville lineman. Kearney says Florida impressed him and his family a lot during the spring visit and a return this summer is likely for Kearney.
Knijeah Harris- Harris plans to announce a decision on May 7th and the Gators are in a good spot for the IMG lineman. Texas A&M is also in the mix for Harris as they’ve also gotten the lineman on campus multiple times. Harris really likes Rob Sale and Darnell Stapleton and that’s a key heading into a decision.
Sam Pendelton- Pendelton visited Gainesville this spring with his family, but Notre Dame seems to be the leader for the offensive lineman as a decision is likely coming soon. If Pendelton decides to wait on a decision and officially visit Gainesville, then this could change.