Florida has found themselves in one of the most heated recruiting battles in the country for 2021 forward Alex Fudge.
For many of you who follow recruiting in the state of Florida that will be a familiar name. Hailing from Jacksonville, Fudge has been one of the state’s top players in his class from the moment 2021 kids started to be ranked and when you see him play, it’s for good reason.
When you see Fudge play the first thing you notice is his length, the type of size that every coach in America is yearning for. Fudge stands 6’8” with arms long enough that his fingertips seem to hang near his knees.
Not only does he have prototypical size but he has a prototypical skill set as well. Everything for Fudge comes either at the rim or from behind the three-point line. Fudge’s length and athleticism make him a monster around the rim dunking anything within sight and he has the ball handling ability to get straight line drives to the hoop. His pure three-point stroke makes him a floor spacing threat and it’s easy to imagine him fitting into any offensive scheme in the country.
Right now Fudge is extremely thin, something that makes him look an awful lot like former Gator Devin Robinson. Fudge’s high school tape looks a whole lot like Robinson’s did, something that the Gators could potentially use to their advantage in recruiting. Robinson really took off when White took the Florida job and his great season under White was what ended up getting him an NBA job.
If you want a quick taste of Fudge’s game through a couple of highlights, you can check some out here.
Long wings are the most desirable players in college basketball and that means players of that size are instantly held in high regards. At one point in basketball it was big men that everyone wanted, but that is going the way of the dinosaur. There was a stretch where point guards dominated the top of recruiting rankings as ball handlers are always one of the most important parts of a roster, but the huge amount of depth every year in that position makes capable guards more available.
Long wings have the scarcity of true bigs and the importance of point guards, so if you’re recruiting one of them you’re going to be in a dog fight.
Add in the fact that Fudge is from Florida, the state nearly every program in the country comes to trying to nab talent, and the Gators will be in tough.
Fudge recently said in an interview that Florida, Alabama, LSU, Texas, Georgia, USC, and Arkansas call him every single day. That could be taken literally, and/or it could be taken as a list of his leading schools right now. The word on the street is that the Gators are slightly behind Alabama right now, something that is concerning given the fact that Crimson Tide coach Nate Oats has been on an absolute recruiting tear since taking the job a year ago.
Currently ranked 47th in the class of 2021 and likely to continue to climb, there is also a good chance some traditional blue bloods are going to get in the mix for Fudge. He’s too good at a position that everyone in basketball wants for him to not get the eye of the biggest-name programs in the country and that could mean his recruitment could heat up even more.
Coach White hasn’t been able to land a lot of his in-state targets during his time at Florida, something that isn’t necessarily an issue given the fact that he has gone just about everywhere else in the country to get who he wanted. In-state recruiting battles always seem to mean more and if the Gators were able to get a commitment from Fudge it would not only mean that they got an outstanding player but that they were able to fence in Florida from a bunch of great programs that are trying to get some of the key talent.