When midnight struck and June 15th officially hit coaches were allowed to contact 2022 players for the first time and the Gators’ coaching staff didn’t waste any time. The entire crew was by their phones ready to make calls and texts the moment they were allowed to under NCAA rules, showing the hustle that has made this regime such stellar recruiters.
For obvious reasons it means a lot to a player to have a coach reach out to them the moment they are technically allowed to. It shows the staff is making them a priority, something that players remember when they are making decisions.
Looking at who the Gators reach out to first we can have an idea of who some of their top targets for 2022 are. These are some of the first players the coaches contacted and therefore are some names you should know.
George is a combo guard from Lewiston, Texas who already has a ton of attention. Ranked 12th in the 2022 class the Gators will have quite the recruiting battle on their hands to land him but the prize would be gigantic. George has great size and skill as a combo guard, already with a solid frame and a technically sound offensive game. Baylor, Texas, Kansas, Ohio State, and Michigan were some of the other schools who got at him in the early hours of the recruiting window opening which speaks to the quality of player he is.
One of the toughest positions to recruit in college basketball is the power forward position. You want guys who have the size to compete inside and provide muscle in the paint but you also want some skill and the ability to space the floor. “Frizzy” Fray Nguimbi is someone the Gators think might be able to fill that role. Currently playing in the state of Florida at West Oaks Academy he’s a bit under the radar right now as a 3-star recruit but clearly the Gators see potential. He’s incredibly long and plays with a great motor and Florida has pursued a lot of similar players recently though they haven’t been able to land any with the exception of JUCO transfer Osayi Osifo. Seeing how Nguimbi climbs in the rankings will be interesting and the Gators may stay interested in him as a multi-year program guy.
A Minnesota product, Carrington played a bit sparingly on his Park Center high school team but that didn’t stop him from getting attention from the Gators as well as Iowa and Missouri. A 6’3” guard he’s already got good size but it’s his shooting that has teams interested. Carrington’s stroke is extremely pure and the Gators will be looking for a Noah Locke replacement in 2022 and he is definitely on the list as someone who might be able to fill the role.
The Gators heavily recruited a 2020 player from South Carolina’s Dorman High School named PJ Hall and they’re back at that school looking for talent with interest in Jordyn Surratt. Already looking like a grown man at 6’6” it’s easy to see why the Gators are interested, especially since they have made recruiting bigger wings a priority as of late. Surratt’s offensive game isn’t particularly refined right now and a lot of the interest is based on his size and motor but as a 2022 player he has a lot of time to develop the touch and timing he’ll need to be a scorer. Georgia and Virginia Tech reached out but most of his other interest has been from mid-majors so this is another athlete that might be a little bit under the radar that the Gators are getting on early.
Donaldson already holds a Florida offer, but it’s not from the basketball team. That’s right, Dan Mullen beat Coach White and company to the offer as Donaldson, in addition to being a skilled point guard, is a highly-rated safety on the gridiron with offers from Alabama, Auburn, and Kentucky. Donaldson has made it known that he wants to play both sports, something that hasn’t been executed a lot recently at the high major ranks but is something he wants to change. Despite being from Tallahassee Donaldson has told me he really likes the Gators and also pointed out that assistant Coach Al Pinkins was the first coach to contact him when the recruiting window opened. There have been a couple dual-sport guys that Florida basketball and football have gone after recently and it hasn’t always looked particularly promising but with Donaldson there is definitely a good chance.