Florida’s 2019 Recruiting Class Climbs In Final Rankings

Mike White and his staff were going big game hunting in the 2019 recruiting class and it paid off with a balanced class of high-profile names as well as some under the radar athletes that have all the makings of some diamonds in the rough. On Monday 247 Sports and Rivals both released their final rankings for the 2019 class, joining ESPN who has already made their final judgments. Now that the major outlets have put in their final rankings we can see exactly where each Florida commit landed using 247’s composite recruiting rankings that encompass all major rankings for what should be an accurate list. Here is how things shook out

Scottie Lewis: 8th

Tre Mann: 20th

Omar Payne: 43rd

Jason Jitoboh: 236th

Alex Klatsky: 503rd

Ques Glover: Unranked

The first thing to note is the fact that Scottie Lewis and Tre Mann have both climbed in the rankings and considering how high they already were these were not easy steps to make. The previous ranking had Lewis at 13th and Mann at 33rd so the jumps they both made were fairly significant given that they had to leapfrog some of the best players in the class.

For Lewis it was largely his performance at the McDonald’s All-American game and the surrounding practices that really helped solidify him as one of the best players in the class. He impressed every single scout with his work ethic and athleticism and hit enough jump shots to be intriguing offensively while adding in tremendous defense on the other end.

Tre Mann also played well in the McDonald’s All-American practices (not so much in the game) and his offensive feel on the perimeter established him as a player worthy of a top-20 ranking. Much like Scottie Lewis he has really made his way around the biggest showcase events in the country and punctuated the tour with an explosive game at the Ballislife showcase event that saw him drilling three after three from beyond NBA range. The best way to impress scouts at the high school level is to score the basketball and Tre Mann can do just that.

Omar Payne stayed about steady in his rankings and has been in the 40s for a lot of his high school career. Playing at Montverde is always tough from an evaluation standpoint since the team is so loaded with talent but Payne did enough to keep a top-50 ranking and it’s clear a lot of people believe in his athletic potential.

Jason Jitoboh climbed a few spots to 236th and he’s one of the toughest players in the class to evaluate due to the fact there aren’t many players similar to him in the 6’11”, 270-pound range. It’s clear he has some supporters who think he’s going to be able to physically dominate but there are also lots of scouts who simply don’t think a hulking presence like that is relevant in today’s game. The ranking seems about right to me for what he’s done in high school but his ceiling could be quite high, but his floor could also be quite low.

Alex Klatsky, who will be a preferred walk-on, is in the rankings at 503rd and it’s pretty amazing for the Gators to have a player like that not going against their 13-scholarship limit. He’s the 22nd highest 2-star player in the database and it should be noted that in the 2-stars ahead of him there are players headed to Texas Tech, Utah, Maryland, BYU, and Virginia Tech so the Gators aren’t alone in seeing guys in this range as potential long-term program pieces.

The story of Ques Glover is one that is extremely odd and one that I can’t seem to get to the bottom of. 247 finally added him to their database just so they could have him assigned to Florida’s class but they didn’t rank him, and neither did any of the other outlets. He played in a good league against a lot of division-I players and dominated. I know he’s undersized and therefore going to be slept on but the fact he wasn’t bothered to be ranked at all is extremely curious. I really think the Gators have a good one with Glover and I think one day there will be a lot of chuckles to be had at the fact that no one bothered to rank him.

Florida ends with the 8th ranked recruiting class, but as I’ve written about in the past I’m not a big fan of how they calculate class rankings and I think that Florida’s could easily be considered top 5. Having Jitoboh, an unranked Glover, and a 2-star Klatsky brings down the ranking due to average but I think the great balance of 5-star players and 4-year program players is tremendous and is worth a lot. The Gators are 3rd in the SEC following, of course, Kentucky, as well as Georgia who has been on a recruiting tear with the first full offseason for Tom Crean. Auburn is also notable at 18th, and I think a lot of Gators will enjoy hearing that following their regular season success and NCAA Tournament collapses Tennessee is only at 32nd, right behind Harvard and DePaul.

This is one of the best recruiting classes ever to come to Gainesville and it’s good to see how respected their top talent is in the recruiting rankings. Obviously games aren’t won by what team has the most stars by their name but it’s great to see the hard work of these recruits paid off by a strong ranking.

I can’t wait to see these guys in orange and blue.

Eric Fawcett
Eric hails from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. His blend of sports and comedy has landed his words on ESPN, Bleacher Report, CBS Sports, Lindy's and others. He loves zone defenses, the extra pass, and a 30 second shot clock. Growing up in Canada, an American channel showing SEC basketball games was his first exposure to Gator hoops, and he has been hooked ever since. You can follow him on Twitter at @Efawcett7.