One of Florida’s top 2022 targets has come closer to making a decision, and he’s definitely one Gator fans should keep a close eye on.
Orlando product Brice Sensabaugh has been a player the Gators have been after for a long time, long before his recruitment really picked up with a number of other high majors. Standing at 6’6” he’s got decent length for the small forward position, but he is incredibly strong and muscular which differentiates him from a lot of his peers. In fact, one might look at his physique and height and draw some comparisons to Keyontae Johnson, though Sensabaugh lacks Johnson’s otherworldly athleticism.
While he’s not a Keyontae Johnson level athlete (though who is, really?) he’s likely someone the Gators see possibly filling that same kind of role. His strength would allow him to slide over from the small forward to power forward position, something the Gators have loved doing in the Mike White era. He also has some ball handling and passing abilities, something that would also allow him to take a primary role in the offense when needed.
Every year whether it’s in recruiting high school players or the transfer portal you see that wings are the toughest thing to come by in modern basketball. Every team wants them, and there aren’t as many 6’6”-6’8” athletes who can play on the perimeter as there are smaller point guards or plodding big men. For that reason, the Gators have to be aggressive when it comes to players like Sensabaugh.
Unfortunately, wing recruiting hasn’t exactly been a strength for the Gators. They didn’t bring in many wing prospects in the first few cycles of Mike White’s tenure, and DeAundrae Ballard and Samson Ruzhentsev were top 100 recruits who didn’t end up working out. However, Keyontae Johnson ended up being a star (though he has played more in the frontcourt than at the wing) and the Gators look to have a stud in the 2021 class in Kowacie Reeves who could really change the way the wing position looks in Gainesville.
Sensabaugh is only a 3-star ranked 251st by the recruiting services, though that ranking seems to be a bit off. Alabama, Ohio State, Illinois, Oklahoma, Xavier, and Virginia have all offered, and that list of schools is usually reserved for a player higher than 251st in the state. The recruiting rankings also never seem to factor in positional scarcity, something that usually ends up making wings ranked lower than they should be.
Whatever the ranking, he is clearly a sought-after player by some great programs.
His final four list consists of Florida, Alabama, Georgia Tech, and Ohio State.
He has official visits set for Georgia Tech, then Alabama, then Ohio State, wrapping up in the middle of September. He doesn’t have an official visit to Florida planned, though he has already been on unofficial visits being from nearby Orlando.
On the AAU circuit Sensabaugh played for Each 1 Teach 1, the same program that Tre Mann played for. His success in Gainesville could be something that helps Florida’s chances, though long-time followers of Florida’s recruiting will know that E1T1 hasn’t been a team that Florida has had a lot of success with, with many more of their players going up north to play for Florida State.
It’s unknown who the leader for Sensabaugh is but looking at the overall recruiting landscape of college basketball, Alabama has been dominant and has gotten just about everyone they have wanted. That would seem to suggest that they have a lead with Sensabaugh, but you also wonder if they have their sights set on perhaps higher rated players, and may not be quite ready to take the commitment of Sensabaugh. The Crimson Tide also have a number of wings that should still be on the roster in 2022, making the pathway to minutes a bit tougher.
Florida, on the other hand, may have a lot more minutes to offer. They are likely to lose a number of wing players to graduation or the professional ranks after this season with such a veteran group, meaning Sensabaugh could see a role earlier with Florida than he might with a school like Alabama.
With his final official visit set for midway through September, a decision could come shortly afterwards. Landing him would be a nice piece for the Gators, someone who would provide help at a position they need attrition, and also someone who is likely a multi-year player who could produce for a number of seasons.
The Gators are currently without a commitment in the 2022 class but Sensabaugh is a player to watch as someone who could kick start the class.