The Florida Gators recruiting classes haven’t had many California prospects in them but they already have one in 2017 and are recruiting several others for 2018.
2018 defensive back Brendan Radley-Hiles (5-10, 175, Calabasas, CA. High) is one of those guys they’re after and he calls the Gators a different school.
“I named Florida my leader last week,” Radley-Hiles said. “Florida is just different, it’s DBU and it’s just so much different. I’m a California guy and a lot of people expect me to stay in the Pac 12 but I want to be different. I’m not saying the Pac 12 schools are out of it but I’m just saying that I want to be one of those legendary guys that people talk about 100 years from now that he took over in the SEC.”
Radley-Hiles hasn’t been able to see the Gators in person yet but he has been watching and learning from several former Florida players from afar.
“I’ve been liking guys like Joe Haden for awhile now, Florida is DBU,” he said of why he likes Florida. “Joe Haden, Janoris Jenkins and I watched the Under Armour game when Vernon Hargreaves had the interception when he was still in high school. I’ve been watching Florida defensive backs for awhile now.”
The 2018 cornerback grew up in California where there are several teams to root for but he followed the Orange and Blue with his good friend.
“Me and Elijah [Blades] were the only two that I liked Florida growing up,” Radley-Hiles said. “Everyone else liked Miami and talked about their defense but we always talked about Florida’s. We’ve just always liked about Florida.”
Defensive backs coach Torrian Gray has already gotten a leg up with Radley-Hiles as the two talk frequently with the 2018 defensive back showing his interest in the Gators.
“I talk to Coach Gray often, when we talk we talk about the things that could happen in the future with me,” he said of Gray’s message. “We talk about some of the 2017 commits and how when they start really focusing on the 2018 class that we’re going to make sure that we talked business. He has been keeping it 100 percent real with me and we just talk about the recruiting process.”
The Gators not only have the coaching staff recruiting Radley-Hiles but also another current Gators commit is after him.
“Me and Elijah talk about Florida all the time and we say ‘let’s be different’,” Radley-Hiles said of him and current Gators commit Elijah Blades. “He doesn’t put too much pressure on me but he throws in little shot here and there for Florida. He tells me to come on and to be legendary with him. We’re very close.”
Radley-Hiles doesn’t just have a relationship with Blades but another former Gator is telling him things about Gainesville and now the cornerback plans to see things for himself.
“Elijah is going be at the LSU game and I plan on being there with him,” he said of his upcoming visit to Gainesville. “We want to get the full experience together and I just want to see the city of Gainesville. I have a close family friend, Ronald Powell and he always tells me great things about Florida. When I talk to Ronald about Florida he tells me that I have to go check it out.”
INSIDERS TAKE: Radley-Hiles is one of the top prospects in the class of 2018 and will be a highly targeted prospect next year. The Gators have a really good shot here and signing Elijah Blades will only help those chances.