Big stories from first McElwain Junior Day

Jim McElwain got off to a late, but good start hosting their first Junior Day of the 2016 recruiting cycle. Some surprises showed up and some guys missed the trip that were expected, but overall it was a successful endeavor and one that should lead to some momentum heading into this spring recruiting cycle.


Two offers went out during the visit on Saturday and one of them committed on the spot. The first came early in the day and it was no secret for Jacksonville Raines defensive end JaQuan Bailey what was going down on this trip. He told me ten days ago that he would be visiting this weekend and that Florida told him they would offer when he visited. The excitement from his voice then was enough to know it was very possible he might pull the trigger when offered. It just needed to happen.

The second offer came later in the day and to a prospect in the class of 2018. Athlete Justin Watkins out of Ocala Vanguard was offered and while we have yet to catch up with Watkins, we will endeavor to do so and keep hearing great things about the young man’s talent.

The third offer came a little while later when Orlando Oakridge linebacker Jonathan Jones received the scholarship offer from the Gators. Jones is a big time player with over 20 offers now and from of the major players in all of college football.

The final offer of the day went to 2017 running back Jamari Peacock of Yulee. The versatile and electric Peacock has been climbing up the charts recently and


As we mentioned the Bailey commitment wasn’t a surprise. The fact that he raced up to Gainesville in the wee hours of the morning to get it done was a good thing. He seemed to get the excitement going on the day.

Four-star defensive back Chauncey Gardner was someone we talked about leaning to the Gators and I expected his commitment at some point, just not this early. Gardner is the type of player and high profile prospect that could get the ball really rolling for the Gators on the recruiting front. He’s talkative and active on social media and he is pretty popular among a lot of the high profile prospects that the Gators are after. It was a welcome momentum getter for this staff and the class.


Other than the prospects mentioned above, Florida hosted 4-star running back Elijah Holyfield who had a great visit, and 4-star 2017 running back Bruce Judson who was tweeting great things about his visit. They also hosted some big time receivers like 4-star Binjimen Victor, 4-star Freddie Swain, and other big receivers in C.J. Riles and Isaiah Johnson. One of the Gators’ top targets at tight end in Christian Roberson was here. Also, two massive offensive linemen in Jawaan Taylor and Solomon Kindeley made the trip.

On defense the Gators hosted a big time defensive lineman in Darius Whitfield along with several defensive backs with notoriety like 4-star cornerback Trayvon Mullen, defensive back Korey Charles, corner Malek Young, and more.

It was a pretty successful start, albeit a little later than we had hoped, to the spring recruiting cycle. And things should only get more interesting over the next few weeks as more prospects come in for visits during the spring practices being held on campus.

Fightin Gators Top Stories