Chad Simmons

Gator Blitz: Recruiting Update 3/22

"Gator Blitz" recaps all of the big Florida recruiting storylines of the last few days in one place.

With many top targets making their way to the Swamp the last few days, with many still coming this week, Tuesday's "Gator Blitz" is loaded with updates. 

Gators Pledges to Visit

Four-star signal caller and commit, Jake Allen, will be on campus on Wednesday and Thursday to check out practice. We are working to confirm some other visitors for those two days, stay tuned the next 24 hours for the full list.

2019 pledge Jaleel McRae will also be on campus on Wednesday. 

Florida Visit Exceeds Expectations for Five-Star

Florida welcomed five-star athlete DeAngelo Gibbs to Gainesville on Saturday. The Georgia native told that the visit exceeded all expectations. 

"It went real well," he said. "It was my first time in Florida, so it was what I expected, and it sort of exceeded it. It was real good. I liked it." 

Georgia remains the team to beat with Gibbs, however, Florida made huge steps on Saturday. 


No. 3 DE Sees a New Side to Florida

Jarez Parks is no doubt one of Florida's top overall targets not to mention pass rusher. To get Scout's No. 3 defensive end on campus is great for Jim McElwain and his staff. After the visit Parks told that the biggest takeaway from practice was the interaction/communication between the coaches and the players. 

"I just like how the team gets together as a whole, and I like how the players were communicating with each other on and off the field. It was a good experience,"said Parks.  "I like how they [the Florida defensive coaches] all are zoned in, " he said. "It shows that they all have one common goal, and that was something I definitely was looking at today: how interactive the coaches were with the players and things of that nature."

STORY LINK: includes some insight on what he wants to see in a college, especially what he wants to study and why. [Great goals and great kid] 

Scout 300 CB Loves Florida Visits; Delays Decision

After the Florida visit Latavious Brini had planned to make his decision on April 11th. However, in his interview with, he told us he has decided to delay his decision, because he needed more time to visit other schools. 

Although his recruitment will last a little longer than expected, his visit to Gainesville only cemented Florida's standing. 

"It was great; it was exciting," said the Hialeah native. "There was a lot of activity. The DBs were working out there... The tackling drill was pretty great. I loved it." 


Scout 300 DE Gives His Florida Visit a "10"

Zachary Carter is a top target for the Gators in the 2017 class. Florida is in a neck and neck battle to land the coveted pass rusher from Tampa, Florida. Carter has visited the Swamp plenty of times before, but his visit on Saturday was very different. 

"I was sitting in classes because I got there at 7:15 this morning, so I shadowed with Nick Washington. I got to see the academic side, watch practice, talk to the coaches, and go to the meetings, so it was all good. I'd rate the visit a 10."

He is visiting Clemson and Mississippi in April. 


American Heritage's Top Linebacker Sees Plenty on Visit

James Houston IV also was on campus on Monday for practice. The three-star outside linebacker met with McElwain for 30 minutes in his office during the trip. 

"I really took a lot away from it," said Houston. "They told me about their academics, and that they were top 20 in business. They told me this was the best place for me, this should be my home." 

Houston also mentioned his relationship with UF assistant Randy Shannon, and how he is always impressed by Shannon's coaching style. 

The Gators are in a very good spot with Houston, however, he is no rush to make a decision right now. He wants to compare his relationship and visit with Florida with other schools. 


Top Linebacker Target Sets Date

K.J. Britt knows when he will make his decision, August 8th.

The three-star linebacker from Alabama, is also set to announce his top 12 on March 11. It will be shocking if the Gators to make the initial cut, and honestly after his trip to Gainesville earlier this month, Florida is sitting well with the playmaker. 

"[Florida is] high [on my list]. I love Florida," stated Britt after his trip to Gainesville.  "I feel like they can get me to the next level. I mean the visit was great, everything was good."

Schools heavily in the mix with Florida: Tennessee, Auburn, Alabama, Michigan, Mississippi and Mississippi State. 

Top North Carolina Defensive Back 'Mesmerized' by Florida on Visit.

Germane Crowell was in awe of Florida during his visit to the Swamp on Saturday. The three-star defensive back journeyed from Winston Salem, North Carolina to Gainesville and left with a different outlook on the Gators, as he now understands why Torrian Gray [his recruiter at Virginia Tech before Gray moved to Florida] chose to become a member of McElwain's staff. 

"I clearly see why [Gray left for Florida]," said Crowell.  "I loved it. It was a great school I was mesmerized the whole time. The facilities, the coaches, the players, the  competition at practice, everybody wants to get better." 

Crowell has plenty of big offers, however, one school not to be overlooked will be Virginia. You'e heard me talk about the Wahoos plenty when it comes to Crowell, but with his ties to the program, his father was a standout wide receiver for UVa, the 'Hoos cannot be overlooked. 

"I love [UVa Head] coach [Bronco] Mendenhall, [defensive coordinator/secondary] coach [Nick] Howell, [defensive line] coach Ruffin McNeill. I loved everybody up there," he said about his visit.  "It was just amazing the whole time. Already had seen the facilities, since my dad played up there. It was nothing new with the facilities, but just meeting the coaching staff, it was good meeting them.

He is returning to Virginia this spring. 


Scout 300 Athlete and Target Visiting Another SEC School

Devan Barrett is working his way back to full health and has a healthy amount of attention from colleges. He holds over 30 offers including one from Florida. He is visiting Auburn this weekend. However, Florida still remains very heavily in the mix. 

"Just telling me that I'm a great player and that I can fit in either offense or defense," said Barrett. "The coaches are great coaches and I talk to them day-to-day. Coach Torrian [Gray] and Coach Rumph, they are great guys to talk to. I look forward to going up there again." 

STORY LINK [check out the shirt in the video]

Gators Make the Cut

Florida remains in the mix for four-star defensive end, Luiji Vilain. Vilain is the top defensive end in Virginia.

Florida Offers Top 2018 DL

Jonathan King is one to watch in the 2018 class, and on Saturday the Tampa Bay Technical defensive end picked up an offer from Florida on his visit. 

"The visit went great and I got to see them at practice," King said. "I got to see the intensity firsthand, and there's just a great energy at the school. I liked how they went over all of the academics, like the tutoring, classes, times and schedules. I liked all of that stuff."

King is Florida pledge, wide receiver, Daquon Green's teammate. 


New Offers

Four-star cornerback, Kary Vincent, Jr. holds plenty of offers including Baylor, Michigan Mississippi, Ohio State, Oklahoma, TCU, and Texas  to name a few.

The four-star defensive tackle from Las Vegas picked up an offer from Florida this week. Greg Rogers, however, will be tough pull. Rogers already holds offers from the like of: USC, UCLA, Arizona, Arizona State, Michigan, Oklahoma, Texas A&M and Utah. The Trojans and the Bruins seems to have an edge.

Florida offered Miami pledge, wide receiver Daquris Wiggins. As you read on Friday's Gator Blitz, the Miami Southridge is very interested in the Gators. Florida has a shot of flipping the playmaker. 

Florida Lineman Plans Return

Nick Brahms holds double digit offers, including: Louisville, Virginia, FAU and UCF. He is also receiving plenty of interest from the Ivy league schools. On Saturday the Navarre offensive tackle visited Florida. 

“I got to talk to Coach McElwain and Coach Summers,” Brahms said. “We went into the meeting room with Coach Summers and I really liked the way he coached his players how to block different defenses," Brahm told Bob Redman. 

Florida is set to see Brahm this spring, and he is set to return to campus for a camp in June. He is one to monitor moving forward. 


Odds and Ends

"It was live," said Bruce Judson after his trip to Florida on Saturday. "I had a good time and met with [UF assistant Kerry] Dixon for a short period of time. Other than that I was with the team in the locker room hanging out. Enjoyed myself."

Four-star cornerback from Ohio, Amir Riep will visit Florida next week.

Miami Southridge playmakers including Miami pledge Bentavious Thompson and Kemore Gamble visited on Monday and were also back on campus on Tuesday.


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