Florida football hosted plenty of visitors this weekend for the Orange and Blue Debut on Friday, and the Gators are now sitting well with plenty of targets.
Jim McElwain and his staff added one more more pledge after the spring game, Kemore Gamble [more on that below], however, the weekend was also a chance to continue to cement their place with a few other prospects.
It continues to look like McElwain will soon add Kai-Leon Herbert to the 2017 class. The four-star offensive tackle from American Heritage was at The Swamp over the weekend on Friday and Saturday. He came to Gainesville with the Jake Allen family and left impressed with what he saw in the trenches.
"Just every time I go up there it feels like home. It's a family atmosphere for me and it's a great vibe. The players stick out from other players when I'm there."
This recruitment never looked like it was trending away from UF, however, it's definitely heating up. Herbert hopes to make his decision before his senior season, and he could make his decision before spring ends. Also of note, he has no other set visits planned.
McElwain almost had two commitments on Friday night. Kendarian Handy-Holly admitted to FightinGators.com after his trip that he almost did pull the trigger on his visit with Florida.
"They are very high," he said. "Number one maybe."
He will definitely be one to watch very closely the next few days, as he continues to think back on his visit.
It was second visit this spring, but James Houston IV continues to find reasons to love Florida. He told FightinGators.com that he feels at "home" at The Swamp and continues to grow closer with the staff. The American Heritage three-star linebacker feels wanted by the Gators.
"They really want me here," he said. "They really want me to come to school and play football here...It just makes me feel great. Makes me feel like I am the person that I think I am."
Although he does not have a list of favorites, he admits UF is among the top. He is expected to trim his list before his spring practice begins.
Even though his recruitment could go a little longer than expected, it is a good idea to keep an eye on Houston. He has a very tight relationship with his family, so I'm thinking Wisconsin might be too far for the South Florida native. He has said many times he will make a decision when he feels right about it, and things are trending towards the Gators.
Gators Add Four-Star South Florida Tight End
Kemore Gamble was the latest to pull the trigger and commit to McElwain and his staff.
"I chose the Gators because it's been my dream school since I was a new born, so it was in my blood," the four-star tight end told Scout's Corey Bender. "I also have a chance to come in and play early. The last reason why is because who doesn't want to play in the Swamp? It's the place to be and always rocking.
"The coaches here always keep it real with you. They're also cool and fun to be around. I normally don't trust people, but something in my head said that I can trust them, and that's a big thing." STORY LINK
So whats next? Will the Gators still recruit other tight ends? Yes they will. Florida is still on the hunt and could add one more in this class. Obviously the big target in 2017 is Tre McKitty. The IMG Academy tight end's stock has really sky rocketed recently. USC, Ohio State, LSU, Georgia, Oregon, Arkansas, Arizona and Missouri have all extended offers in the last few weeks.
Good news? In a recent interview with Bender, he told the Scout recruiting analyst, that Florida, Auburn and Oregon are the three schools he has seen recruit him the hardest.
Things are looking good between Chris Henderson and Florida. Henderson, who is currently committed to Miami, has made two trips to Gainesville this spring and was recently back at UF this weekend.
"The visit was cool," Henderson said in his interview with Bender. "We were up here yesterday as well, so we toured the campus, came for the game, and spoke with some of the coaches. I think the defense is going to be big-time this year, and that's one of their strengths as well."
Gamble, Florida's latest pledge, is also a close friend. The Gators also introduced Henderson to the track coaches and that piqued his interest. WATCH THIS SPACE.
UF Pushing to Flip 'Bama Commit
Alex Leatherwood visited Florida on Friday, and although he had to leave early, the four-star offensive tackle from Booker T. Washington saw plenty he liked in Gainesville.
"I got to spend a lot of time with [offensive line] coach [Mike] summers one-on-one and got to see he wants to use me in the offense," said the Alabama pledge to Scout Analyst, John Garcia.
He also visited LSU over the weekend, where he had dinner with head coach Les Miles.
Leatherwood is visiting Alabama next. He told Garcia his pledge to 'Bama remains "very strong."
Scout 300 DT Offered by Florida
Four-star defensive tackle, Romello Martin, picked up an offer from the Gators on his visit this weekend. Martin hails from the same high school as Thomas Holley.
It's a little too early to see where exactly this puts Florida for Martin, however, his first impression of the program was great.
My impression was that besides football the coaches are always there for you. They don't do everything just for football. Football is like a plus. They help you plan for a future after football."
2018 Athlete Visits Florida
Amari Burney had one thing stand out on Friday night.
"I see that they let their freshman play," said the 2018 athlete. "I saw that Chauncey Gardner out there putting in work. I see that they actually give you a chance and you can come in and produce."
He admits that an offer from Alabama would change, however, the Canes continue to be a school to recruit him hard.
UF Top for Four-Star Out-of-State DB
Florida made quite the impression on Hamsah Nasirildeen over the weekend. The four-star safety out of North Carolina loved his time in Gainesville and says UF is now one of his top schools.
He has not officially cut his list, however, the Gators should feel good at where things stand.
Gators Make the Cut for Lineman
Florida, Michigan, Michigan State, Pitt and Tennessee made the cut for offensive lineman Jordan Reid. The Michigan native added after his initial tweet that the list is in alphabetical order and not in order of favorite.
Reid made the trip down to The Swamp two weeks ago with his fellow Cass Technical teammates.
Kadarius Toney picked up an offer from the Gators on Tuesday morning. The 2017 athlete from Alabama holds offers from Georgia Tech, Illinois, Memphis, South Carolina and Wake Forest among others.
Dominick Blaylock picked up an offer from Florida during his visit. He also holds offers from Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, Florida State, Michigan, Tennessee and South Carolina among others.
Odds and Ends
Max Williams already holds offers from the Boston College, Louisville, Florida State, LSU and Washington State . The 2019 defensive back from Gardena, California, recently told Scout Recruiting Analyst, Greg Biggins, he'll take spring visits to Michigan and Notre Dame and will camp with UCLA and USC.
2018 athlete Kyler McMichael holds four offers: Virginia Tech, Florida, Tennessee and Georgia. UF DB coah Torrian Gray has offered him both at the Hokies and the Gators.
"They [Florida] are on me the hardest... I have a really good relationship with Torrian Gray," said McMichael in an interview with National Recruiting Analyst Chad Simmons. "I love Florida so far."