The Florida Gators are committed to keep in-state talent home, however, they are also committed to bring in some of the best players in the country to Gainesville. Jim McElwain and his staff were already able to secure one out-of-state prospect Kadarius Toney.
The four-star athlete was a big get by the Gators. UF assistant Tim Skipper did a great job to establish a great connection with Toney to secure the versatile playmaker. However, there are plenty of other guys Skipper and company are focused on bringing to the Sunshine State as well.
Here is a look at the top 22 out-of-state target for Florida right now:
RELATED STORY: 22 for 2017: In-State Florida Targets
Five-star athlete, DeAngelo Gibbs, is definitely one of top players on the board. Gibbs visited Gainesville this spring, and the Georgia native is listening to the staff. The Gators will have to fend some other schools to land the big time playmaker. UGA, Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Tennessee and Texas are all in the fight to land the No. 3 player in the country on Scout.
Good news? Giibbs said his visit to Gainesville "exceeded" his expectations. Before that visit Florida was not really on the radar, now they are in the thick of things.
The Gators are really sitting well with five-star athlete Devon Hunter. Hunter has a plethora of offers, however, Virginia Tech, Florida, Clemson, Alabama, Auburn, North Carolina, Maryland, Michigan and Michigan State are recruiting him the hardest. He told Scout that he had an "eye-opening" visit to Gainesville this spring and the Gators should feel good about Hunter. 'Bama, Clemson and Virginia Tech are also schools to watch for him.
A.J. Terrell is the name to know. The four-star Atlanta native is on top of UF's safeties board in the 2017 class. The Westlake High playmaker visited Gainesville this spring and left so impressed, that the Gators made the cut when he announced his top four schools. His top schools are: Auburn, Florida, Georgia and South Carolina.
The Gators like what they see in defensive tackle Fred Hansard from New Jersey. The four-star The Hun School standout holds offers from the likes of Penn State, Ohio State, Tennessee, Florida, Rutgers, and Oklahoma. When the Gators offered Hansard, he told FightinGators.com that the offer was a dream, since he had watched UF for years.
Florida feels good about Donovan Peoples-Jones. The four-star wide receiver from Michigan is certainly one of the top wide out targets for UF in this class. Peoples-Jones enjoyed his visit to Gainesville this spring, but the Gators have some competition. Michigan, Michigan State, Clemson, Ohio State, Penn State and Tennessee are all in the mix for the No. 30 player in the country.
Aubrey Solomon is right now one to watch. The Scout 300 defensive tackle put the Gators on top after his junior day visit, however, Auburn, Clemson, Georgia and Ole Miss moved high on his list and the Crimson Tide are certainly trending higher.
If you have not noticed in these recent class breakdowns, defensive tackle is a priority in this class for the staff. M.J. Webb is certainly a target on their board. The Madison, Georgia native holds plenty of offers including: Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Michigan, Mississippi, Ohio State, Penn State and Tennessee. However, at this moment Tennessee, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, South Carolina and Auburn seem to be some of the schools in good shape for the standout. He also said in a recent interview with Scout, that he would love to leave the South and mentioned a planned visit to Notre Dame and his most recent trip to Ohio State.
Dalyn Wade-Perry holds offers from Florida, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Penn State, Rutgers and Stanford. The three-star defensive tackle from New Jersey. Although I think there are other defensive tackles above Wade-Perry at this point, it is definitely a player they have interest and continue to monitor his progress.
Newly minted five star, Chase Young, is not going to be an easy get for the Gators. The Dematha Catholic standout picked up an offer from Florida this spring, however, Alabama and Ohio State have already established some good connections with the Maryland native. Young is in no doubt one of the best pass rushers in this class, and Jim McElwain's staff will want to get him on campus.
Scout 300 wide receiver, Henry Ruggs, enjoyed his recent trip to Gainesville, however, the in-state school, Alabama, remains in the thick of things. Ruggs is planning to announce this summer. He has visited Florida, Alabama, Auburn and Florida State in recent weeks.
CeeDee Lamb is exploring new options. The Scout 300 wide receiver decommitted from Oklahoma. Lamb has picked up an offer from LSU, Texas A&M and Florida right before opening up his recruitment. The Gators are a dream school.
Five-star offensive guard, Wyatt Davis, from St. John Bosco is a wanted man. Florida joins Alabama, California, Michigan, Notre Dame, Stanford, UCLA, USC and Washington in the fight to land the No. 2 guard in the country. Davis is a west coast guy, and it will be difficult to land the California native, but it won't stop Florida from targeting him.
Hamsah Nasirildeen has impressed Torrian Gray. The four-star safety from North Carolina has the Gators high on his list after his recent visit to Gainesville. But it's not going to be an easy. Florida will have to fight off schools like Alabama and South Carolina. According to Mid-Atlantic Recruiting Analyst, Michael Clark, 'Bama and South Carolina have done a good job early with Nasirildeen. The Gators and FSU are two teams fighting to get back near the top for the playmaker.
Tony Gray is a hard man to read. The four-star offensive tackle did enjoy his recent trip to Gainesville, the word great was used quite often. The Georgia native holds offers from Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Tennessee, FSU, Georgia and Ohio State.
Four-star offensive tackle from Georgia, Andrew Thomas, decided to slow things down. The No. 12 offensive tackle had initially wanted to pull the trigger this spring, however, decided to back away from making a commitment-good news for Florida. The Scout 100 player has UGA and Clemson at the top right now. If he makes a decision at any point in the next few weeks, it will be a surprise if he does not commit to any of those schools. UF needs time to try to get Thomas down to Gainesville.
Auburn and Georgia look like the team to beat for K.J. Britt. However, it does not mean Florida is out of it, on the contrary, the linebacker out of Alabama is still looking at the Gators. UF is trending upwards with him and because Britt isn't expected to announce until this summer, the Gators have plenty of time.
Romello Martin picked up his offer from Florida after his visit to Gainesville this spring. The four-star defensive tackle hails from the same high school as current Gator, Thomas Holley. He holds offers from Boston College, Florida, Florida State, Louisville, Miami, Nebraska, and South Carolina. The Gators have done a good job early with the New York native and will hope to continue to build momentum in his recruitment.
Four-star defensive end, Luiji Vilain, initially had the Gators in his trimmed his list, however, at the Opening New Jersey, he cut his list of stand outs even more and the Gators did not make the grade. North Carolina, Virginia Tech, Georgia, Michigan, USC, Tennessee and Ohio State were the schools that he mentioned. Although it is still early, UF will continue to try to get more involved with theVirginia native.
One of Kendarian Handy-Holly's closest friends, Kadarius Toney, committed to the Gators last month. Handy-Holly visited Gainesville for the Orange and Blue Debut and admitted he almost pulled the trigger after the game. Toney said he was going to target Handy-Holly, and hopes the safety out of Alabama will join him in The Swamp.
Markquese Bell has seen his stock rise tremendously over the last few months. Th Gators really like the four-star athlete from New Jersey, however, UF is going to have a tough time pulling him away to Gainesville. The geography could be a big factor in his recruitment. Bell has offers from: Florida, Michigan, UNC, Penn State, Rutgers, Tennessee, and Wisconsin among others-so plenty of options near his home town.
The Gators have made the cut for Grant Delpit. The four-star safety from Texas says Alabama, Florida and LSU have his attention. The Tigers, however, are the team to beat at the moment.
Markaviest Bryant has plenty of suitors. The four-star defensive end from Georgia holds offers from Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Florida, Georgia, Oklahoma, and USC among others. The Gators came in early with Bryant and it's helping. Right now the five schools that seem to be standing out are: Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Florida and Georgia
Ones to Watch: Four-star athlete Tray Bishop from Dawson, Georgia; four-star wide receiver, Tee Higgins, from Oak Ridge, Tennessee; four-star defensive end, D.J. Johnson, from Sacrament, California; four-star offensive guard,Marcus Minor,from Dematha Catholic in Maryland; three-star defensive tackle Neil Farrell from Mobile, Alabama; and four-star cornerback Elijah Blades.