Teams across the country welcomed official visitors this past weekend including Florida. The Gators moved the needle with several of their targets after their trips to Gainesville.
The staff did an excellent job with Devon Hunter over the weekend. The five-star safety loved his visit and enjoyed seeing the players perspective at Florida.
"I wanted to see the player's perspective on everything," said Hunter to Scout Analyst Michael Clark. "My favorite part was being around them -- seeing how they lived -- and what they thought about Florida, especially the out-of-state guys."
Hunter is expected to make his decision on Friday at his high school's basketball game. Although Virginia Tech has been the leader for some months, and the Hokies remain confident, things are close between the in-state school and UF. The Gators have a big chance and they could potentially play spoiler to VT.
The Gators also left a lasting impression on Levi Jones. The four-star linebacker visited the Gators this weekend with his parents and named Florida as his leader. He still has to visit USC, UCLA and Florida State before he makes his decision on National Signing Day.
Things will become fluid as things move towards signing day, however, Jones' connection with Randy Shannon should help the Gators stay near the top. FSU is the main threat for Jones.
James Robinson took his visit to Florida this weekend and told FightinGators.com that UF is number two in his recruitment. According to a few close to the wide receiver, Oklahoma continues to be the school that Florida will need to fight to land the receiver. Robinson is set to visit Alabama and Ole Miss as well this month.
I think the Gators still have time.
Cam Spence left impressed by the Gators and told FightinGators.com that he had some thinking to do. The four-star defensive tackle is committed to Maryland, however, after Mike London left the Terps for a had coaching job, Spence decided he needed to take more visits.
This is the thing with him. He wants to study broadcasting and wants good football to go along with it. Florida and Maryland offer the balance he wants. He had his eye opened about the Gators' broadcasting program this weekend. The Terps are confident that they can keep the man they often called the pied piper, since he helped them bring in several recruits in this class, however, this visit opened Spence to other possibilities. I think UF has a better shot than Maryland believes. This is a wait and see.
Spence hopes to visit Louisville or Oregon next.
Eric Stokes is one to watch for Florida late in the month. The Peach State athlete, who the Gators are recruiting as a defensive back, is visiting Georgia and Ole Miss, however, I think both schools will need to live up to the Gators at this point.
"This official [to Florida] really made it stand out. It means a lot being out here."
This will come down to numbers for Florida, but Stokes and his family are high on the Gators for sure.
Elijah Blades remains committed to Florida after his official visit. The four-star cornerback from California is taking an official to Nebraska but the feeling is that he will remain solid to his pledge to the Gators.
Around the Nation
Where in the world did Florida targets travel this weekend?
"They're just real and honest with you," Conliffe said. "They know what they want and they don't try to sell me dreams. They also have a great sense of humor."
He is set to visit Florida next. Penn State and Alabama are also in the mix.
Kai-Leon Herbert took a trip to Auburn last weekend.
“Now I am definitely considering Auburn much more than I would have if I didn’t come," Herbert told Mark Murphy of Scout's Auburn site. "Auburn is up there for me. I am still looking at Miami and Florida, but those are two schools including (Auburn).”
The Michigan pledge did mention the Wolverines in that quote, however, he says he remains committed to Harbugh's team and they are a finalist as well.
Herbert is set to visit Miami and Florida the next two weeks. The Gators look like the more likely pick.
LaBryan Ray visited Tennessee, however, Florida continues to be the main threat to in-state school Alabama for the four-star defensive end. Ray will visit the Crimson Tide this weekend and will follow that visit with a trip to Florida on Jan. 27.
Brian Edwards visited Louisville and will also be in Gainesville on that final weekend. The Miramar defensive back was once a Cardinals pledge and continues to think highly of the program. Many consider him a U of L lean. Edwards will visit Miami next.
Although Florida should still feel like it is the favorite for C.J.Henderson, Alabama has entered the fray. The Crimson Tide hosted the four-star cornerback alone this weekend, and Henderson was welcomed by several South Florida natives including wide out Jerry Jeudy. Bama's stock with Henderson was also helped with Marion Humphrey declaring for the NFL draft this weekend.
Odds and Ends
- Four-star defensive end Jarez Parks rescheduled his official visit for the final weekend.
- Three-star Louisville athlete pledge Malik Cunningham will visit Florida on the final weekend as well.
- Nick Smith decommited from NC State and scheduled his Florida visit for this upcoming weekend. He visited Michigan State last weekend. STORY HERE.
- Tyrone Truesdell did not visit Louisville this weekend this past weekend.
- Henry Ruggs took a trip to Florida State this past weekend. He will visit Alabama next, the favorite to land the wide receiver.