The time for spring evaluations have arrived. The Florida coaches are busy checking on top talent but where do the Gators stand with some of their top targets on the defensive side of the ball in 2018? FightinGators.com takes a look.
Mallard Creek has been very kind to Florida in recent years. In 2017 the Gators were able to land T.J. Moore to their class and in 2018 the staff is looking at his former teammate, Jordan Davis. The defensive tackle that has recently raised his stock has not visited Gainesville yet this spring. Although the connection to the school is there, the Gators are in the fight with Clemson, NC State, UNC and Miami. Davis has visited Clemson and NC State this spring and is planning to visit Coral Gables.No word yet if a visit to the Swamp is on the cards the next few weeks.
Darnell Jefferies has visited Florida in recent weeks and he left with an offer for his troubles. The Gators are sitting well early with the four-star defensive tackle. Jefferies is, however, a frequent visitor to in-state school Georgia.
Things continue to look great for Florida and Malcolm Lamar. The No. 4 defensive end has not named an official leader, however, the Gators look like the team to beat. He also refers to Alabama and Tennessee as other teams in the mix, however, UF has done great in recent visits with him and his family.
John Waggoner picked up his offer on a visit to Florida earlier this year. The Iowa native is often linked to a stay in his state, however.
Coynis Miller is a name that could be spoken around Gainesville this offseason. The defensive tackle recently told Scout he would like to visit UF at some point. A visit is crucial here, since he has yet to visit The Swamp. Miller has been on campus visits to Alabama, Auburn, Louisville and Ole Miss. He plans on checking out Auburn and Alabama again. He says Michigan is likely to receive an official visit, however, that is not definite.
Channing Tindall is a high priority linebacker for Florida, however, the Gators have some work in that regards. The South Carolina native has South Carolina, Auburn, LSU and Georgia showing extensive interest. The Gamecocks are the team to beat at the moment and he has named several possible visits for the next few months, but that list did not include a visit to Gainesville.
The Gators will need to work hard to land J.J. Peterson, who recently told Scout that Alabama is his leader followed closely by Georgia.
Florida likes DeMarvion Overshown and they hope the Texas native will make a trip to Gainesville. Texas has been a school that has been all over the linebacker in hopes of keeping him in-state.
K'Vaughan Pope has told many that Florida was his dream schools growing up, so the Gators are definitely in the mix. But Clemson, Georgia, Louisville, LSU, Ohio State, Penn State and Virginia Tech could make strong pushes for the country's No. 11 outside linebacker.
Gators have made huge inroads with Dax Hollifield after his recent trip to Gainesville for the spring game. He told Scout that he is definitely taking an official visit to UF. He plans to visit Stanford at some point in the summer before he narrows down his list to a top five.
Florida is putting the full court press on Quay Walker hoping to keep him away from Georgia, however, the home state schools continues to be the favorite.
Things are getting warmer with Tyreke Johnson. At one point it did not seem likely that the five-star cornerback would land in Gainesville, however, Johnson has already visited Florida twice this spring. Corey Bell's addition has certainly switched the tide here. Although the trend meter has not been bleak, Florida still has plenty of competition with UCLA and the west coast. Johnson has often lavished plenty of praise on the Bruins.
The work still continues for Patrick Surtain. The Gators are still chasing Florida State and LSU for the American Heritage standout. He has visited The Swamp once already this spring, however, another visit could add more weight to turning things around with the South Florida native.
Sevyn Banks has the connection. The four-star cornerback's brother, Marcell Harris, has given him the insight on the program and his connection has allowed Banks the ability to visit the school plenty of times. However, Banks does not want to name an outright leader. Notre Dame, LSU and Ohio State are other schools in contact with Banks.
**Commit** Cajuan Smith is a recent pledge to Florida, and he told FightinGators.com that another school will need to pull some "Houdini-style" magic in order for him to flip from the Gators.
**Commit** Divaad Wilson has said numerous times that he is solid to Florida, and he has not planned any visits as of right now.
Trey Dean named Florida a favorite back in the fall, and the Gators have done well to stay among the top. The only problem? Georgia is still considered the favorite at this time.
Amari Burney is expected to make his decision on June 1st and Florida is in good shape with the defensive back, who is also being recruited as a wide receiver by the Gators. Burney is expected to visit Virginia Tech this week. He visited the Gators for the recent junior day prior to the spring game.