Today was one of the biggest days of the year in college football, the early signing day. It was special for Florida football as well.
Today is the day where Florida football and all other schools get the first official letters of intent delivered from the recruits they covet so much. This is a special day in the lives of many from the parents to the student who makes a commitment to be at a school for many years.
The day started out strong for the Gators as they got the ball off rolling early in the morning on Wednesday
By approximately 7:18 a.m. Wednesday, the first official signee had gotten his National Letter of Intent into the compliance office of the University of Florida.
Defensive back Tre’Vez Johnson out of Jacksonville. A very fast and hard-hitting DB made it official and joined Florida football. This was just the start of the day as the signees just kept coming.
Gervon Dexter, who many thought may take the offer to Alabama, made it official to become a Gator soon after Johnson. The DT is a huge commitment for the Gators and makes him part of a great defensive line.
Along with Dexter on the D line, they signed Lamar Goods, Johnnie Brown, and Jaylen Lee, who flipped from LSU to Gators. All four-star guys and this has to be one of the best D-line signings in the country.
The Florida connection
All in all Florida football landed 21 new Gators today. Sixteen of those new Gators are from the state of Florida. That is a huge number of recruits from the state and it shows Dan Mullen’s ability to keep the talent in the state.
Anthony Richardson, Joshua Braun, Richard Leonard, Richard Leonard, Derek Wingo, Ethan Pouncey, Jaquavion Fraziars, Johnnie Brown, Tre’Vez Johnson, Fenley Graham, Jonathan Odom, Gerald Mincey, Issiah Walker Jr., Leonard Manuel, Marc Britt, and Jovens Janvier.
When you have a state as large as Florida with as many Division one schools to land that many top in-state talents (10 four-star) is a testament to Mullen and his staff. The out of state list of recruits looks like this; Jahari Rogers, Avery Helm, Mordecai McDaniel, Rashad Torrence II, and Antwaun Powell.
Reaction from coaches and players
Early in the day, I reached out to some of those that had already sent their NLI to UF. Through the ones I spoke with to the guys that spoke to others, there is one main theme I heard over and over. Most came here with the intent of winning a National Championship.
Dexter, who was pressed by both Alabama and Georgia, told Saturday Down South that there were a couple of reasons he came to Florida;
“I love what Florida is building, the brand of defense, all that. Georgia and Bama kept pushing and pushing but in the end, I can win at Florida and I’m from Florida, why would I leave my home?”
Jonathan Odom when I asked him what it felt like to be a Gator said;
“It feels like a dream came true.” Odom who had 35 offers, is another big-time TE that can come in and continue right when Pitts leaves off.
When asked about his goals for Florida football he said:
“To be the best I can be and help the team win a National Championship.”
There is that mention of a championship. I also reached out to Antwaun Powell who had this to say:
“It feels great to be a Gator can’t wait to get down and show what I have to put toward the team in winning a natty.”
All over no matter where you read they wat that championship. Seeing so many young men with the same mission on their minds can only mean one thing. The will make this into existence. The will of all these players and the coaches can only lead to the end goal of a championship.
Today was a good day but not the last by far.
There are many top recruits that are still waiting to sign and why not do it here at Florida?
Dan Mullen and the team have done a great job and the future of Florida football in is good hands. Welcome, all to Gator Nation!
No. 6 Florida football will take on No. 24 Virginia in the Capital One Orange Bowl on Dec. 30 in Miami Gardens, Florida.