There is a theory to be believed that Billy Napier was watching Florida football bumble and stumble on offense during the Spring Game last night and knew he needed something to flip the negative narrative that was starting to permeate.
That reprieve came at halftime when Xavier Filsaime announced that he was committing to the Florida Gators for 2024. The potential five-star safety out of Texas had been trending towards Florida, but the actual announcement wasn’t expected to come last night.
Beyond picking up a highly talented player, Filsaime now has Florida in striking distance of the top recruiting class in the nation.
Florida Football: X gonna give it to ya
Let’s first review the player Florida is getting. Listed at 6’1″ and 180 pounds, Filsaime is regarded as the second-best safety in the country by 247 Sports and On3, with 247 listing him as a five-star prospect.
His calling card is speed, with verified track times of 10.52 seconds in the 100-meter dash and over 22 feet in the long jump. He utilizes this speed on film to react to and stop plays even when caught at a standstill. He easily comes downhill and flies to ball carriers to stop them in their tracks.
His commitment is significant because Florida is moving ever closer to the top of the recruiting rankings, even though they have fewer hard commitments than everyone around them.
On Rivals and 247 Sports the Gators are ranked 6th nationally. This is despite Florida being the only school in the top 16 besides South Carolina to have seven or fewer commitments.
On3, which places a little more value on average recruit ranking vs the total number of commitments, has Florida ranked 4th.
And to that point, only Alabama has a higher average rating per recruit than Florida. Four of the seven commitments the Gators have are ranked in the top 50.
Combined with heavy momentum surrounding FSU de-commit Jordan Pride, a top 100 prospect, and five-star prospects Colin Simmons and Charles Lester making an appearance at Florida’s Orange and Blue game, there is a chance Florida officially vaults into a top-three recruiting class by summertime.
And given that the on-field play for 2023 might be lacking, if Napier can secure this class, it will give hope that there might be a light at the end of the tunnel once all these prospects come to fruition.