Florida football recruiting is looking to become a permanent residence in Texas with how hard their recruiting top talent out of the state.
They also seem to have a focus on McKinney, Texas in particular. In the 2024 class, they already have 5-star safety Xavier Filsaime committed. And they recently offered one of his teammates in the 2025 cycle.
The Gators extended an offer to Riley Pettijohn, a 4-star LB from McKinney.
247 Sports has him ranked as the 54th-best player in the country, the 9th-best linebacker in the class, and the 6th-best player coming out of Texas.
Pettijohn is already a good physical presence, standing at 6’2”-205, and still has room to add even more muscle mass to his frame.
He plays a lot of outside linebacker for McKinney, where he showcases his speed and instincts. He does a great job of crashing down into the backfield to blow up run plays and applies good pressure on QBs.
If the play is run to the opposite side, Riley has little to no problem tracking it down and still making the play, even if it’s 40 yards away from where he lined up.
Being on the outside also comes with some duties in coverage. While he still has room to improve here, he’s shown to be viable against tight ends and has good enough ball skills for where he is in his career.
Being teammates with Xavier Filsaime probably has Riley hearing a good bit about what Billy Napier and the Gators are doing, as does the Gators going around all of Texas and making an impression on its top players.
With lots of time left in Riley’s recruitment, the Gators have a while to set up visits and continue to impress him.
But they better not wait too long. Pettijohn is an elite prospect and he’ll get swooped up quickly if the Gators aren’t there.
Keep up with Florida football recruiting at Hail Florida Hail.