Florida football recruiting is starting to sink its teeth into the class of 2025 and is trying to separate itself from the rest of the pack for priority players.
One of those guys is Elijah Melendez, a 4-star linebacker out of Kissimmee, Florida, and a top-300 overall player in the ’25 cycle.
The Gators are fighting an in-state battle for Melendez, and so far they’re doing a pretty good job of staying on top of the race.
Florida is in constant contact with Elijah and is in good shape in his recruitment.
Florida football recruiting: A force on the field
When you watch his tape, Elijah’s power and strength jump out at you. He has the ability to bulldoze blockers and keep his motor going to finish off the player.
He’s a strong tackler with the ability to rip the ball out and has gotten reps on kickoff as a blocker, where he lays out the gunners going after the returner.
At 6’2”-220, Melendez has the size to bully opposing players but also has great closing speed and the willingness to go sideline to sideline to make a play.
On3’s Industry Rankign has him as the 260th-best player in the country, the 26th-best LB, and the 35th-best player coming out of Florida.
All that Billy Napier and his staff are doing with Elijah has put them in a good spot in his recruitment. On3’s RPM currently lists the Gators as the favorite with a 38.7% chance to land him, with UCF in second at 12% and Miami in third with 10.3%.
The Gators have recruited linebackers at a high level in the 2024 cycle, and look to continue that pace heading into the 2025 cycle.