The Billy Napier era has officially begun as the new head coach will turn his attention to National Signing Day and spring football for the next few months. The Gators closed very strong during early NSD, landing two four-star prospects in safety Devin Moore, and linebacker Shemar James to go along with five-star safety Kamari Wilson.
National Signing Day is quickly approaching with just under a month until February 2nd, and the Gators are looking to sign some big time prospects to fill out their class. They’ll also be looking to add a few players from the transfer portal to fill some of the holes on the roster left by the previous staff. Here are the top five prospects I would love for Florida to make a run at and possibly sign on the first Wednesday in February.
5) Kevin Coleman
Coleman is a four-star wide receiver from St. Louis, Missouri. Watching his film, the first thing that jumps out to you is that he’s very quick off the ball and can get open in a multitude of ways. He has pretty good speed and is a threat to score every time he touches the ball. Miami, Florida State and USC are considered the favorites, but if Florida can get him on campus for a visit, they might be able to enter the mix as well.
4) Jahlil Florence
Florence is a four-star cornerback from San Diego, California. The former Oregon commit is a pure cover corner with great ball skills. He has the ability to flip his hips and stay with any receiver he’s covering. Oregon should be considered the favorite, but I wouldn’t rule out an official visit to Florida since he recently received the green light from cornerbacks coach Corey Raymond.
3) T.J. Dudley
Another former Oregon commit, Dudley is a four-star linebacker from Montgomery, Alabama that the Gators have turned the heat up for. He’s fast, physical, plays down hill and flies to the football. He does have an official visit locked in with Florida on the weekend of January 14th as well. Signee Shemar James and current Gator LB Scooby Williams have been recruiting him hard and could help the Gators chances here. Though Florida does not currently have a LB coach in place I still would considered them one of the favorites to land him.
2) Trevor Etienne
Etienne, four-star running back from Jennings, Louisiana and the younger brother of Jacksonville Jaguars running back Travis Etienne, is one of the most heavily recruited players in the country. He can do it all at the position. He’s physical, can run between the tackles, catch the ball out of the backfield and has the speed to take it the distance when he’s in the open field. He released a top 3 of Florida, Clemson and LSU in late November. He’ll be making his decision on January 8th at the All-American Bowl and officially visit Florida on January 14th. I like where Florida currently stands in his recruitment.
1) TreVonte Citizen
Citizen is another four-star running back. He hails from Lake Charles, Louisiana, and is one of Billy Napier’s top targets in the 2022 class. The former LSU commit backed off of his pledge to the Tigers shortly after Ed Orgeron was fired. As soon as Napier took the Florida job and hired Jabbar Juluke, they wasted no time going to see Citizen and offered him shortly after. He’s a bigger back than Etienne, but he’s still has the ability to take it the distance every time he touches the ball. Florida, LSU, Auburn and Ole Miss are the schools to look out for in his recruitment.
There are two bonus players that I’m adding to the list that are currently in the transfer portal.
The first player in the portal Florida should look at is West Virginia wide receiver Winston Wright Jr. Wright has 2 years of eligibility left and was the Mountaineers’ leading receiver, catching 63 passes for 688 yards and 5 touchdowns this past year. In his three-year WVU career, Wright reeled in 129 passes for 1,338 yards and 7 touchdowns and was a two time All-Big 12 selection. He’s also dangerous in the return game, returning a kickoff for a touchdown as well. Wright was as consistent as they come, catching at least one pass in each game this season.
The second player Florida should look at is Albany defensive end transfer Jared Verse. With Zach Carter graduating and leaving for the NFL and Khris Bogle transferring to Michigan State, Florida needs a couple of pass rushers to help fill the void. The 6’4” 247 pound defensive end could come in and make an immediate impact next season. He finished the 2021 season with 11.5 tackles for loss including 9.5 sacks, earning All-CAA First Team honors.
Florida needs to revamp the roster, and these are players that if they sign, they have a chance to come in and make an immediate impact and help change the culture of the program.