The Florida Gators land a massive (literally and figuratively) commitment in the 2023 class as four-star OT Caden Jones announced his commitment to Florida over Texas A&M and Houston during the All-American Bowl this afternoon in San Antonio (Tx.). With the addition of Jones the Gators have quietly put together a solid offensive line class. He joins interior offensive lineman Knijeah Harris and Roderick Kearney and fellow offensive tackle Bryce Lovett. The New Orleans, Louisiana (De La Salle HS) native gives Florida a player that can develop into what they hope will be an elite offensive tackle down the line. He checks in as the #496 overall player and the #36 offensive tackle according to the 247sports composite rankings.
Championship teams usually have the best offensive linemen in the country. Landing a player like Caden Jones is a great start for the Gators to get back to that level. Standing at 6-foot-8 325 pounds, he has the size to get down hill as a run blocker, but is also very athletic and can provide great pass protection for the quarterback once he refines his technique. He's still raw as a prospect, but has a very high ceiling. Billy Napier, Rob Sale and Darnell Stapleton did a great job of recruiting him and making him feel like a major priority and selling him on their ability to be able to develop him at the highest level. With his size, we can see the type of offensive line the staff wants to build.
The Gators are losing four lineman from this past year's roster, including three starters. O'Cyrus Torrance is entering the NFL Draft. Richard Gouraige is graduating and also entering the NFL Draft, while both Ethan White and Michael Tarquin have entered the transfer portal. Tarquin announced that he'll be transferring to USC so bringing in guys like Caden Jones, Roderick Kearney, Knijeah Harris and Bryce Lovett gives Florida depth along the offensive line. Jones can play either tackle position, but I envision him being the future left tackle when it's all said and done.
When you turn on the film, you notice his size right off the bat. He's still learning the nuances of the position, but the potential is there for him to develop into a great player. He has very nimble feet for a guy his size thanks to his basketball background. He still has to polish up his technique, but getting coached by both Rob Sale and Darnell Stapleton should really help him in that regard. Florida still needs to add at least one more offensive lineman from the transfer portal, but Jones is a massive addition for the staff.
Caden Jones is a great kid with a very bright future both on and off the field. He’s a player that has a chance to develop into a great offensive line prospect. He works hard at his craft and will only get better when he gets to college. He's another big time piece for a great offensive line class for the Florida Gators.
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Feature Photo Credit: @Hayesfawcett3 on Twitter