Florida Gators Road To Signing Day: Levi Jones Has A New Leader

As we get closer to signing day, the coming weeks will become jam packed. After a slew of official Florida Gators visits this past weekend, let’s look at what happened.

News

Because of the departure of OL Coach Mike Summers, Caleb Chandler has announced the Gators are no longer in the running for his talents. Summers was the main recruiter for Chandler who has now just committed to Louisville, Summers’ new school.

4-Star Levi Jones names UF as his leader. The last few weeks I have talked about how the Seminoles being his leader and them having the upper hand. Well after this visit this past weekend, the Texas linebacker names UF as his leader reported Zach Abolverdi. His parents seemed to love the visit as well judging by their tweets on twitter throughout the weekend. One of them is below.

5-Star Safety from Virginia seemed to be in love with Florida this past weekend. Gray was his recruiter in his tenure at Virginia Tech and now is his recruiter at UF. The Hokies seem to still have overwhelming leads over the Gators, but with Hunter announcing his commitment Friday, UF hopes they left a sizable impression.

3-Star yet touted South Florida corner Shawn Davis will no longer early enroll for the Gators. This has nothing to do with a change of heart in his commitment or anything of that nature. The High School Senior just ended up with ONE credit less than needed to enroll early. It sucks, but there isn’t much else that can be done. He still is an exciting prospect and I can’t wait to see him take the field in the summer.

The two go to different high schools, but still, Lakeland products James Robinson and Ventrell Miller appear to have built a strong bond on their visit together this past weekend. Miller has been a Gator pledge for some time now, and the Gators appear to be Robinson’s leader.

“The bonds I had with everyone,” Robinson said, “that was the highlight of my trip.” reported by Zach Abolverdi.

3-Star LB target Nick Smith decommitts from N.C. State. Smith is an LB target of the Gators and LSU Tigers. The Gators will host him first this weekend and LSU the next. Smith has quality, 4-star style film but his lack of attending camps seems to be his demise in the rankings. Let’s see if Mac can flex his eye for talent once more.

Rumors

Rumors of Shawn Davis mulling his Florida pledge after being denied early enrollment and reaching out to Miami for a visit have been shut down quick by Shawn himself.  The article was written by Peter Ariz of “CanesInSight”. Shawn’s tweet and article is below.

https://www.canesinsight.com/articles/canes/3409

Even with their two spectacular visits, it still appears the Gators will come up short for Devon Hunter and Levi Jones. Both star prospects had the Gators in second before their visits but it appears as UF might have jumped #1 for both, for know. Hunter still has to go back home to Virginia where I’m sure more lobbying for the Hokies will be down. Levi also still has a visit with FSU left. So with that said, it appears the Gators will rely on their fall back plans of 3-Stars Nick Smith and Brian Edwards.

Checking In

The Elijah Blades scares have ultimately been put to a complete rest. With Blades seemingly enjoying his visit this weekend and posting numerous Gator related photos, he appears to be a lock.

4-Star CB target Brad Stewart appears to have enjoyed his visit with Arizona St, which is some room for concern. With the Gators still trying to load up on DBs cycle, he may feel a slight disrespect. Ultimately I still think he ends up a Gator.

The Auburn Tigers seems to be making a late push for 4-Star Gator commit T.J. Moore.  The Tigers have yet to set up a visit with the Mallard Creek product and the Gators still host his last visit. Doubt he goes anywhere, just something to note.

Class Of 2017 Prediction –

Quarterback (1) –

3-Star Jake Allen

1/16/16 Notes: Nothing has changed.

1/8/16 Notes: Nothing has changed.

1/8/16 Notes: Nothing has changed.

12/26/16 Notes: Nothing has changed.

12/18/16 Notes: Nothing has changed.

12/11/16 Notes: It’s very unlikely that the Gators will take another quarterback with three in the system next year and one already committed. Allen lost a star, but the talent is there.

Running Back (2) –

3-Star Malik Davis

3-Star Adarius Lemons (Pending Grades)

1/16/16 Notes: Nothing has changed.

1/8/16 Notes: Nothing has changed.

1/1/16 Notes: Nothing has changed.

12/26/16 Notes: Nothing has changed.

12/18/16  Notes:  Based on his recent tweets, three-star running back Adarius Lemons seems to be closer to being academically eligible to sign with Florida. Only time will tell.

b Malik Davis is pretty much a lock, and if Adarius Lemons can’t qualify, it seems he will be the only back taken. Yesterday was the last possible date for Lemons to take the ACT to take it before National Signing Day.

Wide Receiver (2) –

4- Star Daquon Green

4-Star James Robinson

1/16/16 Notes: Nothing has changed.

1/8/16 Notes: Nothing has changed.

1/1/16 Notes: Robinson abruptly named Florida his leader, even if he backed off on it, he wouldn’t have said it if it wasn’t true. We knew this going into the practices though anyway. So, nothing has really changed.

12/26/16 Notes: The above two are fully expected, but recent rumors have pointed to possibly adding Michael Harley to this class. I am still a little skeptical he will get an offer because of his small frame, but we will see. Until he gets an offer, can’t even bother to add him to the class.

12/18/16 Notes: Nothing has changed.

12/11/16 Notes: Both are pretty many locks to The Swamp. I can’t see it going any other way, even if Clemson and Alabama make a late push for Robinson.

Tight End (2) –

3-Star Zech Byrd

4-Star Kemore Gamble

1/16/16 Notes: Nothing has changed.

1/8/16 Notes: Nothing has changed.

1/1/16 Notes: Nothing has changed.

12/26/16 Notes: Nothing has changed.

12/18/16 Notes: Nothing has changed.

12/11/16 Notes: Nothing to really see or talk about here. Both will be in The Swamp come next summer. Doubt the Gators add another tight end, as it hasn’t even seemed liked they have pushed for one.

Offensive Line (3) –

4-Star Kadeem Telfort

4-Star T.J. Moore

4-Star Kai Leon-Herbert

1/16/16 Notes: T.J. Moore appears to be garnering a lot of interest from Auburn, but I don’t think he goes anywhere.

1/8/16 Notes: Nothing has changed.

1/1/16 Notes: A lot of Crystal Ball’s heading Florida’s way with 4-Star OT Tony Gray, but I’m not seeing it. I think he is being a hard sell and leading the predictors in the wrong direction. Don’t think he ends up here, could be wrong, though, which would obviously be for the better.

12/26/16 Notes: Moore joined the class as expected from last week, and now I also expect 4-Star Kai Leon-Herbert. I have read, heard and seen enough for me to feel confident with this selection. Herbert will be on Florida’s campus four days before signing day and his announcement is expected to come on the 28th. All signs point to KLH joining the Orange & Blue.

12/18/16 Notes: Donaldson has closed up shop, so I was wrong on that. I am seeing and hearing nothing but good reports on Herbert, but this was before Wilson going to UGA. I think that hurts the Gators in more ways than one. T.J. Moore, on the other hand, has been trending up with the Gators. Florida holds the right to his last visit and reportedly the running is between UF and North Carolina State. For him to choose N.C. State over the Gators would be a shocker.

12/11/16 Notes: Telfort is a lock. If you are following me on Twitter, you know I’m relatively optimistic the Gators can flip Donaldson. The in-home visit seemed to have gone great and he will have a shot at immediate playtime here in the swamp.

Defensive Line (4)

4-Star Zachary Carter

4-Star T.J. Slaton 

3-Star Tyrone Truesdell

3-Star Kyree Campbell

1/16/16 Notes: This where it is kind of hectic. A lot of Crystal Ball’s are saying Conliffe goes to Tennessee, but I am still uncertain about that. Besides Elijah, the Gators are also in the running for the Gaddy brothers who visit Jan. 27th and Cam Spence who visited this past weekend. The latter three are all Maryland commits so it will be hard to pull all three of them, although the brothers are a package deal. The big deal with Breyon and Brandon Gaddy is people are still unsure if they can qualify academically for UF. The Gators need to land two of the four mentioned DTs in this segment for this to be a success. I am dropping Confliffe for now and not adding anyone because I lack the substance to do.

1/8/16 Notes: Slaton is listed as an offensive lineman on 247, but he will be playing defensive tackle in Gainesville. Florida was announced as Slaton’s leader and it should remain that way for the rest of his recruitment process.

1/1/16 Notes: Florida recently extended an offer to 4-Star DT Elijah Conliffe like previously mentioned. The recruiting battle is reportedly between UF and Tennessee, but I can’t see the Gators losing this one with how much of a need DT is. That is reasoning behind me adding him to the board. As far as dropping Aubrey Solomon, everything I am hearing points to him going to Georgia or Alabama. That is the reason he was dropped. Lastly, I am waiting another week or so to make a decision on LaBryan Ray. Waiting on one or two more pieces to move.

12/26/16 Notes: Nothing has changed.

12/18/16 Notes: Nothing has changed.

12/11/16 Notes: Go big or home. Three of the four on the list are potentially locks. Solomon is the only one in doubt. He had to schedule the Gators as his last visit for a reason. In my eyes, it means he would like to come here, but he needs one last “woo.”

Linebackers (3) –

3-Star Ventrell Miller

3-Star James Houston

3-Star Nick Smith

1/16/16 Notes:  Gators are currently the leader for Levi Jones, but those things change quickly. I think at this point the Gators would take both Nick Smith and Jones. That is why I have added Smith now to the class.

1/8/16 Notes: Gators officially lose out on Rahyme Johnson, but this was expected. I am not adding Nick Smith yet just incase by some miraculous way the Gators land Levi Jones. So consider him a “silent” add right now.

1/1/16 Notes: With Rahyme Johnson basically out of the picture, it is Levi Jones or bust for the Gators. Unfortunately, with Tim Brewster recruiting Levi for the Seminoles currently, I’m seeing it as a bust. Big time kid comes off my board for the Gators, unfortunately.   

12/26/16 Notes: Nothing has changed.

12/18/16 Notes: Nothing has changed.

12/11/16 Notes: The linebacker class is lackluster on paper, but the film checks out for all three of these guys.

Defensive Backs (5)

4-Star Elijah Blades

4-Star Marco Wilson

4-Star Brad Stewart

3-Star Shawn Davis

3-Star Brian Edwards

1/16/16 Notes: Blades seems to be locked up, and I’m not too worried about Stewart. DB class should be good to go.

1/8/16 Notes: Nothing has changed.

1/1/16 Notes: Small change on the DB board as I add 3-Star Brian Edwards. It is really a matter of whether or not the Gators want to “take” Edwards and whether if they do, he isn’t felt disrespected in any way because of the delay. Edwards appears to be the backup plan to 4-Star Tray Bishop and the extreme backup plan if Florida loses Elijah Blades. I think with Bishop most likely becoming a Bulldog, the Gators will take Edwards. Small get but Brian Edwards has elite size.

12/26/16 Notes: A little bit of a Blades scare is brewing, but I still think he finishes off as a Gator.

12/18/16 Notes: I still do not have the utmost confidence in landing Bishop like some others.

12/11/16 Notes: This cornerback class is loaded. Stewart is more of a prototypical safety, which is where he’ll most likely play at the next level. The Gators appear to be trending upwards for four-star Tray Bishop and four-star Devon Hunter, but I’m not as confident in those two to put them on my prediction board. Even without them, this is one heck of a DB class.

Athletes (2) –

3-Star Kadarius Toney

4-Star Christopher Henderson

1/16/16 Notes: Nothing has changed.

1/8/16 Notes: Nothing has changed.

1/1/16 Notes: Nothing has changed.

12/26/16 Notes: Nothing has changed.

12/18/16 Notes: Don’t know how or why I forgot to add “Hendo” to the board last week, but now he’s here. Almost a surefire lock for Florida.

12/11/16 Notes: Filthy athletic ability. Zero ideas where he will play, but I can assure it will not be at quarterback.

Until next week!

This article originally appeared on