FROM: CONNER CLARK
5:30 PM, 1/30/2019
With National Signing Day only a week away I wanted to take the time to sit down and analyze the situation of each of Florida’s 4 remaining targets going in to the final stretch of the 2019 cycle.
Two of the four targets (Khris Bogle and Mark-Antony Richards) have already taken all 5 of their official visits and it doesn’t look like Kaiir Elam will take his fifth so 3 of the 4 could be staying home for the weekend. Coach Mullen and staff will be conducting their final in-home visits throughout the week, so you have to like their chances with most.
Kaiir Elam: Elam has taken 4 official visits to Miami, Florida, Georgia and Colorado in that order. Miami’s visit was before the early signing period so they don’t seem like much of a threat. Colorado is the most recent visit he took but that seemed like more of a courtesy because of his prior relationship with current Colorado and former Georgia defensive coordinator Mel Tucker. This is a Florida/Georgia battle and has been for quite some time now. Despite what seemed to be a very desperate last chance attempt by Georgia to lure Elam in with the hire of former Gators cornerback coach Charlton Warren, at the end of the day I don’t see the Gators losing this one. Florida has too much going for them in my opinion.
Mark-Antony Richards: Mark-Antony is fresh off a visit to Miami. It honestly seemed like more of a courtesy visit than anything, despite Miami being the place many people thought he would land early in the process because of his older brother Ahmmon being on campus in Coral Gables. Richards (a Palm Beach county native like Elam) visited Florida and Georgia with Kaiir. The two seemed to have a strong connection. This one seems to be a Florida/Auburn battle. In the end, I think the way Coach Mullen has been selling him on how he will use him on offense and his strong relationship with Kaiir will be the deciding factors.
Khris Bogle: Bogle, a current Alabama commit made his verbal pledge to the Crimson Tide at the All-American Bowl in Texas earlier this month. However, in no way was his recruitment over. He stated publicly he would still take the rest of his visits and he did exactly that. Bogle has taken all five of his official visits with only one coming after the early signing period to Florida last weekend. All of the chatter coming out of Gainesville after this past weekend was that the staff did a great job on his visit and really won over his mom. Being the last visit for a prospect leaves you feeling good about where you stand and given that he hasn’t been shy about exploring his options, it would seem a flip from the Crimson Tide is almost inevitable. The Gators should feel good about their chances. However, there are rumors that Bogle could take an unofficial visit to Miami this final weekend before signing day on Wednesday. Should that happen, you would really have to like Miami’s chances to flip the Alabama commit. With Khris living so close I see that late visit as a very real possibility which is why I think the Hurricanes add some much needed star power from home to their 2019 class.
Charles Moore: Moore is by far the biggest need for the Gators and probably the most unpredictable recruit left on Florida’s board. Fresh off his Florida official visit he named the Gators his outright leader, referencing the schools education and opportunities for life after football. Since then the Gators have made a change on staff for Moore’s position coach after Sal Sunseri left the Gators for the University of Alabama. Just before the Gators hired their new defensive line coach in David Turner, Moore announced that he now had no leader due to the uncertainty of who would be coaching him at Florida. Since the announcement of Turner just before his visit to FSU he raved about how he thought Turner was a great hire and was familiar with him. Then just off his official visit to the Seminoles he spoke very highly of the culture and coaching staff there in Tallahassee. Moore still has one more official visit lined up for this weekend to Baton Rouge, Louisiana to check out the Tigers. Chances are he comes away very impressed and raves about them as well. It seems as though Moore is one of those prospects that very easily falls victim to the “visit high” and that could work in LSU’s favor here down the stretch. However I think it comes down to a Florida/ Auburn battle and he seems to have the longest standing relationship with Gus Malzhan and the Auburn coaching staff. I think that in the end will be what ultimately seals the deal.
Overall, if the Gators are able to close with these two of their final four targets and sign the two prospects currently committed, I would consider the class to be very good. However, they didn’t close at the biggest position of need which is the defensive line. Some of that can be blamed on the timing of losing your defensive line coach but you really can’t make too many excuses. The DL class is simply lacking. Coach Mullen and his staff will have to make the defensive line and specifically defensive tackle the number one priority for the 2020 recruiting class.
You can follow Conner on Twitter @CJ_Clarke1.
(Photo Via: Gator Country/David Bowie)