Florida recruiting: Top targets for Class of 2019

Florida’s 2018 class is in the books and it’s time to turn the page to a new recruiting cycle.

Gators coach Dan Mullen and his staff already have laid the groundwork for the Class of 2019 and identified their top targets.

Here are some names to know:

  • Jalon Jones, 3-star QB, St. Frances Academy (Baltimore, Md.): Jones committed to Mullen last summer when he was still coaching at Mississippi State. Jones backed off that pledge after Mullen took the Florida job and received an offer from the Gators on Dec. 11. Alabama also has offered the nation’s No. 11 dual-threat quarterback, according to the 247Sports Composite.
  • Trey Sanders, 5-star RB, IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.): The Gators are recruiting Sanders and fellow 5-star RB Noah Cain from IMG Academy, but they appear to have a better shot with Sanders. The Port St. Joe, Fla., native de-committed from Alabama on Jan. 1 and Florida is viewed as one of his top schools, along with Florida State and Miami.
  • Jeremiah Payton, 4-star WR,  Duncan U. Fletcher (Neptune Beach, Fla.): Florida is targeting several wide receivers, but Payton is probably the biggest priority for the staff given his talent level and proximity to Gainesville. The top-100 overall recruit already holds more than 20 offers, including Alabama, Florida, Georgia and Miami, his presumed favorite.
  • Keon Zipperer, 4-star TE, Lakeland (Lakeland, Fla.): Zipperer is the nation’s No. 2 tight end and there’s a lot competition for him. Alabama, Clemson, Oklahoma and more than two dozen schools are on his trail, but the in-state Gators have a great chance to keep Zipperer home. New Florida tight ends coach Larry Scott, an ace recruiter, will lead the charge.
  • Dontae Lucas, 4-star OL, IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla): Florida is pursuing multiple offensive linemen at IMG Academy, but Lucas is the name to keep an eye on. He’s one of the top players in the country at his position and has been high on the Gators since attending Friday Night Lights last summer. Florida and Miami are his top schools.
  • Tyler Davis, 4-star DT, Wekiva (Apopka, Fla.): Florida must sign multiple defensive tackles after striking out in the 2018 recruiting cycle. The coaches are hoping to address their need at the position with Davis. He received an offer from the Gators on Jan. 18 and visited Gainesville the following week. Ohio State is the biggest threat to UF.
  • Derick Hunter, 4-star DL, Dunbar, (Fort Myers, Fla.): Like Lucas, Hunter appears to be favoring the Gators and Hurricanes. The former Miami commit re-opened his recruitment in November and received an offer from the new Florida coaches on Dec. 24. Mullen visited Hunter last month and will continue to make him a priority moving forward.
  • Jaquaze Sorrells, 4-star DL, Largo (Largo, Fla.): Sorrells pledged to Florida under the previous staff and decided to de-commit on New Year’s Eve. However, the Gators are still one of his top teams and they have a huge need for him along their defensive line. Sorrells is a disruptive pass rusher from the edge, but also has the strength and size to slide inside.
  • Nakobe Dean, 5-star LB, Horn Lake (Horn Lake, Miss.): The Gators have a few in-state targets at linebacker, but they will also shoot high with Dean. He received an offer in December from Mullen and plans to visit Florida in the spring or summer. Alabama and Ole Miss are the top contenders for Dean, who is ranked the nation’s No. 1 outside linebacker.
  • Kaiir Elam, 4-star CB, The Benjamin School (North Palm Beach, Fla.): Cornerback is another position of importance in Florida’s 2019 class and the coaches are high on Elam. He is the nephew of former Gators safety Matt Elam. The Gators are considered the team to beat for the nation’s No. 14 cornerback, who also holds offers from Alabama, Florida State, Miami and Ohio State.

The post Florida recruiting: Top targets for Class of 2019 appeared first on SEC Country.

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