Join us here at SEC Country for a daily recap of the latest Florida recruiting news, tales from the trail, and perspective on what it all means for the Gators.
David Baldwin attending Florida spring game
Florida coach Dan Mullen and his staff are recruiting a dozen players from IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.) in the Class of 2019, including quarterback David Baldwin.
The 3-star quarterback, who is from Upland, Calif., received an offer from the Gators on Jan. 22. The following week, Mullen made a recruiting visit to IMG in a helicopter.
“That was pretty cool,” Baldwin said of Mullen’s arrival. “We were all trying to guess what coach it was. Everybody was saying, ‘It’s Nick Saban! It’s Nick Saban!’ I didn’t think so. Then we saw it was Dan Mullen and it was crazy. He had other coaches with him, too.”
Baldwin has been building a relationship with Mullen since late January and also speaks regularly with quarterbacks coach Brian Johnson, who serves as his primary recruiter. Baldwin said they communicate “at least once or twice” a week.
“The coaches are really cool,” Baldwin said of the new staff. “I can connect with them well, especially Coach Johnson. He played the position at Utah and won a championship. He’s just laid back like I am.
“Coach Mullen knows what he’s talking about. I’ve talked to him for a little bit and we’re going to keep talking more. He’s put a lot of quarterbacks into the league, so that’s one thing I got my eye on.”
Baldwin is ranked the nation’s No. 12 dual-threat quarterback in the 247Sports composite and holds more than a dozen offers, including Florida State, Georgia, LSU and Ole Miss.
He doesn’t claim a leader at this time, but the Gators have established themselves as one of his top teams.
“They’re pretty up there just because of their communication,” Baldwin said. “They just want me to feel comfortable around them. It doesn’t even matter if I go to their school or not. They just want me to be comfortable around them. They feel I’ll be most comfortable at their school.”
Baldwin will find out soon enough. He plans to attend the Orange & Blue Game on April 14 and will also visit Florida with his IMG Academy teammates.
“It will be my first time there since I moved from Cali,” Baldwin said. “I’m looking forward to the visit. I heard they have a big swamp on their campus, so I can’t wait to see that.
“They’ve shown me pretty much everything. I just want to go see how their business program is. Academics are important to me. Football doesn’t last forever, so there’s a point where I need to set myself up for life after football.”
The 6-foot-4, 214-pound Baldwin also plans to visit LSU and Ole Miss in the coming weeks. He will be an early enrollee and hopes to have his recruitment wrapped in a few months.
“I’m going to take official visits in the summer and sign in December because I’m going to school early,” Baldwin said. “I’m going to make my commitment around the end of the summer before the season starts. I’m looking for good academics, early playing time and cool coaches.”
Miami commits planning to visit Gators
Miami’s class ranks No. 2 nationally in the 2019 cycle, but a few of their commits are still hearing from other schools.
Renato Brown pledged to the Hurricanes last September and will return to Coral Gables soon. The 3-star defensive tackle from Palm Beach Central High School (West Palm Beach, Fla.) also plans to take trips to Alabama, Florida and Penn State.
“I’m trying to get a visit out to Florida,” Brown said. “I talk to Coach Mullen a lot. Me and Coach Mullen are on a daily-basis conversation.”
Another Miami commit who plans to check out the Gators is 3-star linebacker/safety Diamante Howard from Miami Southridge. He was one of the first 2019 recruits to receive an offer from Mullen in late November.
Howard hopes to visit Florida this spring as well as Georgia, Tennessee and Central Florida.
“That’s my goal,” said Howard, who added that all four programs are trying to flip him.
Most schools are recruiting Howard as a safety, although Miami still considers him an outside linebacker, according to DieHard’s David Wilson. The 6-foot-2, 178-pound prospect worked as a defensive back at the Under Armour Camp in Miami.
“It’s to show I can do anything on the field because I came from D-line to linebacker, now I’m at safety,” Howard said. “It has been tough doing the whole four years and whatnot, but now I’m trying for DB.”
DieHard’s David Wilson contributed to this report. Miss a previous Gator Chomps notebook? Find every daily recap of Florida Gators recruiting right here.
The post Quarterback David Baldwin connecting with Florida staff, plans to visit soon appeared first on SEC Country.
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