Cleveland Excited to Join Gators, McElwain Pumped for 2016 class

The Florida Gators got better on Wednesday.

While nearly half of Florida’s 2016 recruiting class is already on campus as early enrollees, the Gators added a big name on National Signing Day.

Wide receiver Tyrie Cleveland (Westfield, Texas) officially committed to the University of Florida on Wednesday morning. The Under-Armour All-American is the No. 4 wideout in the country according to ESPN. Cleveland stands at 6-foot-3, 180 pounds and has the speed and size to become a deep threat for the Gators moving forward.

According to Cleveland, his family pitched last-minute thoughts in order to convince him to choose Arkansas. But Cleveland made the decision to become a Gator because of the opportunity to play for a big time program.

Cleveland chose Florida over Houston, TCU, and Arkansas. He becomes the fourth high school four-star wide receiver to join the class (Rick Wells, Freddie Swain, Josh Hammond) along with junior college product Dre Massey.

Florida head coach Jim McElwain says Cleveland is walking into “a homecoming.” Cleveland is originally from Jacksonville, Florida and was middle school friends with fellow Gator signee Rick Wells.

The Gators missed out on their three other big targets that committed on Wednesday. Defensive end Brian Burns (American Heritage – Plantation, Florida) committed to Florida State, offensive lineman John Simpson (North Charleston, South Carolina) committed to Clemson, and defensive back Kristian Fulton (Metairie, Louisiana) chose LSU.

Florida also had two de-commitments on the day: ESPN300 defensive tackle Shavar Manuel (IMG Academy – Bradenton, Florida) flipped to Florida State. Cornerback Aaron Robinson flipped to Alabama.

Because Florida had twelve early-enrollees, a big chunk of Florida’s class was already solidified before Wednesday.

Offensively, the 2016 class brings in two quarterbacks (Army All-American Feleipe Franks and Kyle Trask), two running backs (JUCO Mark Thompson and Lamical Perine), four wide receivers, and three offensive linemen (Under-Armour All-American Brett Heggie, Stone Forsythe, and Jawaan Taylor).

Defensively, the class is headlined by big-time pass-rusher Antonneous Clayton, a five-star according to Rivals. Jachai Polite and Jordan Smith also come into Florida to help out on the defensive line.

The Gators also added three linebackers in David Reese, Vosean Joseph, and Jeremiah Moon. The incoming defensive backs are led by Under-Armour All-American corner Chauncey Gardner. CJ McWilliams, Quicy Lenton, Jeawon Taylor, and JUCO corner Joseph Putu all signed pen to paper to officially become Gators.

Florida also nabbed Eddy Piniero, the nation’s top-rated kicker in the country.

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