Mullen talks National Signing Day

With National Signing Day here, the Florida Gators have an impressive roster of recruits for the 2020 class.

As of Feb. 5, the Florida Gators recruiting class ranks 8th nationally and 6th in the SEC. Florida’s only five-star recruit this season is defensive tackle Gervon Dexter from Lake Wales. Dexter is the Gators’ first five-star recruit since 2015 with Martez Ivey and CeCe Jefferson.

According to head coach Dan Mullen, Dexter has the potential to dominate the line of scrimmage.

One of the early surprises for National Signing Day was Avantae Williams signing with the Miami Hurricanes. With Lorenzo Lingard transferring to Florida from Miami, many speculated that Williams would follow Lingard to Florida.

Coach Mullen says he wishes Williams the best, but the Gators will be fine.

On Feb. 5 the Gators officially signed four-star wide receiver Xzavier Henderson. The brother of former Gator Chris Henderson, he originally committed to Clemson before flipping to the Gators. Also, according to 247sports Henderson is the 11th-best receiver in the 2020 class.

According to Mullen, Henderson’s size and ability could make him a tough cover, even for someone like CJ Henderson.

Transfer portal

Through the NCAA transfer portal, the Gators found success during the 2020 recruiting cycle. Previously, Florida acquired Brenton Cox from Georgia during the 2019 season. For 2020, the Gators picked up former Penn State wide receiver Justin Shorter and former Miami Hurricane Lorenzo Lingard. Both Shorter and Lingard were five-stars recruits in 2019.

On Wednesday, Shorter made it official. The 6’4 pass-catcher signed with Florida in accordance with National Signing Day. Lingard already officially transferred on Jan. 7.

Coach Mullen had nothing but good things to say about Shorter on Wednesday. In a press conference, Mullen cited Shorter’s character and work ethic as reasons that he fits the Gator Standard.

Additionally, the Gators signed four-star defensive end Princely Umanmielen from Texas. At 6’4 249 pounds, 247sports projected Umanmielen to choose Baylor. Umanmielen also took an official visit with the Gators on Jan. 24, and he officially signed on Wednesday. Umanmielen picked Florida over in-state schools such as Baylor and Texas.

With the class taking shape, Florida continues to dominate in-state recruiting. According to Coach Mullen, being the top in-state choice for recruits is a standard he is trying to set at Florida.


About Steven Walker

Steven Walker is a beat writer for ESPN Gainesville and is currently studying Journalism & Sports Media at the University of Florida.

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