Napier with AD Scott Stricklin. Photo courtesy of

Gators Nab Nine Recruits On Early Signing Day

The early signing period is not a total bust for Gator football. As a matter of fact, it can be argued it was a huge success given the circumstances.

Remember, the goal was to focus on recruiting following the early signing period and the transfer portal. Despite this being the focus, Billy Napier came to his press conference on Early Signing day with nine signees, including five four-star recruits and a five-star. That five-star recruit happens to be the top safety recruit in the country that seemed inevitably heading to Georgia.

Better yet, four of the six recruits that are four or five stars play defense. The Gators needed this in a big way.

Napier said in the Early Signing Day press conference that the Gators took full advantage of the limited time they had.

The Gators managed to jump up to 62nd in the recruiting rankings after falling to 78th. Not a bad day for the new head coach of Florida.

Let’s take a look at some of the notable signings.

Safety Kamari Wilson: The Surprise Five-Star

Easily the biggest surprise was Napier getting Kamari Wilson aboard. Wilson, the top safety recruit in the country, originally removed Florida from his top teams. However, a visit on December 10 changed all of that. Again, it initially seemed certain he would be a Bulldog. Instead, he’ll head to Jacksonville every year trying to beat them.

Napier liked the IMG athlete for reasons that go beyond simply how good he is as a player.

With the struggles the Gators have had with their secondary the last couple of seasons, Wilson could make an immediate impact.

Safety Devin Moore Tells Notre Dame, Nevermind

Between July 4 and November 30, four-star safety Devin Moore was committed to Notre Dame. During that time, he had an unofficial visit to Florida and LSU gave him an offer.

Once he decommitted from the Fighting Irish, experts at 24/7 Sports began projecting that the Swamp was his destination. Then, he officially visited the Gators the same day Wilson did. Both safeties are now signed on with Florida.

Offensive Tackle/Tight End Tony Livingston

During the press conference, Napier simply described the four-star recruit as an athlete.

While listed previously as an offensive tackle, and still is, he was also listed as a tight end by the Gators. This is not a typical transition, though a tight end still has to know how to block, so the logic is there. The Gators see something in Livingston’s versatility in the trenches and down the field.

He also excelled at basketball along with football, and this impressed Napier. While Napier said Livingston is still in development, he sees his potential and is happy to have him.

Other Commits to Florida

Chris McClellan, D-lineman (four-star)

Jamari Lyons, defensive tackle (four-star)

Shemar James, linebacker (four star-star)

David Connor, offensive tackle (three-star)

Christian Williams, offensive lineman (three-stars)

Trey Smack, kicker (three-stars)

About Harrison Smajovits

Harrison is a sports coordinator at ESPN 98.1 FM/850 AM WRUF. He served as a beat writer for Florida Gators football for the 2019 and 2020 seasons. He also contributes to WRUF's Gainesville Sports Center segments and makes appearances on the Clash on Harp on Sports. Harrison has been a content writer for WRUF since January 2019 as well.

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