Florida head coach Billy Napier speaks during an NCAA college football news conference at the Southeastern Conference Media Days, Wednesday, July 20, 2022, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Gators set to host Friday Night Lights camp

After boosting his 2023 recruiting class with the commitment of four-star corner Ja’Keem Jackson of Osceola (Kissimmee, Fla.), Billy Napier looks to continue adding commitments as he hosts his first Friday Night Lights camp as head coach.

There will be plenty of opportunities in the 2023 and 2024 class with top blue-chip talent in attendance, including the No. 1 corner in the 2023 class and a top 2024 quarterback.

Friday Night Lights Camp attendees: targets

Headlining the group of uncommitted targets attending FNL is five-star and 2023’s No. 1 corner Cormani McClain from Lake Gibson High School (Lakeland, Fla.). McClain is currently an Alabama-lean, according to On3’s Chad Simmons. However, Florida is still very much in the running for his commitment.

2023 five-star defensive end Samuel M’Pemba of IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.) tweeted out on Thursday that he will attending FNL. Additionally, 2023 five-star defensive lineman James Smith will reportedly be there with his Carver High School (Montgomery, Al.) teammate Jaquavious Russaw, a five-star defensive end. Both teammates listed Florida in their top-11 on May 8.

Other 2023 targets include four-star receivers Daquayvious Sorey of Chiply (Fla.) and Andy Jean of Miami Northwestern. Defensively, four-star lineman Kelby Collins of Gardendal (Al.)

Additionally, Olympia’s (Orlando, Fla) four-star defensive linemen Kamran James makes a return to campus after a visit last month.

In addition to the 2023 targets, the 2024 targets who are attending are just as talented, including two five-stars.

Five-star quarterback DJ Lagway will be returning to campus this weekend. He recently described Florida as his “childhood dream school,” to SI All Gators Zach Goodall. Additionally, five-star corner Desmond Ricks of IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla) announced he will be attending and has Florida in his top-10 schools.

Four-star linebacker Myles Graham, son of former Gators’ running back Earnest Graham, of Woodward (College Park, Ga) announced on Twitter that he is attending.

Two local 2024 recruits will be participating, too. Three-star defensive linemen Kendall Jackson of Buchholz (Gainesville, Fla), who has an offer from Florida, and four-star athlete Fred Gaskin III of Vanguard (Ocala, Fla) are attending the camp.

Friday Night Lights Camp attendees: commits

Two local commits will be participating, with one returning after earning his Florida offer at the 2021 camp.

Buchholz (Fla.) four-star defensive lineman Gavin Hill and four-star athlete Creed Whittemore will make the short drive over to the Swamp. After receiving his offer on June 15, Hill committed to the Gators 10 days later.

Whittemore received his first Florida offer after the 2021 camp under the previous staff. Whittemore committed to the Gators on May 7.


Rounding out the group of 2023 commits attending on the offensive side are four-star quarterback Marcus Stokes of Jacksonville (Fla.) Nease, four-star running back Treyaun Webb of Jacksonville (Fla.) Trinity Christian, four-star offensive lineman Knijeah Harris of IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.) and three-star offensive lineman Bryce Lovett of Rockledge (Fla.). Defensively, four-star defensive ends T.J. Searcy of Thomaston (Ga.) Upson-Lee and Isaiah Nixon of Lakewood (Fla.), four-star corner Sharif Denson of Jacksonville (Fla.) Bartram Trail and four-star athlete Aaron Gates of Sharpsburg (Ga.) Trinity Christian School are the commits attending.

Gators’ recruiting classes

Napier’s 2023 class boosted on Thursday with the commitment of Jackson after losing out on his teammates four-star defensive linemen Derrick LeBlanc and John Walker.


With Jackson’s commitment, Napier’s 2023 class now ranks No. 15 in the country and No. 5 in the SEC, according to On3, after previously being No. 20 and No. 9. 247 Sports ranks the 2023 class as No. 17 overall class in the country after previously being No. 26. Napier and staff may not be finished improving those rankings this weekend with another top-target set to commit Friday afternoon.

Four-star receiver Aidan Mizell of Orlando (Fla.) Boone is set to choose between Alabama, Tennessee and Florida at approximately 2:30 p.m. With Mizell’s potential commitment to Florida and a slew of top recruits on campus this weekend, Florida’s 2023 class may very well crack the top-10 in the country come Monday.

About Cam Parker

Cam is a fourth-year broadcast journalism sports and media major at the University of Florida. In addition to writing and recording radio trendings for WRUF, Cam covers North Florida HS football for The Prep Zone and Mainstreet Daily News and UF football and basketball for Inside the Gators.

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