Florida head coach Billy Napier, right, shakes hands with offensive lineman Riley Simonds (64) as players warm up before an NCAA college football game against Utah, Saturday, Sept. 3, 2022, in Gainesville, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

Gators 2023 Recruiting Class Moves Up to No. 2 in the Nation

The Florida Gators football staff has been on a roll with the recruitment trail to The Swamp. Head coach Billy Napier has secured multiple recruits since June 10, highlighted by four four-star recruits and two five-star recruits, and has raised their national ranking from No. 21 to No. 2 in the nation, according to On3

The Gators Snowball Effect

It started Saturday with the four-star collection of Amir JacksonNasir JohnsonAmaris Williams and Aaron Chiles.

Jackson is a 6-foot-5, 210-pound tight end from Georgia and a natural athlete. The three-sport athlete accumulated 22 catches for 4,278 yards at an average of 19.4 yards a catch. Also, he brought in four touchdowns in his 2022 season. 

Johnson is a 6-foot-4, 300-pound defensive end from Georgia and is incredibly athletic. In 2022, he was a two-way player for Dublin High School where he earned snaps at both right tackle and on the defensive line. Additionally, he was the region champ in both shotput and discus in 2022. 

Williams is a 6-foot-3, 270-pound defensive lineman from North Carolina that originally thought he was built to be a running back. Outstandingly athletic with a 4.7 in the 40-yard dash and 4.5 shuttle run, Williams is athletic as they come with the frame he has. 

Chiles is a 6-foot-3, 220-pound linebacker with amazing burst and power and a great body for the Gator defense. 

After these consecutive recruitments, Napier landed another five-star in Jamonta Waller. Waller is a dual sport athlete and the top recruit in Mississippi. He’s the fifth-ranked edge in the state and 28th nationally. Waller’s second sport, and one that fits him well for his position, is track and field. He’s a 6-foot-2, 225-pound edge with an explosive first step and strong hands that makes him stand out. Waller finished his 2022 season with 106 tackles, 24 tackles for loss, 11.5 sacks, one interception and one forced fumble.

Blake Alderman 

Tuesday, Blake Alderman, the Florida Gators recruitment analyst for 247 Sports and Swamp247, joined Sport Scene to talk about the Gators’ recent recruitment victories. Alderman said that he had a good idea of a recruitment hot streak after his talks with people inside the Gator program. But no one, including Alderman, could have seen the moves Napier and the Gators have made coming. 

Alderman says that the avalanche of commitments was mostly orchestrated in order to “cap off” Florida’s official summer visits. 

Alderman says a lot of these commits were expected and the result of some silent-esc commits. He also said that this could be the recruiting run Gator fans look back on in a few seasons as the turning point for modern Gator football.

He said that the attention to defense with commits like Waller is just an example of Florida strengthening where they have been weak. With little to no depth on both the offensive line and defensive line, these new pickups will be vital for having options and stamina for Florida. 

About Marshall Tempest

I am a student at the University of Florida majoring in sports journalism with a certificate in sports management. I am 22 years old, from Orlando Florida and plan to graduate in the fall of 2023.

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