While Florida’s 2024 recruiting class is being finalized through the transfer portal and possibly National Signing Day in February, attention is now shifting to the 2025 class. Here are a few storylines to keep an eye on early in the cycle.
Start to the 2025 class
Despite consecutive seasons of underwhelming on-field results the last two seasons, Florida’s class of 2025 has secured commitments from three recruits: defensive lineman Jalen Wiggins, running back Waltez Clark, and wide receiver Josiah Abdullah. This mirrors the pace of Florida’s 2024 class, which didn’t add its fourth commitment, linebacker Adarius Hayes, until January 28th, 2023. At that time, Hayes joined quarterback DJ Lagway, linebacker Myles Graham, and running back Chauncey Bowens. The notable difference between the two classes is the quality of recruits. When Hayes joined, he was Florida’s third top 100 commit, joining Lagway and Graham, whereas currently, Wiggins is the only top 100 player in Florida’s 2025 class.
Despite on-field results, this is a promising start for the Gators, especially considering the likely negative recruiting from other programs. While a significant recruitment surge like last summer’s is not anticipated, the situation could ultimately prove better than expected due to this start. Ultimately, success will hinge on achieving more wins this fall, but the outlook is positive.
Adding another top Quarterback
The Gators have signed one of the top 2024 quarterbacks, DJ Lagway from Texas, and are targeting other out-of-state prospects for the 2025 class. Two prominent names are Ryan Montgomery from Ohio and Antwann Hill, hailing from the state of Georgia.
Montgomery has been associated with Billy Napier and his staff for the longest time. Florida head coach Billy Napier plans visited Montgomery’s school tlast week to strengthen their already solid relationship. Montgomery, a 6-foot-3, 210-pound, four-star quarterback, plans to make an early decision and will visit several schools in the coming weeks. These visits include South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. In August, Montgomery listed Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Penn State, and South Carolina as his top five picks.
Hill, who decommitted from Colorado in late November, visited Gainesville on January 17th. The four-star quarterback enjoyed his visit and plans to return for more. Hill is considered one of the country’s top quarterbacks and a top 100 player overall. According to MaxPreps, the 6-foot-4.5, 205-pound Hill completed 203 of 312 passes for 2,732 yards, 31 touchdowns, and 5 interceptions last season. Florida State, LSU, Louisville, Texas A&M, Michigan, and Alabama are also interested in him.
Another player to watch in this position is Matt Zollers from Pennsylvania, who was recently offered a spot. Zollers is scheduled to visit Gainesville this week. In his junior year, he completed 182 out of 290 passes for 2,917 yards, with 37 touchdowns and just two interceptions. Additionally, he gained 420 yards and scored seven touchdowns on the ground.
Recruiting the best from Florida
Florida has long experienced an outflow of high school recruits to programs like Alabama, Georgia, and Ohio State. To compete with such elite programs, Florida needs to start by getting more home grown talent. Since Billy Napier took charge, Florida has signed only two top 10 players from the state. Kamari Wilson, who signed in Napier’s debut 2022 class, is no longer with the program, while LJ McCray signed in the most recent 2024 class. Comparatively, Georgia has added six top 10 players since the 2022 class, Alabama has signed five, and Ohio State has signed three. Florida is on the verge of adding another top 10 player from the state for the 2025 class, with the recent addition of defensive lineman Jalen Wiggins, currently the 11th best player in Florida. To enhance its roster talent, Florida must focus on gaining the best from the Sunshine State, though this is easier said than done.
In conclusion, the Florida Gators’ recruitment efforts for the 2025 class are off to a promising start despite recent on-field struggles. With a focus on attracting top talent from both within and outside the state, the team aims to strengthen its roster and compete with elite programs. The Gators’ success will depend heavily on the team’s performance in the upcoming seasons and the coaching staff’s ability to foster strong relationships with high-potential recruits. It’s a challenging journey, but the Gators are poised to rise to the occasion.