Recruits couldn’t have asked for more in The Swamp on Saturday night.
They witnessed an absolute electric atmosphere and Florida’s biggest win at home in four years.
The Gators had 15 commits from the 2013 class in attendance and they had a ton of fun as you would imagine.
But UF hosted six Rivals100 members and this game was really about impressing them.
Nobody was blown away more than four-star receiver Marquez North (Charlotte, N.C./Mallard Creek). Originally planning to visit unofficially, North decided Thursday night to make the trip an official and enjoyed his first time in Gainesville.
“My impression of Gainesville was it has big-time football and great college life,” North said. “I got to tour the campus and hang out with (former teammate) D.J. Humphries after the game. He showed me a pretty good time.”
North rated his UF official a 10 and said it was the No. 1 visit of his recruiting process thus far. His highlight was watching the second half of Saturday’s game.
“It showed that Florida was well conditioned because they turned it up in the second half,” North said. “The atmosphere was crazy, the fans stayed screaming and it was super loud. I could see myself playing there and I’m ready to come back.”
North will return to Gainesville on Dec. 8 for Florida’s banquet, which is shaping up to be a star-studded recruiting weekend. North said Tennessee is still his leader, but the Gators improved their chances and made a great first impression.
“They helped themselves a lot because I learned more about Florida and what it’s all about,” North said. “I loved spending time with coach (Will) Muschamp and his staff. They said most of their receivers aren’t as tall as they would like, so they want some more size at the position and I could see why by watching the game.”
Another prospect who may be at Florida’s banquet is five-star defensive tackle Montravius Adams (Vienna, Ga./Dooly County). He unofficially visited this weekend and, like North, called it the best recruiting trip he’s taken.
“It was the top one,” Adams said. “It made me want to be a part of Florida and I could see myself going there one day. I liked everything about their defense and they did a lot better than I thought they would.”
Adams doesn’t have any public leaders at this point, but the Gators will “definitely” make his Top 5 and “most likely” receive one of his officials on Dec. 8. The UF staff told him he’ll have an opportunity to play as a true freshman, which is a big factor in his decision.
Florida defensive line coach Bryant Young is the primary recruiter for Adams.
“We’ve got a good relationship,” he said. “He’s recruiting me as hard as everybody else. I think it would be great to play for someone like him. He’s done a lot of things that I wanna accomplish and I could have him as my coach. He just got nominated to the NFL Hall of Fame and that impressed me.”
Five-star offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil (Lake City, Fla./Columbia) was on hand and liked what he saw from the UF offensive line.
“They did good,” Tunsil said. “In the second half they stepped up and won the game.”
It doesn’t sound like the visit changed much with his recruitment. Georgia and Alabama are still his leaders and he doesn’t know how much Florida’s win will change that.
“I still gotta let everything sink in,” Tunsil said.
Florida State offensive guard commit Ira Denson (Madison, Fla./Madison) attended his first Gator game and will be back for South Carolina in two weeks.
“It was great,” Denson said. “Muschamp coached them hard. When they were down, he kept telling them to battle and that winners never quit. And they stuck with it and won. They came in the second half like a whole different team.”
Especially up front with the big uglies.
“The offensive line was mauling people,” Denson said. “They went in and knew what they had to do and took care of business. When they came out running the ball more and ran right at them, that told me a whole lot. That’s what I like to see. They ran downhill and they made holes for the running back to get through. I saw LSU players getting pushed like 10 yards back.”
Denson said he’s “pretty strong” with the Noles and wasn’t fazed by their N.C. State loss, but he’s hearing Florida out.
“They’re still my favorite team,” Denson said of FSU. “Nobody has really been talking to me since I committed. Florida is just coming into the picture and we’ve started talking again. We had a relationship back in the summer and we’re just getting it back now. This is a life-time decision and I just wanna be sure I make the right one.”
The final two targets, Notre Dame linebacker commit Alex Anzalone (Wyomissing, Pa./Wyomissing) and four-star safety Marcell Harris (Orlando, Fla./Dr. Phillips), both said Sunday they weren’t doing interviews.
Harris, however, did send this text message to the Sun: “It was a good visit and I enjoyed the game.” Harris officially visits FSU this weekend and his decision could come sometime in October. The Gators are still believed to have the edge over Texas at this time.
As for Anzalone, the Irish coaches told him not to speak with the media about his trip to Gainesville. But things certainly look positive for UF. He was dressed in Gator gear and hung out with close friend and Florida defensive end commit Jordan Sherit all afternoon. Flipping him will still take some more work by Muschamp & Co., but this past weekend could pay dividends down the road with him and the other aforementioned recruits.
For a list of recruits spotted at the game, click HERE.