Not only have the Florida Gators rebounded from the loss of Dalvin Cook, but they’re now in position to steal one of Florida State’s top verbal commitments.
Miami Booker T. Washington quarterback Treon Harris was offered by UF last week and received an in-home visit from the coaches Thursday, the first day of the contact period.
The FSU pledge was then one of nine official visitors for Florida this past weekend.
“It was a great visit,” said his father and head coach, Tim Harris. “He felt real comfortable with everything the coaches laid out for him. They did a great job. His relationship with Florida is gaining a lot of ground. This weekend was a great stepping stone.”
The Gators initially recruited Harris as an athlete. The 5-foot-11, 180-pounder is the same height and weight Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson was coming out of high school, only Harris is much more athletic.
He was the first prospect Kurt Roper offered after becoming offensive coordinator at UF.
“With coach Roper coming in, they’re recruiting him differently than they were with the previous coach,” the elder Harris said. “He loves the direction they’re going with the offense and how they’ve made him their top priority.”
Harris, who last month won his second consecutive Class 4A state championship, is scheduled to officially visit Auburn and Miami before making a final decision on signing day, Feb. 5.
His father said the early enrollment of fellow Army All-American quarterback Will Grier won’t hurt Florida’s chances.
“He’s been competing his whole life,” Harris said. “That’s the way he was brought up.”
Florida’s new offense has also gained the interest of Isaiah McKenzie, a 5-foot-8, 165-pound slot receiver who was in town along with Harris.
“It was very important for me to go check them out with the coaching change they had,” said the Under Armour All-American from Plantation American Heritage. “I was impressed with their scheme and how they would use me, kind of like they did with Solomon Patton but with more touches.”
Miramar offensive tackle Yodny Cajuste, an under-the-radar recruit who has only played football for a year, has UF leading following his trip.
“Florida is everything I want in a school — a family atmosphere, a coaching staff, great players to be around and a great campus,” said the 6-foot-6, 270-pounder.
Cajuste will visit West Virginia next, while McKenzie has upcoming trips to Ole Miss and Notre Dame. Both plan to make their decisions on signing day.
Also deciding then will be Pensacola West Florida Tech defensive end Rocel McWilliams, whose commitment to Missouri is now up in the air after visiting UF. The Tigers host him this weekend.
“Florida has complicated things for me. My family would like for me to go there because it’s close to home and they’re Gator fans,” said the 6-foot-3, 240-pound McWilliams.
The news wasn’t all positive with the visitors in Gainesville. Havelock (N.C.) running back Derrell Scott told 247Sports the Gators still trail South Carolina and Tennessee for his services. He announces his choice Jan. 27.
Immokalee athlete J.C. Jackson, Perry Taylor County tight end Moral Stephens and Hollywood (Fla.) Chaminade Madonna defensive tackle Khairi Clark visited over the weekend as well, and all three UF commitments enjoyed their time.
Jackson, the only wavering member of Florida’s class, is considering cancelling his Jan. 31 visit to Florida State.
I can honestly say I love it out here in Gainesville, be getting soooo much love
— Khairi Clark (@KhairiClark) January 18, 2014
J.C. Jackson still gushing over his UF trip per his uncle. Not sure if he’ll visit FSU but uncle says no one in their family wants him to.
— Zach Abolverdi (@ZachAbolverdi) January 20, 2014