UF needs a strong 2023 class on ESPN

Billy Napier managed to set up a pretty decent recruiting class just two months after taking over Florida, but the class of 2023 will be a real benchmark against which to judge. ESPN has compiled a list of five college football programs that are in dire need of a strong break in 2023, and the Gators have made a cut as expected.

Former coach Dan Mullen has left the team with a lot of holes, and Napier was clear that his team lacked depth in the spring. He will look at the transfer portal to fill some of these vacancies for the upcoming season, but the players he signs in December and February will be the cornerstones of the “Napier era”.

Mullen’s recruitment in Florida was top-down and criticism from the media and fans was often on the development side, with high-level prospects failing.

Napier took over and recruited five handings of the ESPN 300 in the 2022 class and finished 31st in the class rankings … While Napier proved he was able to win in Louisiana, he will probably have to show the recruits he and his staff can win in Gainesville to gain their trust.

Florida has a new ESPN 300 athlete, Aaron Gates, in the 2023 cycle, which is a good start, but this class will be very important for Napier.

Florida added three-star receiver Tyree Patterson to the list on Sunday, but he and Gates are just starting out for Napier. A fleet of five-star and four-star rookies visited Gainesville during the spring, most recently at Thursday’s Orange-Blue match. The Gators are in a good position to drop at least a few blue chips, but nothing is certain until the pen hits the paper.

Napier is aware of the importance of recruitment and has placed great emphasis on it since taking it over. He told his inaugural press conference that he would build an army, and six months later he had one of the deepest recruiting staffs in the country. Pressure may develop, but Napier and Co. seems to be. facing the challenge of recruiting high school athletes in 2022.

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