Mullen reaps rewards on Early Signing Day
end of this recruiting class or new Gators, if you will, coming in here for us. I still think there’s going to be some more coming.”
For now, UF addressed several key areas, signing six defensive backs, four defensive linemen, three offensive linemen, two linebackers, a punter and a quarterback.
“This is the second year we’ve addressed the future with the offensive line, which I’m happy with how we’re building it for the future,” Mullen said. “Defensive line, obviously the last couple of years, it hasn’t been great. We’ve made some changes on our recruiting and our coaching staff [hiring David Turner] to address that. And I think you see that with the success we have with some of the D-line that we’ve recruited this year.
“You want to be a great team, you want to compete for championships, [then] you’ve got to be able to control the line of scrimmage.”
But the Gators also signed just one wide receiver, Ja’Quavion Fraziars, a four-star recruit from Dunnellon, and did not land a running back when EJ Smith, son of UF legend Emmitt Smith, chose Stan10. ford over UF, Georgia and Texas A&M.
Mullen said UF is seeking an eligibility waiver for Texas transfer receiver Jordan Pouncey, older brother of Winter Park’s Ethan Pouncey, a four-star cornerback who signed Wednesday. Receiver Leonard Manuel committed to UF but was unable to sign Wednesday. Manuel transferred from Ocala Vanguard to Fort Lauderdale Stranahan midseason and quickly made an impact in South Florida.
Mullen said UF has nine scholarship receivers, one shy of the ideal number of
“You’re always trying to balance it, but we have set numbers we like to be at every position,” Mullen said. “Then there’s always fluctuation with that. Like quarterback, you like to be at four, looks like we’ll probably be at three. But you just — there’s always some fluctuating numbers in there.”
The Gators’ one quarterback in the class, Gainesville’s Anthony Richardson, enrolled early and joined the team this past weekend for bowl practices. Massive 6-foot-6, 356-pound offensive tackle Josh Braun and guard Richie Leonard IV also enrolled early and are working with the team.
Punter Jeremy Crawshaw, defensive tackle Lamar Goods, defensive end Antwaun Powell, cornerback Jahari Rogers, safety Rashad Torrence III, offensive tackle Issiah Walker Jr. and Ethan Pouncey are expected to arrive on campus in January and enroll for spring classes.
Pouncey, rated the state’s No. 20 prospect in the 2020 class, is one of 10 UF signees ranked among the top 50 players in the state of Florida, more than any school in the nation, according to 247Sports.
Mullen said it should be that way every year for the Gators, who ended Wednesday ranked ahead of in-state rivals Miami (No. 18) and Florida State (No. 21).
“I’d be disappointed if we didn’t,” Mullen said of UF’s Sunshine State success. “We are the University of Florida. And, I mean, this is where guys — I hope most kids in the state of Florida grow up wanting to be Gators and want the opportunity to go play in the Swamp and go do that.
“I know recruiting has become more national and international even now, but a lot of your foundation is going to come from, you know, within a five-, sixhour radius of school and especially within your home state.”
UF head coach Dan Mullen said the Gators are seeking an eligibility waiver for receiver Jordan Pouncey, a Texas transfer and older brother of Winter Park’s Ethan Pouncey.