Around the Swamp, the Florida Gators are sneaking their way to the top of the 2023 national recruiting list. This past weekend, Billy Napier’s program reeled in three 2023 defensive linemen and snagged a top 2024 linebacker. The Gators had an incredible recruiting run in July, and they have shown no signs of slowing down in August.
Kelby Collins rejected his home state Alabama, Georgia, Oklahoma, and South Carolina, to commit to the University of Florida. Co-defensive coordinator and DL coach Sean Spencer receives credit for bringing in Collins. Safeties coach and co-defensive coordinator Patrick Toney assisted the recruiting process.
Will Norman visited the Gainesville campus four times, including his official trip in June. He chose the Swamp over LSU, Auburn, Penn State, Tennessee, and Texas A&M. Spencer is responsible for the defensive tackle’s commitment.
Kamran James picked Florida over Georgia, Alabama, LSU, and Auburn to continue his football career. With Spencer leading the recruitment, Darnell Stapelton assisted in attracting the DL prospect.
Let’s goooooo pic.twitter.com/MOCW3eeBmK
— Kelby Collins (@kelby_collins) August 13, 2022
A Look at the Swamp’s 2023 Defensive Line Recruits
Collins plays high school football at Gardendale High School in Gardendale, AL. In his junior season, the 6-foot-5, 280-pounder tallied 75 total tackles, 20 of them for loss, and 12 sacks. The No. 8 player in the state of Alabama earned 29 scholarships and has an 86 scout grade. He ranks 63rd on ESPN’s Class of 2023 Top 300 and is the fifth-best defensive tackle in the country.
Norman is 118th on ESPN’s Top 300 and is the 10th best DT in the Class of 2023. Standing at 6-foot-5 and weighing 290 pounds, the four-star prospect attends the powerhouse IMG Academy in Bradenton, FL. He received an 84 scout grade.
My Home Away From Home… 1000% COMMITTED! pic.twitter.com/jM0laAp7E8
— WILL NORMAN (@WThrill3) August 14, 2022
James attends Olympia High School in Orlando, FL. He recorded 47 tackles, 21 tackles for loss, and 13 sacks in 2021. 247Sports lists the defensive lineman at No. 28 among all upcoming seniors and in the top 40 players in the state of Florida. In the winter, he plays basketball and helped the team make a playoff run.
Locked in‼️🐊 pic.twitter.com/6ShYkuFZ1Z
— Kamran James (@thereal_kam_) August 14, 2022
Let’s Not Forget the 2024 Prospect
The Gators are wasting no time in building their future. Myles Graham, No. 58 on ESPN’s Junior 300, announced his pledge to the Gators. He becomes the first class of 2024 prospect to commit to Napier’s squad.
The linebacker is the son of Earnest Graham, who played college football at UF under legendary coach Steve Spurrier. After posting 130 tackles as a sophomore, he transferred to Atlanta Woodward Academy ahead of his junior campaign.
The Legacy Continues.. 🐊#GoGators 🐊 pic.twitter.com/6PNYBzfBpa
— Myles Graham (@MylesGraham2_) August 14, 2022
The last few years have been rough in the Swamp. Under Dan Mullen, the team went 6-7 with a 2-6 SEC record. Mullen was fired mid-season, and the Gators finished sixth in the SEC East. Florida lost the Gasparilla Bowl to the UCF Knights.
UF hired Napier in late November to become the 29th head coach in the school’s history. Since taking over the program, he’s brought in 20 recruits. The Gators total 18 four-star and two three-star athletes and are 10th on the 247Sports recruiting list. Collins is the highest-ranked recruit in 2023 so far.
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