This past weekend served as a big one for the Florida Gators, as they picked up four commits, three of which were 2023 prospects. The three 2023 prospects are all defensive linemen, shaping up the defensive line for the class and giving us insight into how it will conclude the cycle.
The commitments are big for Billy Napier and staff as he lands big recruits against top schools in the SEC. Although Napier has already rounded up a solid 2023 class thus far, there was skepticism of him being able to land top recruits over established recruiting powerhouses like Alabama and Georgia, so this commitment tends to that skepticism and shows Napier is on track to be a force on the recruiting threat.
Highly touted prospect Kelby Collins (#70 nationally, #6 DL) announces his commitment to the Gators. Collins had a top five of Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Oklahoma, and South Carolina, taking official visits to Georgia, Florida, and South Carolina. Collins sits atop the 2023 class for Florida and is the 2nd player in the top 100 committed.
In addition to Collins, Napier adds more reason to him being a threat on the recruiting trail through a commitment of DL Will Norman (#143 nationally, #21 DL). Norman was originally a Northeast product but now attends IMG Academy, adding hope for Gators fans of beginning that pipeline. Dan Mullen seemed to have no traction whatsoever with IMG.
To conclude the weekend, the Gators picked up a 3rd 2023 defensive line commitment from Kamran James (#221 nationally, #35 DL). James is a 6'6.5 265 lb DL from Orlando, Florida, who took official visits to Florida and Georgia. Not only is James a major recruit for the Gators to land, but beating SEC East foe and arguably the school's biggest rival adds more to the commitment's size.
What This Means for the Gators
The defensive line was one of, if not the biggest, need heading into the 2023 recruiting cycle. Adding Collins fills a big gap, as they add a big body (6'5 280) with incredible athleticism for his size. Norman is an even bigger prospect at 6'5 290, adding more beef to the dline. As for James, he is viewed as a high-ceiling player who has the potential to develop into a day one draft pick if all pans out. The three commits join DL commits TJ Searcy (#23 DL) and Gavin Hill (#39 DL) as the defensive lineman committed thus far. With the current commitments, this defensive line class will be arguably one of the best in the country, with the possibility of even more.
The Gators are involved in recruiting a few other four-star defensive linemen, positioned to land one more in the class possibly. Jordan Hall (#16 DL) is another name to keep an eye out for, although Georgia and Florida State seemed to be positioned relatively well in his recruitment. Tomarrion Parker (#12 DL) is a prospect that Florida appears to be in good shape for following his Penn State decommitment. Parker's only official visit besides PSU has been to Gator country, but there is still plenty of time until he makes his final decision.