ESPN’s top 2023 recruits list includes several coveted by Florida – Jahanagahi

ESPN’s top 2023 recruits list includes several coveted by Florida

Florida football is in the midst of its first full recruiting class under new head coach Billy Napier and his staff with the goal of getting the Gators back into the national spotlight. Riding on the heels of Dan Mullen’s tenure — a time that saw both a good deal of success as well as some humiliating defeats — the surest way for the new regime to change the course of the floundering program is on the high school recruiting trail, where Napier has proven its value previously with the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns.

The thing about recruiting, though, is that there are often dozens of schools chasing coveted blue-chip preps, making the competition tough. Further exacerbating the issue is the nascent name, image and likeness law that has allowed the injection of a massive amount of money into collegiate sports. Selling a young student-athlete on your institution is a completely different game than it was several years ago — literally — especially now that money is all in the open.

Fortunately for Gator fans, top recruits from around the nation have frequently mentioned Florida when considering their preferred destinations. Take a look below at the 10 top players at each of their respective positions in the 2023 recruiting class according to ESPN, including a handful of Florida targets with links to Gators Wire’s latest coverage of those prep prospects.

Quarterback: Arch Manning

Scott Clause/Lafayette Daily Advertiser

ESPN 300 rank: 1

Manning has been one of the most talked-about recruits in the class, given his uncles are Peyton and Eli, his grandfather is Archie and his father is Cooper Manning. He has kept a low profile, though, and the family has intentionally allowed him to stay out of the spotlight to just be a kid.

Manning doesn’t have a commitment date announced yet, and his coach has said he is still open to the process and wants to take his time to evaluate each program. He doesn’t need to rush a decision, as every program would have a spot for him if he wanted to commit.

5-star QB Arch Manning says he will visit Florida this summer

Report: Florida makes top 6 for 5-star QB Arch Manning

Running Back: Richard Young

Amanda Inscore/The News-Press

ESPN 300 rank: 11

Young is a 5-foot-11 and 195-pound back from Lehigh Acres, Florida, and is the No. 1 running back overall.

He is considering Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oregon and Texas A&M, and is still going through the process. He took visits to Florida and Georgia in March, then visited Alabama in April and Oregon at the end of the month into the beginning of May

Florida coaches keeping an eye on the nation’s No. 2 RB recruit

5-star RB drops list of top 7 schools, includes Florida

Wide Receiver: DeAndre Moore Jr.

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN 300 rank: 17

Moore had been committed to Oklahoma since last September, but decommitted in January. He is a teammate of ESPN 300 quarterback Malachi Nelson and ESPN 300 receiver Makai Lemon, both of whom committed to USC after they each decommitted from Oklahoma.

Moore hasn’t yet flipped to the Trojans, and while that is a possibility, he is also considering Louisville, Oregon, Texas and Alabama.

Tight End: Duce Robinson

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN 300 rank: 44

Robinson is the No. 1 tight end in the class as a 6-6, 230-pound recruit out of Pinnacle High School in Phoenix. He is being recruited to play both football and baseball and is highly regarded in both sports.

He hasn’t released a top list yet, but USC, Alabama, Georgia, Oklahoma and a handful of other schools are mentioned with Robinson. The Trojans and the Dawgs seem to be the two that are mentioned the most, however.

Offensive Line: Francis Mauigoa

Syndication: The Tennessee

ESPN 300 rank: 5

Mauigoa is the No. 1 offensive tackle in the class and a five-star prospect from IMG Academy. He’s a 6-6, 325-pound tackle, and has taken recent visits to Michigan State, Florida and Miami.

He released a top 13 in March that consisted of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, oklahoma, texas, MiamiOregon, LSU, Penn State,Ohio State, HawaiianUSC and Michigan. He hasn’t narrowed his list any further since.

This 5-star OT left Florida’s Orange and Blue game impressed

5-star offensive tackle plans official visits this summer

Defensive End: Derrick LeBlanc

Ken Ruinard/Imagn Content Services

ESPN 300 rank: 31

LeBlanc is the top defensive end in the class since Lebbeus Overton reclassified to the 2022 class. He’s a 6-5, 250-pound end from Seminole, Florida, and he visited Oklahoma in March, then saw Florida and Miami in April. He said he will announce his commitment to him on July 23.

Gators continue to stand out for this 4-star defensive lineman

Florida receives new crystal ball prediction for this 4-star DL

Defensive Tackle: Peter Woods

Hannah Saad/Imagn Content Services

ESPN 300 rank: 9

Woods is the No. 9 prospect overall, but the top defensive tackle in the class and the No. 2 recruit in Alabama.

He released a top six in December of Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Florida, Georgia and Oregon, then cut that list to four — Alabama, Clemson, Florida and Oklahoma — in March. He has planned visits to Clemson and Florida in June and will likely see Alabama and Oklahoma after those two visits take place.

Gators set to host this 5-star defensive lineman for June official visit

This 2023 blue-chip defensive lineman has Florida in his top 4

Linebacker: Anthony Hill

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN 300 rank: 4

Hill is a five-star prospect out of Billy Ryan High School in Denton, Texas. He’s a 6-2, 230-pound outside linebacker and has had nearly every major program after him.

It appears Alabama, Miami, Oklahoma, Texas, Texas A&M and USC are schools that have made a big impact on him, though, and should be in the mix for his final decision. He took a visit to Texas A&M in April and is supposed to visit USC in June.

Cornerback: Cormani McClain

Ernst Peters/The Ledger

ESPN 300 rank: 3

McClain is a five-star recruit and the No. 1 corner in the class, as well as the No. 1 prospect in Florida. He is a 6-2, 165-pound defensive back out of Lake Gibson High School in Lakeland, Florida.

He hasn’t released a top list yet, but Alabama and Florida are two teams strongly vying for his commitment. He has nearly every major program after him and hasn’t set a commitment date yet, so that could change.

Florida sending coaches to see this 5-star cornerback

Orange and Blue game visit has top CB trending toward UF

Florida makes this 4-star cornerback’s top 6 list of schools

Safety: Caleb Downs

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN 300 rank: 14

Downs is the top safety in the class and the No. 1 recruit in Georgia. He’s at 5-11, 185-pound defensive back from Mill Creek High School in Hoschton.

Downs said he isn’t releasing a top list publicly just yet, but he has scheduled official visits to Georgia on June 3, Notre Dame on June 10, Alabama on June 17 and Ohio State on June 24. Those schools are obviously in high consideration, and it’s possible his decision will come from one of those four.

Gators make good impression on nation’s top safety during March visit

[listicle id=83634]

[listicle id=83513]

Follow us @GatorsWire on Twitter and like our page on Facebook to follow ongoing coverage of Florida Gators news, notes and opinions.

Let us know your thoughts and comment on this story below. Join the conversation today!





Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *