Four-Cast: Predicting the college destination of Florida's best
Spring official visits have further accelerated the recruiting calendar, so there’s no time like the present to make some predictions on where some of Florida’s top prospects may land on signing day. Below, we take a look at the recruitments of four Sunshine State-based prospects and attempt to provide a snapshot of where things stand.
The Front-runner: Clemson
Clemson feels confident when it comes to Ladson, and that’s likely based on the Rivals100 wide receiver’s close relationship with offensive coordinator Jeff Scott, who recruits Florida as well as anyone in the country. A spring game visit is in the works for Ladson. He has announced no timetable for a commitment, but it seems likely that he’d choose the Tigers if he were announcing today.
The Other Team: Miami
Ladson has been on Miami’s campus a couple of times in the recent past, and the Hurricanes are certainly gaining momentum. Still, there’s a big difference between picking up steam and overtaking the front-running Tigers. Mark Richt has plenty of work left to do with Ladson, who undoubtedly sees the Hurricanes’ stacked depth chart. All that aside, it’s not smart to rule out UM when it comes to a South Florida prospect these days.
But Don’t Rule Out: Georgia
Ladson has consistently named Georgia among the programs that stand out from the pack, but the Bulldogs have yet to separate themselves from everyone else in that group. UGA has as much recruiting momentum as any program in the country, so don’t discount the Bulldogs if they’re able to get Ladson on campus this fall.
The Front-runner: Florida State
This is going to be a nail-biter. Dunmore was once committed to Florida, but has warmed to Florida State since the coaching change. Dunmore visited both schools over the weekend and word is that the Seminoles cemented their slight lead. FSU’s edge here is ever so slight, so Dunmore to Tallahassee is no lock.
The Other Team: Florida
The four-star wide receiver is hyper-familiar with Gainesville, having been committed to UF in the not-so-distant past. Florida’s new staff is in the process of building a relationship with Dunmore, but it seems to be taking time. A recent visit probably helped the Gators’ cause, but nothing will help more than an impressive 2018 season. Florida is very much still alive here and could make a move this fall.
But Don’t Rule Out: Michigan
Who knows? There’s something to be said for Dunmore setting an early official visit to Michigan. He’s taken a shine to the program and the coaching staff, but beating out the in-state schools won’t be an easy task. The Wolverines are running in third here, but that could change quickly should Dunmore’s mid-April official visit to Ann Arbor wow him.
The Front-runner: Kentucky
Kentucky seems to be on the verge of landing Scalzo’s commitment. The Wildcats’ offer made them the favorite almost immediately, so it’s going to be difficult for another team on the quarterback’s offer list to snatch him away. A preseason commitment isn’t out of the question.
The Other Team: Illinois
Illinois was seen as Scalzo’s leader before Kentucky made things official with an offer, but things have obviously changed on that front. Kentucky would have to fill up at quarterback while Scalzo bides his time in order for the Illini to reclaim their spot atop his list. Head coach Lovie Smith has an uphill fight here.
But Don’t Rule Out: A late-arriving offer
Kentucky fans are all too familiar with this situation. Just when the Wildcats seem to be in position to land a talented quarterback, a traditional power sweeps in and steals his commitment. It’s happened often in the recent past. It’s not that Scalzo is likely to be the next prospect to commit to the program before spurning it, but it’s certainly a potential situation that warrants monitoring. Despite a lack of elite height, Scalzo has the talent to land additional major offers during his senior season.
The Frontrunner: Georgia
Bowman is just a junior, so predicating his landing place is especially tough, but a recent visit to Georgia made enough of an impression on the four-star running back to shoot the Bulldogs to the top of his list. Bowman recently visited Florida, Florida State, Clemson and Georgia in succession and seems to have come away most impressed with what he saw in Athens.
The Other Team: Miami
Bowman has always been high on Miami and should the mutual interest continue through his junior season, the Hurricanes will be a player. It’s hard to predict such things because teams take so few running backs in each class, but for now things seem to be good between the four-star prospect and Richt’s staff. UM will push Georgia for Bowman even if it ultimately misses out.
But Don’t Rule Out: Everyone else
It’s early, so there’s no telling what twists lie ahead for Bowman’s recruitment. Ohio State is a player here. Florida, Florida State and Alabama are as well. Some teams will drop out of his recruitment and others will join in the year ahead. Unless Bowman makes a call in the near future, the peripheries of his recruitment remain blurry.