The Florida Gators have dropped outside of the top 10 in ESPN's ranking of 2023 recruiting classes. The Orange and Blue's incoming class rank went from No. 9 to No. 11, largely due to Jaden Rashada's departure from Florida's class.
The Gators had been hovering around the top 10 of the recruiting rankings since July when a surge of commitments created a buzz around the Florida program and first-year head coach Billy Napier. This was a stark contrast from the end of June when Napier penned an open letter to the Gator Nation, pleading for patience and trust in the process.
Napier was a fantastic recruiter at Louisiana, having the No. 1 recruiting class in the Sun Belt in all four seasons at the helm. But he didn't do this alone. The addition of top-tier assistants such as assistant head coach and defense/cornerbacks coach Corey Raymond, co-defensive coordinator/defensive line coach Sean Spencer, and many more, have had a massive impact on the recruiting trail. Raymond is considered one of the best, if not the best, defensive backs developers in the nation.
The Gators were able to sign most of their 2023 commits during the early signing period in December. After the Rashada situation, Florida's quarterback situation started to look murky, with Jack Miller the lone scholarship quarterback from 2022 to remain on the roster. The arrival of Graham Mertz from Wisconsin creates some competition for the starting role.
Here is what ESPN's Craig Haubert had to say about including the Gators in his latest 2023 class ranking:
The official national signing day is scheduled for Feb. 1, with most of the 2023 class deciding to enroll early and participate in spring practices.
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Story originally appeared on Gators Wire