New Florida staff showed recruiting prowess with Malik Langham upset

  • Zach Abolverdi
  • SEC Country
12:00 p.m Friday, Feb. 9, 2018 Sports

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Jesse emails and asks, “Florida got some big commits on signing day. What was the most impressive recruiting job by the new staff?”

The Gators landed some critical recruiting battles down the stretch and I could make a case for a few guys.

Quarterback Emory Jones, wide receiver Jacob Copeland and defensive back Trey Dean were huge additions to the class because of the needs at those positions and their recruiting rankings. Florida coach Dan Mullen and at least one assistant coach had prior relationships with all three recruits, so I wouldn’t call one of them the best recruiting job.

Mullen and his staff put in a lot of work for 4-star linebacker Andrew Chatfield and 4-star tackle Richard Gouraige. The Gators had to overcome Miami’s lead to land Chatfield and kept Gouraige committed after holding off an aggressive pursuit from Clemson. But with Chatfield and Gouraige being in-state players, I think Florida’s efforts were more impressive with another signing-day declaration.

That distinction goes to 4-star defensive end Malik Langham, who made a surprising pledge to Florida over Alabama on Wednesday. The Huntsville, Ala., product received his dream offer from the in-state Crimson Tide in early January and they quickly became the team to beat in his recruitment.

Langham officially visited the Gators on Jan. 26 and had a great trip to Gainesville, but admitted afterward that Alabama was still his top school. However, when it came time for Langham to decide earlier this week, Florida’s academic prestige and lack of depth allowed the Gators to pull off the upset.

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