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Florida’s new head coach Billy Napier broke the IMG Academy curse almost immediately after taking over at UF by landing five-star safety Kamari Wilson out of the Bradenton powerhouse. He’s added four-star interior offensive lineman Knijeah Harris, but one of the biggest targets Florida has out of IMG is five-star Francis Mauigoa.
At worse, he’s a top-25 prospect and his ceiling is being the best offensive lineman to come out of the class. It’ll take a lot of work to get there, but Mauigoa plans on making it to the NFL so he can return home to American Samoa and share his success.
Mauigoa has kept a steady line of communication with the Gators over the last year or so. Offensive line coaches Rob Sale and Darnell Stapleton have taken the lead and the rest of the staff has gotten to know him as well after several visits to the Swamp.
His most recent trip on June 14, which was one of his five official visits, was the best one yet. He’s developing relationships with players and coaches alike and Florida seems well-positioned to stay near the top of his recruitment down the stretch.
‘Ili’ili, American Samoa
IMG Academy (Bradenton, FL)
Mauigoa played his freshman year at San Bernadino with his brother Francisco, a three-star linebacker. Then he moved back to America Samoa and won a championship there before transferring to IMG for his final two years of high school ball.
247Sports hasn’t quite given Mauigoa the nod for that fifth star, but ESPN and On3 both have him ranked high enough to influence the 247Sports composite and get him into the top 10. Offensive line recruiting has been a weak point for Florida in recent years, so landing a blue-chip recruit would be huge in Napier’s first full year.
Hawaii Rainbow Warriors
June 25, 2021: Mauigoa offered by Dan Mullen’s staff.
October 9, 2021: First unofficial visit for the Vanderbilt game.
March 5, 2022: Mauigoa visits Florida with IMG teammates IOL Knijeah Harris and ATH Samuel M’Pemba.
March 14, 2022: Maugioa names Gators in top 13.
April 14, 2022: Mauigoa attends Florida’s Orange and Blue game.
June 4, 2022: Maugioa names Florida to his top 6.
June 14, 2022: Mauigoa officially visits Florida.
“The first thing they talked to me about is family,” Mauigoa said. “How is my family? That kind of triggered me, and they care about family. They care about who you are. Could see outside of football people look at you like what personality you have. People tend to judge you by personality. We talked about a lot of things, personalities, families and mostly football.
“We were talking about how’s Samoa doing, me coming all the way from Samoa. Like do I miss them? Like what time will I be able to go home? Then I told him, ‘No, I only go home when the business (is) finish,’ and that’s after the NFL.” –Swamp247
“It’s a good atmosphere and a good environment (at Florida),” Maugioa said. “You know the people around you there would allow you to have success, and you want to surround yourself with those people. They train people to be successful. Not only the field but also in the classroom.” –247Sports
“I’ve been to Florida about three times now so I have a good comfort level there,” Mauigoa said. “The last time I visited, it was when the old staff was still there so this was cool to meet the new staff face to face. I like coach Napier, he’s a good man and puts his players in a position to be successful on and off the field.” –247Sports
“It was one of my favorite OV’s now. Keep on coming back here, you start to feel like more of a relationship. Kind of starting to feel that bond and now I am comfortable with them. I think that is one of the biggest things in recruiting. I just felt the hospitality, I felt the love, and the family bond through the coaches from the coaches to the players.” –247Sports.
Gators Wire coverage
Had a terrific visit at the swamp pic.twitter.com/mR6zZSiIm5
— Francis. Mauigoa (@FrancisMauigoa) June 16, 2022
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