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Across the college football landscape, attention is turning to the 2021 season as teams’ spring games are finished and the last high-impact transfers settle on their next destination. However, the Gators are already making headway on their recruiting class for the 2022 season. That early work landed a commitment from cornerback Julian Humphrey, a top-150 player in the class, on Thursday.
The commitment is a big deal for the Gators, who are faced with the monumental challenge of digging themselves out of the hole they’re in from a team defense standpoint. Experts were quick to applaud Florida’s newest addition, including high praise from three pertinent experts from the 247Sports network.
Recruiting Director Steve Wiltfong had nothing but positive things to say about Humphrey immediately after his commitment, indicating that his traits are desirable for an outside corner.
“On his film he’s a playmaker in the secondary. He gets his hands on the football and he has the change of direction quickness,” wrote Wiltfong. “He can play press, he can play off, he covers downfield, has the makeup speed you’re looking for, and he can attach to receivers. He shows physicality and he checks off a lot of the boxes.”
Another expert from the 247Sports network, Andrew Ivins, was able to see Humphrey prior to his commitment and came away with the impression that he could be a significant contributor to the Gators down the road.
“I think he has a chance to be a really special player,” Ivins said. “He’s a guy with a ton of foot speed, but he’s also got a big, long frame and kind of the ideal measurable to be a field corner. I saw him at Pylon Atlanta back in March and I thought he was pretty good in coverage and man coverage. He’s still not the most fluid of guys, but when he gets coached up it will all come together. He’s absolutely a guy who can be a starter in the SEC.”
Texas area expert Gabe Brooks is also all-in on the traits, indicating that his physical gifts could make him a viable option to be deployed as a versatile piece of Florida’s defensive backfield.
“This is a big corner, who has high-level speed, which has been proven in a track environment with the 10.55 that is verified, which is smoking. I think he’s down in the low 21’s in the 200, so he will be transferring that elite track speed to the football field in college. You’re betting on size, length, speed and you’re usually not going to go wrong with that,” wrote Brooks. “He’s someone who could potentially play anywhere if they needed to move him around in the secondary.”
By all accounts, the Gators seem to have done well in convincing Humphrey to be a part of the future of the program. The team is constructing a vision for their future after losing their core to the 2020 draft and 2022 seems to be the target year for Florida’s resurgence. Humphrey has a shot to be a part of something special as head coach Dan Mullen works to add the right players to his system.
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