All eyes have been on the action on the field the past couple of weeks in Gainesville as Florida football kicked off the Billy Napier era with a bang before finishing with a whimper in Week 2. But off the field, there is still plenty happening, including a handful of behind-the-scenes action on the recruiting front.
While the gridiron gang grinds out its grueling schedule, the coaching staff is burning their candles at both ends, attending to both current student-athletes as well as prospective ones. Among the many who have visited Gainesville in recent weeks is five-star edge defender Keon Keeley out of Tampa (Florida) Berkeley Prep, an erstwhile commit to the Notre Dame Irish who has recently reopened his recruitment.
The 6-foot-6-inch, 242-pound defender spent the entire weekend on campus for an unofficial visit, attending the loss to the Kentucky Wildcats on Saturday while getting a deep immersion into what the University of Florida has to offer him — both on and off the field – during the rest of his stay.
“It went really well just being able to see the game-day environment,” he told the press on Monday. “Seeing the game-day environment, meeting the staff again and just seeing how they operate, it just went really well.”
It’s a good atmosphere, good academics, and they have good coaches, and a really nice campus. It’s Florida.”
When asked about the vision presented to him for Florida’s future, he offered the following.
“Coach Napier was saying how Florida was building something special. It was really good to meet with him and see his thoughts on everything. He’s been saying that Florida has everything that you could want and they are building something special.”
So far, the in-state target has used two of his official visits with the Ohio State Buckeyes and Notre Dame, respectively. He has a third scheduled with the Alabama Crimson Tide for the weekend of their game against the Texas A&M Aggies but still has two more remaining. The Gators are vying to get him back for the weekend of the LSU Tigers game, but he remains mum.
“I haven’t set any other ones,” the blue-chip defender told Swamp247. “It’s a possibility but I am not sure yet. I would have to let you know sooner or later.”
Keeley is ranked No. 9 overall and No. 1 at his position nationally according to the 247Sports composite, while the On3 consensus has him at Nos. 11 and 1, respectively. He now holds six crystal ball projections from 247Sports, five of them for Alabama — including one flipped projection — and one remaining with Notre Dame, while On3’s Recruiting Prediction Machine has him heavily favored toward the Tide at 71.2% but also has the Gators second at 22.5%.
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