Florida adds this DL to growing list of January visitors

The latest name to join Florida’s growing list of January visitors from the class of 2024 is Pike Road (Alabama) defensive lineman Malik Blocton, according to 247Sports’ Blake Alderman.

The consensus three-star recruit (ESPN gave no grade) picked up his offer from the Gators in September and is already earning looks from quite a strong list of Power Five programs. Auburn, Arkansas, Clemson, Kentucky, Missouri, South Carolina and Tennessee give him offers from half of the SEC and a perennial College Football Playoff power alone.

He’s already visited the Volunteers for the Alabama game and Tuscaloosa for a blowout against Vanderbilt, so Florida has some pretty major first impressions to live up to when hosting on Jan. 21.

Blocton’s also been to Auburn for an unofficial visit and was at Clemson for the Syracuse game, according to 247Sports’ record.

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Auburn has a home-state advantage and some family ties (his brother plays there) to lean on, so it’s unsurprising to see the Tigers emerge as the clear leaders early on. On3’s recruiting prediction machine agrees, but anything could change this far out from the next early signing period. Getting Blocton on campus should help Florida’s chances.

Although he’s graded a three-star by 247Sports, On3 and Rivals, Blocton had a strong junior year and could be a candidate to gain a star during his senior season. He finished the 2022-23 campaign with 54 total tackles (32 solo), six sacks for 38 yards lost and one forced fumble, according to MaxPreps. Blocton improved his tackles per game by 1.5 from the previous year and could be a dominant force as he continues to grow.

The 247Sports composite ranks Blocton at No. 567 overall in the class of 2024 and at No. 50 among defensive linemen in the class. Rivals has him at No. 23 among strongside defensive ends, but some believe that he’ll end up at defensive tackle when all is said and done.

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