Florida a childhood favorite for this 2024 four-star prospect

Florida’s recent staff changes don’t seem to be slowing Billy Napier on the recruiting trail. The second-year head coach recently extended an offer to athlete Jonathan Paylor, 2024’s second-best player in the state of North Carolina.

Paylor tells 247Sports that the offer did not come as a surprise. In addition to naming the Gators as one of his favorite teams to watch growing up, the Burlington, North Carolina, native has been in constant contact with Jay Bateman, the Gators’ scout in the area. Bateman is familiar with the Carolinas due to his time on the North Carolina Tar Heel‘s staff. Now, as Florida’s inside linebackers coach, Bateman is bringing his connections to Gainesville, including his existing relationship with Paylor.

Bateman’s contact with the 5-foot-9-inch, 170-pound athlete has been consistent, with Paylor telling 247Sports that they go no longer than a couple of weeks without communicating.

Paylor also seems to have done his homework on the Orange and Blue, talking about the history of the Florida football program and the university’s exercise science program as positives. He specifically mentioned Super Bowl champion Kadarius Toney and how fast playmakers have had success over the course of the Gators’ football history. This can only be seen as a positive, as Paylor has won the North Carolina 2A state track titles in the 100, 200, & 400-meter categories.

Paylor is looking to make his first visit to The Swamp in June when he plans on taking one of his five official visits. He has already scheduled official visits to Clemson (June 2) and South Carolina (June 23). He also specifically mentioned North Carolina, NC State, and Maryland as the other schools that have been recruiting him heavily.

According to the 247Sports Composite rankings, Paylor is the No. 100 overall player in the 2024 class, the No. 11 ATH in the nation, and the No. 2 overall player in the state of North Carolina.

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Story originally appeared on Gators Wire