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Florida football cracks top 5 for this 4-star linebacker

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Four-star Jones (Orlando, Florida) linebacker Malik Bryant plans to make his college decision on July 23 and that means it’s time to cut down the list of 40 offers to a top five. The Florida Gators made that list on Monday along with Alabama, Miami, UCF and USC.

Bryant has an official visit scheduled with Florida on June 10. He’s already been to Gainesville twice this spring and has developed a strong relationship with the new staff. In an essay written by Bryant and published in the Montgomery Advisor, the 6-foot-2-inch, 235-pounder opened up about what made each of his top programs stand out. For Florida, the staff is everything.

“I like that when the new staff came in how they got a grip in recruiting,” Bryant said in his essay. “They know their guys and they’re recruiting the families. I like their scheme and how they want to use me all over the field, how they can set me up to make plays. Everybody I’ve talked to on their team, even with them losing their old staff and getting a new staff, they still feel at home and that says a lot.”

UCF was Bryant’s first offer and it came when he was a freshman and that seems to have stuck with him. Miami and USC are in roughly the same boat as Florida after changing coaches over the offseason, and Alabama is always in the mix for the nation’s elite.

Bryant played at Jones for his freshman year and transferred to IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida. He’s announced his return to Jones for his senior year, but Napier’s interest in IMG players could reunite him with some former teammates if all goes in favor of the Gators.

Bryant is the No. 35 overall recruit in the class of 2023, according to the 247Sports composite, and is also ranked No. 2 among linebackers.

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