Gators coaches visit handful of prospects at IMG Academy on Tuesday
IMG Academy has become a high school sports Mecca over the past decade built on the advantage of being an athletic institute that focuses more on sports than academics. With that leg up, the school has drawn top athletes from every corner of the nation looking to improve their collegiate and professional potential.
On Tuesday, offensive coordinator Rob Sale and defensive coordinator Austin Armstrong hit the road to pay a visit to the Bradenton, Florida, complex just two hours and change down I-75. Their objective on this road trip was to get a good eye on a plethora of prep prospects who fill the academy’s football roster.
Take a look below at some of the top recruits who the Gators will get a gander at on Tuesday night along with the Orange and Blue’s chances of landing each member of the 2024 recruiting class.
5-star RB Jerrick Gibson
Gibson was previously committed to the Orange and Blue but backed out after Dan Mullen’s departure. The 5-foot-10-inch, 200-pound ground grinder has made three trips to Gainesville since — Junior Day back in January and a pair of unofficial stops in April. He currently has four official visits set for the month of June with one still available for Florida to snatch up.
He is ranked No. 26 overall and No. 1 at his position nationally according to the 247Sports composite while the On3 industry ranking rates him at four stars and has him at Nos. 37 and 1, respectively. The Texas Longhorns hold a pair of crystal ball predictions from 247Sports while On3’s Recruiting Prediction Machine has the Horns well in front with a 94.3% chance of signing him; Florida is second with a 2% shot at him.
5-star DL David Stone
Stone’s recruitment has been dominated by the Oklahoma Sooners and Michigan State Spartans early on, but Billy Napier and Co. are still looking to wedge their way into the conversation. The 6-foot-4-inch, 270-pound lineman’s spring visit plans at UF both fell through, and given that he is a product of Sooner State, the Gators have a steep hill to climb with him.
He is ranked No. 8 overall and No. 2 at his position nationally according to the 247Sports composite while the On3 industry ranking has him at Nos. 10 and 2, respectively. 247Sports has six crystal ball predictions for him, with the Sooners nabbing four and the Spartans grabbing the other two. On3’s Recruiting Prediction Machine agrees with the OU earning an 80.8% shot at him while MSU is second at 15.2%.
4-star IOL Jordan Seaton
Seaton recently included Florida among his hefty list of 14 preferred schools and made his first-ever visit to campus this spring. Originally from the District of Columbia, the 6-foot-5-inch, 287-pound lineman’s proximity at IMG gives the Gators a bit of an advantage on his recruitment.
He is ranked No. 52 overall and No. 1 at his position nationally according to the 247Sports composite while the On3 industry ranking has him at Nos. 57 and 5, respectively. On3’s Recruiting Prediction Machine has the Ohio State Buckeyes ahead of the pack with an 88.8% chance of landing him with no other significant suitors.
4-star WR Jerrae Hawkins
Hawkins also made his first-ever trip to the Swamp in April, coming away impressed enough to set an official visit date for June. The diminutive 5-foot-9-inch, 165-pound receiver is also coveted by the Penn State Nittany Lions and West Virginia Mountaineers, in addition to Florida’s interest.
He is ranked No. 201 overall and No. 32 at his position nationally according to the 247Sports composite while the On3 industry ranking has him at Nos. 182 and 32, respectively. On3’s Recruiting Prediction Machine has Penn State as the front-runner for his talents (42.8%) followed by West Virginia (21.6%), Florida (18.6%) and the Pitt Panthers (4.1%).
3-star DL Jayden Jackson
Jackson is another recruit who made a spring visit in March while also earning a scholarship offer in April. The 6-foot-2-inch, 300-pound lineman is currently being pursued by Ohio State, Penn State and the Tennessee Volunteers — all of which 247Sports has listed as “warm” interest — as well as Florida.
He is ranked No. 651 overall and No. 61 at his position nationally according to the 247Sports composite while the On3 industry ranking has him at Nos. 646 and 58, respectively. On3’s Recruiting Prediction Machine has the Buckeyes in the lead with a 32.4% chance of signing him, followed by Penn State (19.2%), Florida (8.6%) and Tennessee (7.2%).
Other notable names
5-star EDGE Ernest Willor Jr.
5-star DB Ellis Robinson IV (Georgia commit)
4-star WR NiTareon Tuggle (Georgia commit)
4-star ATH Jonathan Echols (Tennessee commit)
4-star OT Jimothy Lewis
4-star S Jordon Johnson-Rubell
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