Billy Napier and Co. are in the midst of the college football regular season but that has not slowed down Florida football on the recruiting trail. Ahead of the Gators’ first win of the 2023 campaign, a coveted member of the 2025 cycle narrowed his list of preferred schools down to three — including the Orange and Blue.
Four-star running back Akylin Dear out of Quitman (Mississippi) told Gators Online’s Cory Bender that Florida, along with the Alabama Crimson Tide and Ole Miss Rebels, represent his top three preferred collegiate destinations. The 6-foot-1-inch, 200-pound ground grinder appears to be quite enamored with what Napier and Co. are putting together in the Swamp.
“It’s different; it’s way different from every school I’ve been to. I see myself at Florida,” Dear told Bender. “I know there was no football game going on when I went down there, but the atmosphere was perfect when I was there.”
Running backs coach Jabbar Juluke has been the main point of contact between the high school junior and the Gators.
“He shows me a lot of love,” he said of Juluke. “He likes how I run the ball. We run the ball a lot. He’s a good person.”
As for a possible visit date, Dear has the latter part of the season in his sights for a Gainesville visit.
“For one game day, I should be able to make it down. Maybe the one vs. Florida State (on Nov. 25).”
Dear is ranked No. 134 overall and No. 12 at his position nationally according to the 247Sports composite while the On3 industry ranking has him at Nos. 180 and 17, respectively. On3’s Recruiting Prediction Machine has Ole Miss in the lead with a 43.5% chance of landing him, followed by the Florida State Seminoles (19.9%), Florida (17.1%) and the Southern Miss Golden Eagles (1.3%).