Gators make top 5 for this elite in-state defensive back

Florida got some good news on the first day of the new year as five-star cornerback Charles Lester III included the Gators in his top five along with Alabama, Georgia, Florida State and Ohio State.

Lester visited the Swamp for the first time in the spring and twice during the 2022 season. He was in town for the USF game and Florida’s throttling of South Carolina. Those visits have paid off for Florida, but now the real work begins as the Gators look to beat out four elite Power Five programs.

His primary connection at Florida is cornerbacks coach Corey Raymond, and 247Sports reported that the two have established a strong connection over the past year. Lester is considered one of UF’s top targets in the class of 2024 and should be treated as a priority now that the 2023 cycle is winding down.

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There’s no firm timeline for Lester’s commitment just yet, so Florida should have time to keep working on him. He’s suggested that Alabama and Florida State are two of his top programs over the summer. The Crimson Tide have the best odds to land him at 82.0%, according to On3, and Florida is a distant second at 4.7%.

Lester is ranked No. 22 overall on the 247Sports composite and at No. 3 among cornerbacks in the class of 2024. The On3 consensus is less bullish on him, grading Lester as a four-star recruit and ranking him No. 26 overall.

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