Gators make top 6 for this 2024 top-50 safety

On Friday, Florida made the cut for 2024 four-star safety Jaylen Heyward. He narrowed things down to six finalists: Alabama, Georgia, Michigan, Ohio State and Tennessee.

On3’s Hayes Fawcett broke the news and caught up with the recruit to discuss each of the teams still in play. Florida has been a long-time favorite of Heyward, and Billy Napier’s work at the school is being noticed by the Rockledge product.

“With Florida, they have always been a dream school of mine,” Heyward said. “The way they’ve been recruiting the state of Florida has been crazy. With Coach Napier as the head coach, I feel like he’s doing an amazing job. Also with Coach PT and Coach Raymond as the DB coach and safety coach they are gonna push me to be the best player I can. The environment in the swamp is just amazing. I’ve been there so many times during this recruiting process and I loved every single visit.”

He’s been to the Swamp four times so far in 2022, and Florida is the current favorite, according to the On3 recruiting prediction machine.

The plan is for Heyward to commit before his senior year, but that still means there are 10 more months of recruitment before he’s off the market. Heyward says the culture and environment of the schools pursuing him will matter just as much as the on-field results.

He is the No. 38 overall recruit in the class of 2024, according to the 247Sports composite, and he is No. 3 among safeties in the class. The On3 consensus agrees with this assessment, ranking him at No. 39 overall and also at No. 3 in his position group.


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