Highly-sought 4-star RB on two-day visit to Gainesville

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Florida football has been hot on the market for running backs in the current recruiting cycle, which comes as no surprise as new head coach Billy Napier has a penchant for a strong ground game. The Gators recently inked 2022 four-star running back Trevor Etienne — brother of Jacksonville JaguarsTravis Etienne — as well as pulling former Louisiana Ragin Cajuns’ Montrell Johnson from the transfer portal to add to their current running back room of Nay’Quan Wright, Demarkcus Bowman and Lorenzo Lingard.

But Napier and his staff are not stopping there.

The top target for the recruiting team of late has been another four-star running back from the bayou — Lake Charles (Louisiana) College Prep running back TreVonte’ Citizen, who ranks No. 9 nationally at his position and No. 107 overall in the 2022 class, according to the 247Sports composite. The highly sought prep is expected to arrive Wednesday for an unofficial two-day stay in Gainesville, in which the Gators will use every chance to woo the top-end back.

Florida running backs coach Jabbar Juluke has spearheaded the effort, conducting an in-person visit with him in back-to-back weeks, while the staff has also been checking in on him every week during the recruiting contact period in January. Juluke’s close ties to Louisiana — who hails from nearby New Orleans while also having graduated from Southern University in Baton Rouge — as well as Napier’s obvious connection to the state, appear to give the Gators an inside edge on the competition.

Speaking to Joseph Hastings of On3Sports, Citizen noted that he had a “good feeling” about Florida.

“I’ve got Coach [Jabbar] Juluke and Coach Napier, who was at [the University of Louisiana at Lafayette]. So, I have some type of connection with them and I already knew about him.

“I already knew how they run the ball and what the o-line does with the running backs. That would be a good fit for me.”

However, he goes on to mention that he will “always love LSU” which might make things interesting if he ends up on the opposite side of the line of scrimmage against them.

Speaking of the Tigers, LSU and Auburn have recently hosted Citizen and the Miami Hurricanes will get his fifth and final official visit after the Gators. According to On3Sports, the Texas Longhorns and Texas A&M Aggies are also in the running, but well behind the top three.

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