Florida’s recruiting class this cycle took a big hit when four-star offensive tackle Tyler Booker committed to Alabama on Friday. He was considered a must-get prospect because of his talent and the need the Gators have at his position. Booker was rated as one of the best at his position. Florida has also struggled to land blue-chip offensive linemen the last couple of cycles that led to the unit being one of the worst on the team the last two seasons.
After missing out on Booker, where do offensive line coach John Hevesy and head coach Dan Mullen look next to improve their play up front?
Unfortunately for Florida, most of the guys left on its board that has shown interest in the Orange and Blue are three-star prospects like offensive tackles Leyton Nelson, Jacob Hood and Daughtry Richardson. Sports Illustrated’s AllGators pointed out that Florida could pursue four-star offensive tackle Julian Armella, but the St. Thomas Aquinas star has not reciprocated interest in the Gators.
Out of those four prospects, Richardson and Nelson are the only players that have visited Florida. It’s also possible that one of the three-star recruits pan out to be a stud, but the percentages of players of that caliber are much lower than Booker who was a top-100 player.
Hence why the miss on Booker was such a big deal. Florida had a few factors in its favor during his recruitment. The Gators were able to get him on campus the weekend before the NCAA dead period went in place because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the first weekend after it was lifted. Booker also labeled Florida as the closest thing to his dream school.
It’s still possible that the Gators could flip Booker, but it’s unlikely because no one wants to tell Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban that they’ve had a change of heart.