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Florida Football In Midst Of Disastrous Close To 2024 Recruiting Cycle

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Florida Football head coach Billy Napier. Photo by Courtney Culbreath/ Florida Athletics.

Five weeks ago, Florida football boasted the nation’s No. 3 recruiting class. That was strong solace for Billy Napier and the Gators as they finished the 2023 season 5-7. It marked the second straight season that Florida finished with a losing record.

But as the opening day of the early signing period comes to a close, Florida’s recruiting class is deteriorating.

Florida has lost seven blue-chip commits in the last five weeks including a handful of commits on Wednesday.

Five-star cornerback Xavier Filsaime (Texas), four-star defensive lineman Amaris Williams (Auburn) and four-star defensive lineman Adarius Hayes (Miami), four-star defensive end Jamonta Waller (Auburn), four-star safety Wardell Mack (Texas), four-star defensive lineman Nasir Johnson (Georgia) and four-star receiver Izaiah Williams (Texas A&M) have all moved on from the Gators. It’s largely left Florida’s recruiting class in a free fall.

It’s not all been awful for Florida. Five-star quarterback and Florida commit DJ Lagway signed with the Gators after flirting with Texas A&M and USC, four-star safety Gregory Smith committed and signed with the Gators and five-star defensive lineman LJ McCray is expected to sign with the Gators though he hasn’t put pen to paper at the time of publication.

More From RTI: The Good And The Bad Of Tennessee Football’s 2024 Signing Class

But despite some good news, it’s still been a very bad day and a terrible stretch of recruiting for Florida. After ranking third nationally a short month ago, the Gators recruiting class now ranks No. 16 nationally and No. 8 in the SEC according to the 247sports team rankings.

After two underwhelming seasons to begin Billy Napier’s tenure, Florida faces an extremely challenging 2024 slate that includes non conference matchups against Miami, UCF and Florida State and SEC matchups against Texas A&M, Texas, Georgia, LSU and Ole Miss.

The Gators also travel to Knoxville on Oct. 12 to face Josh Heupel’s third Tennessee team. Napier is 1-1 against Tennessee in his Florida tenure with a loss in Knoxville during the 2022 season and a win over the Vols last season in Gainesville.

Florida’s win over Tennessee last season is perhaps the Gators’ best during Napier’s tenure.

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