GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Six players sign letters of intent today to play for Dan Mullen and the Florida Gators. As 2018 recruiting wraps up, the Gators have a total of 19 signees and two transfers.
“A good day for us today. I think our coaching staff did a great job, worked their tail off, you know, coming in and getting adjusted. Today kind of wraps up the 2018 recruiting class, but recruiting is a 24/7, 365 deal. It’s a process that keeps going and never ends” said Mullen.
Two big additions to the Gator offense, Jacob Copeland and Justin Watkins. Copeland (WR/Pensacola, Fla.) recorded 2,261 receiving yards and 19 touchdowns on 104 receptions during his four years of high school. He chose Florida over Alabama, Tennessee, LSU, Clemson and Georgia.
“You look at Jacob Copeland who’s one of the top receivers in America. Was obviously a top priority for us from the day we got hired here. I think he’s a mismatch problem on the field” said Mullen.
“You can move him around. You can motion him in the backfield, give him the ball, throw him bubble screens or throw him vertically down the field or work over the middle of the field on option routes. He’s a complete player and is a great playmaker with the ball in his hands.”
Justin Watkins (ATH/Clermont, Fla.) played three seasons at wide receiver, running back and defensive back in high school. He recorded 3,087 rushing yards and 39 rushing touchdowns on 340 attempts over the course of his career.
“Justin Watkins is somebody that he’s electric. He’s an electric guy with the ball in his hands, and you watch this year, any time they go put him at corner, he’s a lock-down cover corner. They put him at running back, makes things happen with the ball in his hand. Put the ball in his hand in the slot, in the kicking game, everything. He’s the type of player we expect to have in our program.”
Florida also put a lot of work into their defense. A big pickup for the Gators, Malik Langham. A 6’6, 269-pound defensive lineman from Huntsville, Ala. He totaled 104 tackles and 11 sacks in his senior season.
“To have Malik Langham come on board is huge for us. He’s a guy that I’ve known about for a while, was kind of a guy that you’re really excited about. He’s a raw talent, great student, great worker, great size, great growth potential. I think has that unbelievable future ahead of him.”
Mullen hopes the new additions are ready to get to work and uphold the Florida reputation.
“You know, the history, the tradition of the University certainly helped us as a coaching staff be able to put this class together and hopefully help us continue to build to the level and expectations that I know I expect and I’m sure that everyone in the Gator Nation expects.”
2018 SIGNEES (19)
Name Position Height Weight Class Hometown/Previous School
Noah Banks* OL 6-7 305 R-Jr. Pensacola / Iowa Western College
Chris Bleich* OL 6-6 313 Fr. Hanover Township, Pa. / Wyoming Valley West
Amari Burney* ATH 6-1 219 Fr. Clearwater / Calvary Christian
Andrew Chatfield, Jr. LB 6-2 226 Fr. Plantation / American Heritage
Iverson Clement* RB 5-11 199 Fr. Mount Holly, N.J. / Rancocas Valley Regional
Jacob Copeland WR 5-11 186 Fr. Pensacola / Escambia
Trey Dean* DB 6-2 180 Fr. Hampton, Ga. / Dutchtown
Richard Gouraige OL 6-5 271 Fr. Tampa / Cambridge Christian
John Huggins DB 6-0 200 Fr. Deltona / Mainland
Emory Jones* QB 6-2 195 Fr. LaGrange, Ga. / Heard County
Dante Lang TE 6-5 222 Fr. Boca Raton / Boca Raton
Malik Langham DL 6-6 269 Fr. Huntsville, Ala. / Lee
Griffin McDowell OL 6-4 267 Fr. Leesburg, Ga. / Lee
Evan McPherson K 6-0 165 Fr. Fort Payne, Ala. / Fort Payne
Dameon Pierce* RB 5-11 208 Fr. Bainbridge, Ga. / Bainbridge
Kyle Pitts TE 6-6 239 Fr. Abington, Pa. / Archbishop Wood
David Reese DB 6-1 213 Fr. Fort Pierce / Vero Beach
Randy Russell* DB 5-10 176 Fr. Opa-Loca, Fla. / Miami Carol City
Justin Watkins ATH 5-11 172 Fr. Clermont, Fla. / East Ridge
Van Jefferson* WR 6-2 195 R-Jr. Brentwood, Tenn. / Ole Miss
Trevon Grimes* WR 6-4 202 Fr. Fort Lauderdale, Fla. / Ohio State