With the 2022-23 season only months away, rosters are pretty much set and that means from a recruiting standpoint it’s full steam ahead to the 2023 class.
A new force in the recruiting world is On3, a company full of top recruiting analysts who follow the sport closely and provide valuable insight to the ranking of players and where they are leaning towards landing. For that reason, when they realized an update to their 2023 rankings it was worth a look to see where some Florida targets are currently sitting.
If you want to take a look for yourself, you can do so here.
Todd Golden has mentioned recently that when it comes to recruiting he isn’t looking to offer a ton of names and bring in large, diverse classes–he’s looking for elite talent that he thinks can play right away. For that reason, you won’t see as many offers out as you’ve likely come to expect from the Florida basketball program. Because there aren’t a ton of offers out, you know that when a player does have an offer there is genuine interest from the Gators.
Let’s start by looking at Florida’s lone commitment in the 2023 class, Thomas Haugh.
Haugh is currently ranked 170th by On3, a number that you can safely bet will look awfully low in a few months. That’s because Haugh has been rising meteorically after a strong end to his high school season followed by a summer that saw him easily best a lot of higher ranked players. A fluid athlete at 6’9” who has shown shot making potential, he looks a lot more like a top-70 player than a top-170 player. In fairness to On3, it’s pretty clear they didn’t simply give him a major bump after committing to the Gators, and he’ll have every opportunity to move up the rankings over the next year.
According to On3, Haugh is the 3rd ranked player in the state of Pennsylvania.
Now, let’s take a look at a few of Florida’s targets and where they’re ranked.
Right now the Gators feel strongly about their point guard rotation featuring Kyle Lofton, Trey Bonham, and Denzel Aberdeen, but that isn’t stopping them from looking for a lead ball handler in 2023. Edgerrin James, a 6’1”, 180 pound point guard, is one of the names at the top of Florida’s board. James is from Orlando, consistent with Golden’s stated plan of dominating in-state recruiting, and plays a style that Golden is looking to implement with the Gators. He’s got great quickness and loves to push the ball in transition, and Golden has made it known that the Gators will be looking to score early in the clock every time they gain possession.
On3 is far lower on consensus on James, currently ranking him as the 130th ranked player in the class, whereas some other recruiting services have him as a top-75 player.
According to the On3 prediction tool, the Gators have a 13.1% chance of landing James which is the highest of any team–admittedly early in his recruitment.
Florida’s next target of note is Kris Parker, a 6’6”, 170 pound wing from Quincy, Florida. When Todd Golden first came to Florida, his first order of business was to get a lot more athletic wings on the roster than recent teams have had. Given how he handled his targets in the transfer portal, it makes sense that one of his top targets in the 2023 class is a 6’6” versatile wing. Parker is known for his shot making ability, something that has him ranked 55th in the class according to On3. He hasn’t yet shown incredible athleticism (though he’s a good athlete) and he has to add bulk to his frame and if he’s able to do that–he will be sniffing the 5-star range.
The final name of note is going to be a familiar one in Eric Dailey from IMG Academy. Dailey was recruited heavily by Mike White’s staff and the interest has continued in the Todd Golden era. Dailey is a very interesting player, a muscular power forward at 6’7” and 215 pounds who wouldn’t exactly fit into every team’s scheme. His best work is done in the high post where he can attack opposing frontcourt players, though he doesn’t quite have the size to play a whole lot of center at the high-major level. However, Golden has loved playing with two bigs in the past and he can sell Dailey on a system where he’d be fully utilized. Florida was considered to be one of the favorites for Dailey under Mike White and they continue to be a favorite in the Golden era. On3 ranks Dailey as the 41st ranked player in the class.
Golden said that his high school recruiting strategy was going to be largely going after top players in the state of Florida and his actions have backed that up. Not only has he been offering top players in the state, but the Gators appear to be in good positions for each of them.
One big question will be just how many high school players Golden wants to take, as the transfer portal will remain a priority for him.
However many he ends up wanting to take, the Gators look to be in good shape from a recruiting standpoint.