National Signing Day recap: Florida looks to improve with top-15 class

By Spectrum Sports Staff,
Last Updated: Wednesday, February 07, 2018, 4:07 PM EST

Just two months removed from a dismal 4-7 season where the Gators missed playing in a bowl game for the first time since 2014, Florida wrapped up a top 20 ranking on National Signing Day with 18 recruits including 11 4-star signees.

East Ridge WR Justin Watkins headlined a class that looks to return to the SEC championship game after playing in back-to-back games in 2015-16. The Gators had already received commitments from 5 four-star players including dual threat QB Emory Jones who chose Florida after previously committing to Ohio State.

Florida's recruiting class currently ranks 15th in the nation and 5th-best in the SEC.

Joining Watkins from the Central Florida and Bay Area were S John Huggins from Mainland, OT Richard Gouraige from Cambridge Christian and S Amari Burney from Clearwater Calvary Christian. 

Here's a complete list of Florida signees:

NAME HIGH SCHOOL/JUCO POSITION
Jacob Copeland Escambia 4-star WR
*Richard Gouraige Cambridge Christian 4-star OT
Emory Jones Heard County (GA) 4-star QB
*Justin Watkins East Ridge 4-star WR
Kyle Pitts Archbishop Wood (PA) 4-star TE
*Amari Burney Calvary Christian 4-star S
Trey Dean Dutchtown (GA) 4-star S
Dameon Pierce Bainbridge (GA) 4-star RB
Andrew Chatfield American Heritage 4-star DE
David Reese Vero Beach 4-star OLB
Iverson Clement Rancocas Valley (NJ) 4-star ATH
Noah Banks Iowa Western CC 3-star OT
*John Huggins Mainland 3-star S
Chris Bleich Wyoming Valley (PA) 3-star OT
Randy Russell Carol City 3-star S
Dante Lang Boca Raton 3-star TE
Griffin McDowell Lee County (GA) 3-star C
Evan McPherson Fort Payne (AL) 3-star K

*Bay Area & Central Florida recruits