On Saturday night, Florida made a huge splash in the 2018 recruiting cycle. As they hosted four-star quarterback Matt Corral of Long Beach on an unofficial visit, the Gators got the news they were hoping for, as the California signal caller decided to commit.
It’s not an overstatement to say that this is one of the bigger moves of the 2018 recruiting cycle to this point. The only pro-style QB listed better than Corral is Clemson commit Trevor Lawrence of Cartersville, Georgia, who also just so happens to be the top-ranked recruit in the entire country and the only other QB, in general, listed better than Corral is the dynamic Justin Fields of Kennesaw, Georgia (who we’ll get to a little later).
Let’s delve into what this means for Florida and for a few other teams as well.
Florida just got its best QB recruit in years
The last quarterback to come to Florida rated higher than Corral was five-star Jeff Driskel and... well, Gator fans certainly do know how that turned out, but UF won big with Corral’s commitment. Will Grier, Feleipe Franks and Jacoby Brissett were all four-star recruits like the Long Beach signal caller, but Corral’s rating is higher than that trio’s. Not only did the Gators get one of their best QB recruits in years, but probably one of their best in general, too.
Corral’s commitment makes Florida’s QB situation much easier to digest
This isn’t the first time that Florida’s had a four-star QB recruit, as we’d alluded to. However, as we know, Grier’s stint in Florida ended unceremoniously, Brissett’s career concluded at NC State and we haven’t seen Franks take a snap yet (but may very well this year). So, it’s fair to say that he’ll have quite a lot of hype around him when he arrives on campus next year, and give the Gators some stability at the position for the first time in a while if he (and Franks) can play up to snuff.
Two of the best QB recruits in 2018 may be playing in Florida
So, back to Justin Fields. Fields had been pursued by Florida after he decommitted from Penn State. In fact, there was quite a lot of traction towards the folks in Gainesville and many thought they were going to be big players for him. The tide recently did turn however, as UF’s rival Florida State now appears to be the leader for Fields. If that indeed turns out to be the case, then we can likely anticipate some future QB battles in Tallahassee and Gainesville between Corral and Fields, which should provide some dynamite, no?
...That is unless Georgia can land Fields
The other primary suitor for Fields appears to be the Georgia Bulldogs. After all, Fields is a native of Kennesaw and it would behoove ‘Dawgs head coach Kirby Smart to keep the highest-rated dual-threat QB from Georgia since Deshaun Watson in state. If that’s the case, then we can expect some fun in UGA and UF’s annual battles as well. The pressure certainly ramps up in Athens now to try and land the best uncommitted QB in the country, as their SEC East rival announced their presence in a big way on Saturday night.
Florida’s future is looking pretty, pretty good
After a few lean years of recruiting, Florida reeled off the 11th-best recruiting class in the country for 2017 and one that ranked in the Top 5 in the SEC. Now, with Corral in tow, the Gators have a class that’s now ranked 17th in the country with some time to spare to keep climbing up the ladder. With a class ranked 12th from 2016, it appears that building blocks are taking shape in Gainesville for a team that should continue to contend in the SEC East. And, hopefully, now with their QB situation looking a lot clearer, the conference on the whole.