The Florida Gators‘ search for a new head football coach ended this weekend. On Monday evening, Athletic Director Scott Stricklin addressed the local media and introduced Dan Mullen as Florida’s 27th head football coach.
Filled with a plethora of rumors, the last four weeks of the coaching carousel have been exhausting. Thankfully, that is all over with.
Coach Mullen and his new staff are going to have a busy first three weeks with the college football early signing period beginning on Dec. 20. For Florida to regain some commitments from top prospects, the coaching staff will have to work around the clock.
Less than 24-hours on the job, Mullen and his staff were actively hitting the recruiting trail and contacting recruits on the phone. Below, Armchair discusses some of the visits and talks the new Gators staff had during their first 24 hours.
Jacob Copeland, WR (Pensacola, Fla.)
Just talk to coach Mullen….🐊🤐
— Jacob Copeland 🐐 (@JCope1era) November 28, 2017
Premiere wide receiver and former Gators commit Jacob Copeland was one of the first recruits to be contacted by Coach Mullen. The elusive 6-foot-1, 181-pound wideout de-committed from the Gators and is a top priority for the new staff. Copeland is a game-changing athlete in open space, and with Mullen implementing the spread offense, he could thrive at a young age. Copeland is the No. 7 ranked wide receiver in the 2018 cycle.
Malik Heath WR, (Jackson, Miss.)
Pictured above is new Gators assistant Billy Gonzalez with 4-star wide receiver Malik Heath, a Mississippi State commit.
The Gators receiving corps struggled through the entirety of the 2017 season. With a new coaching staff coming in, expect some new faces competing for a spot next season.
The 6-foot-4, 205-pound Heath has been committed to the Maroon and White since the beginning of 2016. However, with Coach Mullen and a few of his staff members now in Gainesville, some of their commitments are being persuaded to follow as well. Heath possesses excellent size and speed. His large frame allows easier access to the inside to create better angles to catch the football. Florida has desperately missed a tall red zone threat in recent years.
Stephen Guidry, WR (Morganza, La.)
Coach Gonzales hit the trail hard, visiting two Mississippi State wide receiver commits in one day. Above is the nation’s top junior college receiver, Stephen Guidry.
The 6-foot-4, 190-pound product met with his former Bulldogs recruiter, who was recruiting for the orange and blue. Before the visit to see Guidry, Coach Mullen extended him a scholarship offer from the Florida Gators.
Guidry brings a multitude of tools to the receiver position. For his size, Guidry possesses smooth route running ability — he is a threat to both run by defensive backs or stop 15-yards, plant the foot, and catch the ball on a comeback route. Early playing time is a big factor for Guidry, and it is certainly a product the Gators staff can sell.
Dameon Pierce, RB (Bainbridge, Ga.)
Pierce is a top prospect the new staff is trying to build a relationship with in the beginning stages. Pierce has arguably been one of Florida’s most loyal commitments, and in a run-option offense, he could to make an impact early in his career.
The 5-foot-11, 205-pound running back has displayed tremendous speed and strength early on. The key in the spread offense will be his ability to notice and find the openings occurring within the downfield blocking.
Pierce has been committed to Florida since August and it would be a surprise if anything changed between now and signing day. He has the makings of being a terrific running back in a college spread offense.
**All rankings for recruits were used from the 247sports composite rankings.