Florida Football: Gators announce 2016 recruiting class


The Florida Gators have welcomed a new crop of talented players to campus, announcing the 2016 Florida football recruiting class on National Signing Day.

Though Florida stumbled down the stretch, Year 1 of the Jim McElwain era was an unquestionable success after the Gators started 10-1 and won the SEC East for the first time since 2009. McElwain and his coaching staff have parlayed that early on-field success into one of the nation’s most impressive recruiting classes.

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The Gators made 26 signees official on National Signing Day, 12 of which are early enrollees that will participate in spring practice. With nine four-star prospects in tow including six that rank among the top 200 high school players available, the 2016 Florida recruiting class ranks No. 3 in the SEC (first in the East) and No. 6 in the country. Florida also added two highly touted junior college transfers and the nation’s top rated kicker.

Among the players expected to contribute immediately are cornerback Chauncey Gardner (No. 45 overall, No. 4 among corners), running back Mark Thompson (No. 5 JUCO signee, No. 1 JUCO running back), and wide receivers Freddie Swain and Joshua Hammond. Each is an early enrollee that should compete for playing time at a position of need given the early entry of NFL Draft prospects Vernon Hargreaves III, Kelvin Taylor and Demarcus Robinson.

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Quarterback Feleipe Franks, a 6-foot-5, 210-pound former LSU commit ranked No. 5 among pro-style passers in the 2016 class, will also be in the mix for the Gators, and should compete with incumbent Treon Harris and newcomers Luke Del Rio and Austin Appleby this spring.

Complete 2016 Florida Football Recruiting Class:

Note: All rankings mentioned come from 247Sports unless otherwise noted.