Florida coach Dan Mullen is now searching for more than just the nation’s top recruits to join his program.
Amid their quest to build their 2019 and 2020 classes, the Gators have lost two assistant coaches to SEC schools in the past week.
Alabama announced the hiring of UF defensive line coach Sal Sunseri earlier last week, and Georgia announced on Saturday that it will bring in cornerbacks coach Charlton Warren as its defensive backs coach.
Both coaches joined Mullen during his inaugural season and helped the Gators to the 28th-best defense in the nation by the end of the season.
Warren will join his third SEC East school in as many years. He was the defensive backs coach/ special teams coordinator for Tennessee in 2017 before becoming a part of Mullen’s staff.
And he has had a hand in recruiting some of Florida big 2019 targets in four-star prospects Chris Steele and Jaydon Hill, both of whom have already enrolled.
After it was announced that Warren would move on to Georgia, several Gators, including Steele, took to Twitter in response.
“Like that?... BET,” said a post on Steele’s Twitter account.
“Lol okay just don’t coach the best corners in the country,” said a Tweet from corner Marco Wilson’s account.
Warren was also heavily recruiting four-star defensive back Kaiir Elam, who is expected to decide between the Gators and the Bulldogs.
Elam visited Florida on Jan. 11, and the news of Warren’s departure came during the weekend that Elam was on his official visit at Georgia.
Elam, a 6-1, 182-pounder out of North Palm Beach Benjamin is the No. 49 overall prospect and seventh-best cornerback, according to the 247Sports composite.
He would no doubt give the Gators a lift in the 2019 recruiting trail. But with its current class, Florida ranks No. 11 in the 247Sports national rankings and has the fifth-best class in the SEC.
And they’re looking to add a few more prospects to the 21 signees from the early signing period.
No. 10 inside linebacker Diwun Black and No.3 weak-side defensive end Khris Bogle (Fort Lauderdale Cardinal Gibbons) are expected to visit UF on Jan. 25.
Black, a 6-3, 216-pound four-star recruit committed to the Gators in August, and the 6-3, 212-pound Bogle committed to Alabama on Jan. 5.
But Florida still awaits those final decisions with the Feb. 6 National Signing Day looming.