Florida Gators men’s basketball coach Mike White is building an empire.
Or, at the very least, one of the top recruiting class UF has seen in quite some time.
White has received a pair of verbal commitments from marquee prospects in 6-5 small forward Scottie Lewis and 6-9 center Omar Payne over the past two days to catapult the Gators’ 2019 recruiting class to No. 4 overall, according to 247Sports.
Lewis, the 11th-ranked player in the country, committed to Florida on Tuesday over the likes of Kentucky, Arizona, Kansas and LSU.
Payne, who committed to UF on Monday, is the No. 38 overall player in the class and had offers from 19 schools.
Add on five-star point guard Tre Mann, who has been committed to the Gators since late August, and three of the top 50 players in the this year’s recruiting cycle are committed to play at Florida, a feat that has happened two other times since the turn of the century:
▪ 2014, when the Gators signed Devin Robinson, Chris Chiozza and Brandone Francis-Ramirez.
▪ 2007, when Nick Calathes, Chandler Parson and Jal Lucas signed. That class also included Alex Tyus and Adam Allen.
The three schools with higher-ranked recruiting class than Florida as of Wednesday morning: Southern California, Louisville and Kentucky.