The Florida Gators were out of the top 10 in the 2019 recruiting rankings before Wednesday.
After adding four 2019 recruits on National Signing Day, Florida jumped from No. 11 to the No. 9 spot.
Two Florida commits — linebacker Diwun Black and wide receiver Arjei Henderson — sent in their letters of intent Wednesday.
Henderson, a four-star recruit out of Fort Bend Travis, is the No. 23 receiver in the 2019 class, according to 247Sports.
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Henderson drew interest from the Gators early in his recruiting process, despite committing to two other programs, Oklahoma (twice) and Oregon before pledging to Dan Mullen and the Gators at the Under Armour All-American Game on Jan. 11.
“The great thing is from the second he committed he’s been awesome,” Mullen said of Henderson. “He’s been solid as can be in everything. Helping us recruit and what he does, obviously he’s a very, very talented player, got tremendous ball skills as a wide receiver, and big play potential.”
Black, 247Sports ninth-best inside linebacker, chose Florida over a plethora of SEC schools, including Mississippi State, Ole Miss and Tennessee.
The Forest, Mississippi, native recorded 159 tackles and 10 tackles-for-loss over two seasons — along with 12 interceptions as a sophomore — at Forest High School.
Black had a huge hand in recruiting other players to Florida. And No. 3 defensive end Khris Bogle was one of them.
Bogle played with Black in the 2019 Polynesian Bowl in Honolulu, Hawaii, and they attend the same official visit weekend to UF.
The four-star prospect from Cardinal Gibbons High School chose the Gators over Miami and Alabama, the latter program he’d just committed to on Jan. 5.
Mullen said beating out SEC schools like Alabama and Georgia for two key recruits was critical for his program moving forward.
“It just shows the direction that we’re headed as a program,” he said. “Right now, those are the teams that played for the SEC championship this year, and that’s the level we want to be on. So being able to win those recruiting battles is going to help to hopefully beat them on the field as well.”
Bogle, who’ll play linebacker for the Gators, recorded 160 tackles, 41.5 tackles for loss and 29.5 sacks during his high school career.
Defensive back Kaiir Elam from the Benjamin High School in North Palm Beach was the last prospect to send in his national letter of intent to the Gators on Wednesday.
Georgia was one of the schools that was heavily recruiting the No. 6 cornerback (No. 48 overall prospect), but Elam chose to join new cornerbacks coach Torrian Gray and a UF team that has two other top 50 cornerbacks in Chris Steele (No. 5 corner) and Jaydon Hill (No. 29 corner) in its 2019 class.
“We are here to build and bring back a program that competes regularly for championships,” Mullen said, “and you’ve got to have good players to do that.
UF’s 2019 signing class
Diwun Black, LB, 6-4, 215, Osceola; Khris Bogle, LB, 6-4, 209, Cardinal Gibbons; Mohamoud Diabate, LB, 6-3, 219, Auburn High; Kingsley Eguakun, OG, 6-4, 288, Sandalwood; Kaiir Elam, CB, 6-1, 182, the Benjamin School; Deyavie Hammond, OG, 6-4, 350, Lakeland; Will Harrod, OT, 6-5, 316, National Christian Academy; Arjei Henderson, WR, 6-1, 183, Fort Bend Travis; Jaydon Hill, CB, 6-0, 167, Bob Jones; Tyron Hopper, OLB, 6-2, 202, Roswell; Jaelin Humphries, DT, 6-4, 314, Mountain View; Jalon Jones, QB, 6-3, 204, Henrico; Chester Kimbrough, CB, 5-11, 172, Warren Easton; Dionte Marks, WR, 5-11, 172, Deland; Jesiah Pierre, OLB, 6-2, 217, Mount Dora Christian Academy; Riley Simonds, OG, 6-4, 328, Buford; Chris Steele, CB, 6-1, 187, St. John Bosco; Lloyd Summerall III, LB, 6-5, 209, Lakeland; Michael Tarquin, OT, 6-6, 275, North Marion; Ja’Markis Weston, WR, 6-3, 212, Clewiston; Trent Whittemore, ATH, 6-3, 187, Buchholz; Wardrick Wilson, OT, 6-4, 323, Miami Carol City; Ethan White, OT, 6-5, 390, Clearwater; Nay’Quan Wright, RB, 5-9, 195, Miami Carol City; Keon Zipperer, TE, 6-2, 242, Lakeland.