As Dan Mullen prepared to finish his second class as the Gators’ head coach, I wondered whether Mullen could recruit at a high enough level to win championships.
Five days before the early signing period begins on Class 3, the answer is looking more like yes.
Mullen snagged an oral commitment Friday morning from Joshua Braun, a four-star offensive tackle from Live Oak. Braun’s decision came two days after he decommitted from Georgia.
The flip would be big enough on its own. The 6-foot-5, 335-pound Braun is a top-300 overall recruit at a position where the Gators struggled last season. You can never have too many quality offensive linemen.
The context makes it even larger. As of Friday morning, UF has the No. 6 class in the country, according to 247Sports’ composite rankings. That’s behind Alabama, Clemson, LSU, Ohio State and Jimbo Fisher’s Aggies but notably ahead of SEC East rival Georgia. It’s also eight spots ahead of Miami and 20 ahead of Florida State.
If that ranking holds, it would be the Gators’ best since 2013.
Because this is recruiting, the if is important. Oral commitments are non-binding until recruits sign letters of intent, either next week or in February. UF’s average rating of its recruits is only No. 11, so it’s possible the Gators slip some as undecided prospects commit and sign elsewhere.
But Mullen and his staff had an impressive close to the 2019 class and are positioned well for 2020. We’ll see how his Gators close in the final few days and what that means for the championship future he envisions in Gainesville.