Gators left out of preseason USA TODAY Sports AFCA Coaches Poll top 25
The preseason USA TODAY Sports AFCA Coaches Poll is officially out, and unfortunately for Florida football fans, the Gators were excluded from the initial rankings for the upcoming 2022 season.
The Orange and Blue are coming off a disappointing campaign that saw the end of the Dan Mullen era thanks to some egregious underperformances by the team, which led to the program’s worst record in Southeastern Conference play since 1986. While the hiring of former Lousiana Ragin’ Cajuns head coach Billy Napier instilled a good deal of confidence in the fanbase so far, he has yet to prove himself at a Power Five school — much less, the grueling gauntlet of the SEC.
Subsequently, it comes as no surprise that the Gators sit outside of the top 25 with only 17 votes, but the bearish early outlook really amounts to nothing more than an educated guess. A convincing win in Week 1 over the Utah Utes, who come to Gainesville ranked No. 8 in the Coaches Poll, would do wonders for the team’s standing and would likely have them sneaking into the rankings.
There are six SEC schools in the top 25, with the Alabama Crimson Tide coming in at No. 1, the defending national champion Georgia Bulldogs at No. 3 and the Texas A&M Aggies at No. 7, while the Kentucky Wildcats, Arkansas Razorbacks and Ole Miss Rebels help close out the top 25 at Nos. 21, 23 and 24, respectively.
Others Receiving Votes
Iowa 248; Penn State 246; Tennessee 163; Brigham Young 152; Louisiana State 143; Auburn 98; Central Florida 55; North Carolina 34; San Diego State 25; Fresno State 21; Mississippi State 19; Florida 17; Utah State 12; Air Force 12; UCLA 10; Boise State 10; Appalachian State 10; Minnesota 6; South Carolina 5; Kansas State 4; Iowa State 3; Army 3; UL Lafayette 2; Southern Methodist 2; Purdue 2; Oregon State 2; Coastal Carolina 2; Texas-San Antonio 1; Louisville 1; Florida State 1
Gators extend scholarship offer to this top 2024 offensive tackle
The summer season is slowly waning as the 2022 college football campaign steadily approaches. The Florida Gators are preparing for their gridiron grind this coming fall but Billy Napier and Co. are also still burning the midnight oil over future recruiting classes. Among the many offers recently handed out by the program, one was given to four-star offensive tackle Michael Uini out of Copperas Cove in Texas.
The massive 6-foot-7-inch, 275-pound rising junior received a scholarship offer last Wednesday after being eyed by the staff for a while. The courtship actually dates back to Napier’s tenure with the Lousiana Ragin’ Cajuns, where the young lineman first caught one coach’s attention.
“One of Florida’s recruiters, he has actually been keeping an eye on me since he was at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette,” Uini told Gators Online. “We spoke a couple of months ago, but after that, I haven’t spoken to him. I guess Florida has been showing interest because ever since I got the Baylor offer, coach Napier followed me on Twitter and then a couple of other coaches followed me as well. That’s how far it has gone as far as showing interest.”
But the Orange and Blue are not the only ones showing interest in the talented Texan. So far, the Alabama Crimson Tide, USC Trojans, LSU Tigers, Texas Longhorns, Texas A&M Aggies and Oklahoma Sooners have also offered him, among many others. In fact, the Georgia Bulldogs just recently extended an offer as well.
Uini is ranked No. 63 overall and No. 4 at his position in his class nationally according to the 247Sports composite, while the On3 consensus has him at Nos. 42 and 3, respectively. On3’s Recruiting Prediction Machine currently has the ‘Horns out front with a 27.4% chance of signing him, with the Aggies second at 24% and ‘Bama at 20.6%.
Four-star running back Anthony Carrie was recently re-offered by the Florida Gators’ new coaching staff, according to Gators Online.
The Carrollwood Day (Tampa, Florida) recruit impressed coaches during the a July camp, which he partially participated in due to the upcoming season. He and teammate Bredell Richardson, a four-star wide receiver ranked No. 77 overall in the class, performed individual drills for coaches and both picked up offers for the second time.
“I like the new staff,” Carrie said. “I’m still trying to get a feel for them. Before me and Bredell went up there, Florida was not recruiting us as hard as the last staff was, so we are trying to get a feel for them. It was nice getting around them and getting coached by them.”
One of the coaches Carrie got to work with closely is running backs coach Jabbar Juluke. The two shared a moment after a drill went wrong. Carrie, who considers himself an elite running back, decided to delay a route after seeing the other recruits run straight to the position. His rationale was that a linebacker would be able to read it easily and in-game he’d be waiting longer to make his cut.
That threw Juluke off and the two didn’t connect, but Carrie quickly apologized and explained the thought process. Juluke replied with “be you,” and seemed to realize that Carrie has a better understanding of the position than other kids at his level. That’s the kind of moment that makes a coach and player want to work with each other, and Carrie’s confident he proved himself at the camp.
But he’s still taking things slow and not committing a spot in his top 10 to the orange and blue until he’s sure of things. That will take a bit more effort on UF’s side. He plans to visit for one game in the fall, but his schedule is far from finalized.
“I’m not sure yet. I’m kind of just getting a feel for them,” Carrie said. “Before the new staff came, they were definitely top 10, but they have to earn to be top 10 now. I have to see how they do this year on the field; I got to see how the culture is and I want to see them recruit me a little bit more.”
Carrie is ranked No. 100 overall on the On3 consensus and is No. 5 among running backs. He rushed for over 1,000 yards and scored 20 touchdowns as a sophomore.