Florida missed out on consensus top-5 safety Joenel Aguero on July 23 to Georgia but the Gators still have a chance to nab another four-star safety in West Orange’s Jordan Castell before the month closes out.
Castell visited Florida and Tennessee in June and quickly moved up his commitment date to July 30. He named a top three of the Gators, Volunteers and Alabama Crimson Tide but hasn’t been to Tuscaloosa since the end of January.
That has many in Gator Nation believing that Castell will be picking up an orange and blue hat on Saturday, and the experts agree. On3’s recruiting prediction machine has UF as the 96.2% favorite less than a week out and 247Sports has six crystal balls logged in favor of the Gators. That’s about as sure as it gets, but we did just see four-star offensive tackle Payton Kirkland pick Texas, a school he never visited, over Florida last weekend.
Nothing is official until the decision is in, but Florida seems to be in an ideal spot to add another name to the class of 2023 this week.
Winter Garden, Fla.
Castell is generally considered a four-star recruit but 247Sports lists him as a three-star and leaves him outside of the Top247. Rivals doesn’t have a national grade on him either. He still cracked the top 200 on the 247Sports composite though, and he’s ranked No. 222 on the On3 consensus.
October 23, 2021: Gators offer Castell
March 31, 2022: Catell makes an unofficial visit to Florida.
June 3, 2022: Castell makes an official visit to Florida.
June 5, 2022: 247Sports’ Blak Alderman submits first crystal ball projecting Castell to Florida.
June 10, 2022: Castell makes an official visit to Tennesee.
July 20, 2022: Castell names Gators to top three and moves commitment date up to July 30.
July 25, 2022: 247Sports’ Steve Wiltfong crystal balls Castell to Florida.
July 30: Decision day.
“I love the energy there. I love the coaching staff they have at Florida. It’s just a really great spot to be at. I was at their scrimmage so I got to see the energy of their practice. They had guys that looked like they loved being out there playing for each other. It was real nice. I got to sit in the position meetings with the safeties and then I got to meet with the DB coaches like Coach Raymond, Coach Toney, and Coach Chaney. I have a good relationship with them.
“Really I just like the environment there. The coaching staff seemed really cool and I got to talk to some of the players. They get guys to the next level at Florida and have players who want to be there. I just feel like I fit in there. I think I fit in their defense. I am good at covering and I can come down and tackle. I just feel like I can help them a lot.” — Swamp247
“Florida, there’s just a lot of love and I can see how they are setting up their players for the next level, especially with Coach (Corey) Raymond and Coach (Patrick) Toney,” Castell said. “I have seen what those guys have done at the programs they were at in the past.” — 247Sports
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