Florida’s 2023 recruiting class has started to take shape in recent weeks, with the Gators landing three commitments in the past two weeks.
The most recent those takes was three-star offensive lineman Bryce Lovett, who is ranked as the No. 729 prospect in the country. He’s less of an eye-catching commitment than four-star offensive lineman Knijeah Harris (No. 299) or three-star receiver Creed Whittemore (No. 411), but he’s the type of prospect who should help begin to build out the base on UF’s all-important 2023 class.
247Sports analysts Cooper Petagna and Andrew Ivins discussed Florida’s recent momentum and the Lovett take on a video broadcast on Tuesday.
“I love this take,” said Ivins, a 247Sports recruiting analyst based in the state of Florida. “I was listening to some podcasts, a radio show this morning, they were talking about Bryce Lovett and they were saying, ‘Oh, he’s a three-star.’ I guess three-stars can’t be good. But that’s just the perception: You’ve got to be a four-star to be good. But no.
“I’m a big fan of Bryce Lovett. I’ve probably seen him play more than anyone else in the state. I’ve attended a few of his games, seen him twice at camps. There’s some narrative out there that he doesn’t got to camps, which is why he’s not ranked that high, which is false. We saw him at Under Armour Miami. He’s 6 foot 6, 6-5, pushing 6-6, over 300 pounds. Has played mostly right tackle. But to me he’s one of my favorite offensive linemen in the state.”
With the three recent additions Florida’s 2023 recruiting class has risen to No. 30 nationally in the recruiting rankings. Right now that’s based mostly on a low volume of commitments, with the Gators fielding only five public commitments.
But Petagna and Ivins didn’t believe that ranking should detract from what Florida is building in the 2023 class under Billy Napier.
Ivins noted that Florida is building the base of its class right now and then will go “big-game hunting” for prospects like five-star Cormani McClain, five-star quarterback Jaden Rashada and others.
“We keep hinting at it: The Gators are going to get hot, and they are right now,” Ivins said. “Creed Whittemore, Knijeah Harris, now Bryce Lovett. I argue this, man, I think Bryce Lovett and Knijeah Harris, those would have been two of the better offensive line takes in the Steve Addazio, Dan Mullen era at Florida. Those are guys that can play at the SEC, and I’m not going to knock what Billy Napier’s staff wants to do in terms of what they’re looking for on the offensive line.
“I love the take. I’m surprised Florida State and Miami weren’t more involved given the struggles up front for both those programs. So kudos to Florida. I wouldn’t be surprised if Bryce Lovett, you turn on the TV at some point down the line, 3:30 CBS, the mothership, it’s Tennessee-Florida and Bryce Lovett is your starting right tackle, because I think he’s got that type of upside.”
Petagna agreed, pointing out that not every take in a class will snatch headlines.
“Those are the guys you need, that’s how you build the floor of your roster from the ground up,” Petagna said.
“I love what Florida’s doing. They’re not going to dominate headlines right now, but in terms of building a solid and firm foundation, that’s what Billy Napier’s doing. Now they’ve got to supplement that with the type of guys that are going to elevate them come January and deep in SEC play. But as of right now, this has the makings of a very good roster.”
You can view the complete broadcast from Ivins and Petagna below.
5/17/22: Elite 11 Nashville Recap / QB Dominoes / Notre Dame / Clemson / Round-Up https://t.co/dftSGb5ZZW
— 247Sports (@247Sports) May 17, 2022