Top DE Antwaun Powell commits to Florida

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One for the thumb: that’s five commitments in less than a week for Dan Mullen and Florida.

What a week this has been for the Gators on the recruiting trail.

High four star defensive end Antwaun Powell (Portsmouth, VA/IC Norcom) has committed to Florida:

Powell owns an impressive offer list, featuring Michigan, Notre Dame, Penn State, Oklahoma, TCU and Virginia Tech. You can watch his highlight tape here, which should explain why he has such an impressive offer list.

For starters, Powell has a big frame, standing 6’3, 234 lbs. He’s a naturally explosive pass rusher who’s also athletic enough to drop back into coverage and play a little bit of outside linebacker if he needs to. But he was recruited as a lineman first and foremost, and with Jabari Zuniga set to graduate after this season, the Gators will have a distinct need at his vacated DE spot- and Powell is disruptive enough to fill it relatively seamlessly.

Then there’s the other side of things- the strictly recruiting side. Powell, who many have suspected to be a Gator lean for a couple of weeks, becomes the fifth addition to Florida’s rapidly growing 2020 recruiting class in the last five days. Mullen reeled in a trifecta of players in a 24 hour span on Friday and Saturday that included flipping high four star Penn State OLB commit Derek Wingo, as well as landing pledges from DT Lamar Goods and CB Tre’Vez Johnson. On Monday, cornerback Fenley Graham joined the party.

That little package of players vaulted the Gators from the #8 recruiting class all the way up to #5 in 247’s 2020 rankings. Rivals, for its part, has left Florida sitting at #6.

But the most important takeaway from this commitment was that Powell was set to commit on July 4th, and yet he felt such a strong connection with the coaching staff that he pushed up his announcement. That’s not particularly common, and it speaks volumes about the Gator coaching staff and their recruiting ability- volumes that should counteract all that negative noise about what a problem this staff had in this department not too long ago.

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