Jacksonville is Gator country.
That was the message repeated throughout four-star Bartram Trail defensive back Sharif Denson’s commitment video on Monday. Joined by a group of former Gators from the Jacksonville area, Denson made his pledge to the University of Florida and became the third four-star defensive commit to join Billy Napier‘s recruiting class of 2023 in the last week.
Denson, who has long been considered Florida’s to lose, picked his parents’ alma mater over Miami and Texas A&M after taking unofficial visits to all three programs in June. He set the top three on Wednesday with plans to take officials throughout the season.
Defensive Coordinator and safeties coach Patrick Toney has been a key player in this recruitment as had cornerbacks coach Corey Raymond, according to Gators Online. Denson feels that the duo has the potential to mold him into an NFL-ready defensive back. The plan is to play him at the STAR position but also at outside corner since his versatility allows it.
Florida is now up to nine commits in the class of 2023 and No. 17 on the On3 team recruiting rankings list. Denson is the second-highest-ranked recruit in the class so far at No. 196 overall on the On3 consensus. Only former UCF commit Isaiah Nixon is ranked higher, and Gavin Hill is right behind him. All three four-star recruits have been added within the week.
Four-star athlete Aaron Gates is the only other projected defensive back in the class so far, and Florida is still going after top-ranked cornerback Cormani McClain as well.
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