Jones finally flips - picks Florida

Alabama-Alabama football Alabama recruiting-Emory Jones

With Jones and Dean in tow, the Gators jumped from No. 32 a couple days ago to No. 14 in the new 247Sports Composite team rankings.

Four-star quarterback Emory Jones from Franklin, Ga., decommitted from Ohio State and will sign with Florida on Wednesday. They hauled in 15 players overall, including multiple late flips from other programs.

Mullen became the Gators' head coach not long after the conclusion of the 2017 season. "I thought our coaching staff did a great job", Mullen said.

Mullen also won significant head-to-head battles with elite programs.

The Gators signed 13 prospects, including two four-star running backs (Iverson Clement and Dameon Pierce), two four-star tight ends (Dante Lang and Kyle Pitts), three highly rated defensive backs (Dean, John Huggins and Randy Russell), two offensive linemen (Noah Banks and Chris Bleich), a top linebacker (David Reese) and the nation's No. 2 place-kicker (Evan McPherson). Mullen and Jones already had a relationship. Florida's director of player personnel, Drew Hughes, helped get the new faces on campus quietly and efficiently.

"That's hard to say you're going to come in to be a true freshman and be the guy in the Southeastern Conference", Mullen said.

Given Jones' dual-threat ability, he should fit in perfectly with what Mullen likes to do offensively, which demands that the quarterback be a legitimate throwing and rushing threat. He initially committed to Ohio State in July 2016, but visited Auburn and Alabama this fall and ended up taking strong looks at Florida and Florida State following coaching changes.

Florida's offense has made its official pivot toward a new philosophy and a new style under Dan Mullen. Mullen's track record of preparing college quarterbacks for the National Football League also mattered. For Florida fans who have lost a number of critical, down-to-the-wire recruiting battles with FSU this decade (Dalvin Cook, Deondre Francois, Brian Burns, etc.), this recruiting win was sweet. Dean chose Florida over Alabama, Michigan and Tennessee.

The Gators still have significant needs, especially on the offensive line, where McElwain never completely recovered after Will Muschamp left the unit so depleted Florida couldn't even hold a spring game in 2015. That said, Mullen also acknowledged with more time and different circumstances he felt the Gators could have done even better Wednesday.

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