Florida football recruiting: Four-star OL Knijeah Harris commits to join Gators’ 2023 class

By OnlyGators.com Staff
May 7, 2022
Florida football recruiting: Four-star OL Knijeah Harris commits to join Gators’ 2023 class
Football

Image Credit: Leslie White / UAA

Despite a busy offseason that has seen the Florida Gators coaching staff recruiting strongly both on campus and across the country, commitments have yet to come en masse for the program as they have for many of its competitors. Perhaps four-star offensive lineman Knijeah Harris’ decision to commit to the Gators on Saturday will break the dam.

Harris (6-foot-3, 335 pounds), an athlete at IMG Academy, committed to Florida over a heavyweight list of finalists including Alabama, Miami, Oklahoma and Texas A&M. It’s believed he primarily chose the Gators over the Hurricanes, which had been in hot pursuit of his services.

“The family feeling. It felt like home,” explained Harris when recalling his having made the decision during a March on-campus visit.

Ranked as the No. 301 prospect in the 247Sports Composite, Harris projects as an interior lineman. He is also the second IMG Academy prospect to commit to UF over the last two recruiting cycles. While the Gators have historically struggled to recruit from the top-tier preparatory school — despite it just being three hours away from campus — head coach Billy Napier appears to be making substantial inroads in Bradenton, Florida.

Harris is now one of just three Florida commitments for the Class of 2023. As such, his pledge alone boosted the Gators from No. 52 to No. 38 in the 247Sports Composite team rankings.

Florida is one of a handful of major programs (Alabama, Clemson, LSU, Oklahoma) with fewer than five commits at this point in the cycle as others (Notre Dame, Georgia, Ohio State) have already reached double digits.

There are still seven months until the early signing period in December, and with the transfer portal — and name, image and likeness payments — factoring into roster building more than ever before, there are myriad methods head coach Billy Napier and his staff can employ as they aim to build the program’s talent base ahead of his second year in Gainesville, Florida.

Big body joins 2022 class: Though the incoming recruiting class was already signed and delivered, the Gators are set to enter next season with a number of unfilled scholarships — most of which are likely to go to transfers or walk-ons. However, Florida decided to fill one of those spots last week by bringing in junior college offensive tackle Jordan Herman. Currently enrolled at Hutchinson Community College in Kansas, Herman (6-foot-8, 370 pounds) will sign his papers after he graduates this month.

CommitPos.Rating
Aaron Gates (281)
ATH
Knijeah Harris
OL
Creed Whittemore
ATH
Tyree Patterson
WR
Bryce Lovett
OL

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