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Florida Gators recruiting: Visits from Byron Cowart, Martez Ivey make for huge weekend

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This is a last best chance for Florida to make its pitches to some of the Class of 2015.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Florida's got just under two weeks in its sprint to 2015's National Signing Day, and, with just nine commitments in its 2015 class, has many slots to fill in the coming days.

Apart from Signing Day itself, this Saturday — dead in the middle of Florida's biggest weekend for visits from prospects — is going to be the most important day of that fortnight.

This preview from The Gainesville Sun's Zach Abolverdi is a nice outline of who's coming to campus and why, but it lacks an actual list. So here's that:

Official Visitors

  • Steven Clark, three-star offensive lineman, Guntersville (Al.) (Syracuse commit)
  • Byron Cowart, five-star defensive lineman, Seffner Armwood
  • Jordan Cronkrite, four-star running back/athlete, Westminster Christian (Miami)
  • Ryan Davis, four-star wide receiver, Lakewood
  • Deondre Francois, four-star quarterback, IMG Academy (FSU commit)
  • Rayshad Jackson, three-star linebacker, Miami Norland
  • Camrin Knight, three-star tight end/H-back, Tallahassee Lincoln (Florida commit)
  • D'Anfernee McGriff, four-star athlete, Tallahassee Leon (Auburn commit)
  • Brandon Sandifer, three-star offensive lineman, Warner Robins Northside (Florida commit)
  • Jordan Scarlett, four-star running back, St. Thomas Aquinas (Miami commit)

Unofficial Visitors

  • Martez Ivey, five-star offensive tackle, Apopka

And there's always the possibility that other recruits not currently expected to be in town could make the day trip to Florida on Saturday, especially for a brief unofficial visit. We won't know anything until they do, if they do, but stranger things have certainly happened in recruiting.

Even casual followers of recruiting will likely see two names that pop from that list: Five-star prospects Cowart and Ivey both can lay claim to being the nation's No. 1 prospect — Ivey was a consensus No. 1 in the 247Sports Composite until recently, and Cowart is No. 1 for both ESPN and Rivals. And both have been considered Florida leans for almost the entirety of their recruitments, with proximity to home always seen as a key factor in Ivey's decision-making as he weighs going to Auburn or staying home at Florida, and both proximity to home and the perceived pipeline from Armwood to Florida likely factoring into Cowart's thought process.

Ivey seems more likely to become a Gator as of now; Bud Elliott predicted as much in a piece published this Friday. But Elliott predicts Cowart will commit to Auburn, where he would join Will Muschamp, and Cowart has most recently taken a public shine to the school on the plains.

It should perhaps be noted, though, that Cowart's also had public flirtations with Oregon (including naming the Ducks his leader at one point, without any visit or plans to visit) and Florida State (which he eliminated earlier this week while narrowing his list down to Florida and Auburn), and has consistently had Florida at or near the top of his list for more than a year.

But that's not to say that the rest of this list of visitors is chopped liver: Scarlett is an excellent runner, Francois possesses a cannon of an arm, and McGriff's highlights show that he's the sort of versatile athlete that would be valuable in an offense like the Auburn one he's currently committed to play for in 2015. And Clark is a player at a position of need who seems quite interested in Florida; the Gators aren't really in a position to go for quality at the expense of quantity when it comes to offensive linemen.

I'm going to be out of pocket for much of the day on Saturday, but if news (read: commitments) breaks this weekend, I suspect it will be on Sunday, as visits end. And even if it doesn't, we'll have a write-up on how it all went on Monday.