The Florida Gators were hoping to go three-for-three with a trio of four-star prospects at Lakeland High announcing their commitments on the first day of the 2018 Early Signing Period.
Offensive lineman Deyavie Hammond, edge rusher Lloyd Summerall, and tight end Keon Zipperer all made public pledges to the Gators during a late-morning ceremony at Lakeland on Wednesday, pushing the 2019 Florida recruiting class up the rankings and swelling its number to 21.
Summerall and Zipperer had long been considered Florida leans despite both players spending almost as long showing interest in Miami, but Hammond, a former Alabama commit, emerged later in the cycle as a Florida target. All three entered Wednesday with Florida predictions dominating in the Crystal Ball product maintained by 247Sports.
Hammond was first to commit to the Gators on Wednesday — though the Dan Mullen tweet announcing his signing coming just moments after his public commitment was broadcast on ESPN2 strongly suggests that the Gators had a National Letter of Intent from Hammond prior to that moment.
Summerall was next, saying that — like Ermon Lane and Quincy Wilson did, years before him — he would spend his next three or four years in Gainesville before donning a Florida hat.
And then Zipperer — who had to wait through a commercial break to make his commitment public — head-faked by touching a Miami hat before putting on a stylish Florida snapback
All three players are four-star recruits, with Hammond and Zipperer profiling as more field-ready than Summerall, who likely needs to add weight before getting snaps. And the trio as a group is not just a massive upgrade for the Gators this year, but an important foothold for the future, as Lakeland is loaded in the 2020 and 2021 recruiting cycles.
And when Florida last won a national title, it was with several Lakeland Dreadnoughts — like Ahmad Black and Mike and Maurkice Pouncey — playing significant roles.