The Florida Gators were not really expected to add to their 2019 recruiting class during this week. During the weekend? Sure: Top-flight California cornerback Chris Steele is playing in the U.S. Army All American Game this Saturday, and is widely expected to commit to Florida during his scheduled commitment at that game.
But when four-star wide receiver Arjei Henderson donned a Gators hat at Thursday’s Under Armour All-America Game during an in-game interview, it was a rare recruiting shocker.
Dan Mullen, of course, was not surprised, sending out his customary #ToTheSwamp tweet mere moments after Henderson’s televised commitment. But Henderson popping for the Gators runs counter to what was the prevailing understanding of his recruitment entering this week: Florida State was was the pick for the majority of Crystal Ball participants, with Oklahoma running second and Florida nowhere to be seen.
And given that Henderson — who hails from Texas, a state that Florida does not often recruit — had previously been committed to Oregon during the brief Willie Taggart era in Eugene and had previously dropped an Oklahoma commitment, him ending up coming full circle to Taggart at his latest stop was considered likely enough that SB Nation recruiting expert Bud Elliott put in a Crystal Ball prediction for FSU on Sunday.
Henderson merits all four of his stars on tape, though, displaying excellent fluidity in and out of his cuts and a long stride that may help make up for what seems like unremarkable speed and quickness.
Henderson is the No. 126 prospect in the 2019 class per the 247Sports Composite, and is now the highest-rated player committed to the Gators, whose class is ranked No. 15 nationally.
And while Henderson may yet continue to be recruited over the next month between now and National Signing Day, the Gators nabbing his commitment sure looks like a strong step toward getting his signing.