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Florida football recruiting: Gators land Peach State speedster Isaiah Bond

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Florida’s wide receiver recruiting continues to be excellent.

SEC Championship - Alabama v Florida Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The Florida Gators have had a somewhat quiet stretch on the recruiting trail in recent months, with the weirdnesses of the final weeks of the NCAA’s modified-due-to-COVID-19 recruiting calendar helping to keep much from happening. But Mother’s Day brought a chance for one son to bring a smile to his mother’s face by making a public college commitment, and four-star wide receiver Isaiah Bond did just that by announcing his pledge to Florida on Sunday evening.

Bond hails from Buford, Georgia, and plays for Buford High’s Wolves, whom he played both ways for as a junior in 2021. He’s committing to Florida as a wide receiver, however, and as one who could use his excellent speed — Bond at one point held the nation’s fastest time in the 100 meters this year, and blazed a 10.48 in the event at a recent sectional meet just this weekend — to be a threat in Dan Mullen’s offense.

You’ll be shocked to learn that that track speed translates to his highlights, in which he’s routinely slowing up to catch deep balls.

Bond is just inside the cutoff for four-star prospects in the 247Sports Composite rankings for the Class of 2022, coming in at No. 237, and he’s only a three-star — and No. 571 nationally — in the service’s own rankings. But he joins a small contingent of offensive players in Florida’s sextet of 2022 commits that oozes potential, alongside lanky South Florida wideout Syveion Ellis and Tampa-area tight end project C.J. Hawkins.

And Florida’s frankly built enough depth at pass-catching positions to start taking chances on players with one or two standout talents. The Gators have seen seven pass-catchers head to the NFL in the last two off-seasons, and will still return a promising core of Jacob Copeland, Xzavier Henderson, Justin Shorter, and Trent Whittemore — all of whom caught at least nine passes in 2020 — to serve as targets for Emory Jones this fall.

If Bond, who’s a bit undersized at 6’0” and around 170 pounds, turns out to be merely a burner, it’s probable that Florida can still find touches for him and not be significantly limited by him only having a limited role. That’s the beauty of having a deep and competitive cadre of players at a position group like wide receiver.

And so long as Mullen creates chances and wide receivers coach Billy Gonzales improves his charges’ technique, Florida seems unlikely to be anything but well-stocked at wideout going forward for years to come.