The eyes that follow the recruiting world currently watch the 2022 class closely. Seeing a flurry of top teams and commitment announcements come from 2022 prospects during June — the first month of in-person contact since March 2020 — the news cycle has been heavily occupied.
However, just because the present draws a surfeit of attention, recruiting efforts stretch beyond the class currently at hand.
As a result, in an attempt to get ahead of the game, programs around the nation have extended their hands early for the blue-chip talents of the future, showing now with the 2023 cycle.
For Florida, another prospect — alongside California product Makai Lemon — announced the first list cut of his recruitment process.
IMG Academy safety Joenel Aguero included the Gators in a list of 12 on July 1, naming them alongside a plethora of powerhouses, including Alabama, Clemson, Oklahoma, Georgia, Texas, LSU and others.
Occupying a current position of need for the Gators — seeing little depth in the group and little signs of that changing — in their own backyard, Aguero’s talents will be heavily desired by safeties coach Wesley “Crime Dawg” McGriff and the Gators secondary staff.
Working well in all facets of the game as a safety, using his receiver skills to make plays on the ball in coverage and utilizing supreme physicality and aggressiveness when working downhill against the run, Aguero’s versatility fits the mold of players McGriff has attempted to secure since arriving on the scene at Florida.
With plenty of time remaining in his recruitment, Aguero emphasized the ability for other teams to work their way into the mix, but given the uncertain circumstances that can arise — seen in 2020 with COVID — Florida’s standing as a top school early on works in their favor.
Hoping to have their luck turnaround where landing talent from IMG Academy concerned with prospects like Tyler Booker and Kamari Wilson in 2022, Aguero will be the next highly touted prospect UF hopes to see travel from Bradenton to Gainesville for three to four years.