The Gators’ 2022 recruiting class grew by one on Sunday when coach Billy Napier landed the commitment of three-star Weatherford, Texas, tight end prospect Hayden Hansen. The former Louisiana commit backed off his pledge to the Ragin’ Cajuns shortly before Napier’s departure to Florida became public, but the two will end up together after all.
The No. 1729 player in the country, per the 247Sports Composite, Hansen was one of the prospects on campus this weekend for an official visit. He also received an in-home visit with Napier, tight ends coach William Peagler and offensive analyst Ryan O’Hara on Monday. He announced his commitment on Twitter.
— Hayden Hansen (@HaydenHansen13) January 23, 2022
The 6-foot-5-inch, 250-pound prospect took an official visit to UTSA in December and he told GatorCountry’s Andrew Spivey that he planned to visit either UL or Washington State, who offered him on Tuesday, next weekend if he didn’t pick up an offer from the Gators.
He obviously picked up that offer during his official visit, and it was enough for him to shut down his recruitment and pledge to Florida. He joins an inexperienced position group that lost starter Kemore Gamble, who transferred to UCF. Keon Zipperer is the only returning player at the position with significant playing time under his belt.
Hansen’s commitment didn’t do much to change the Gators’ standing in the recruiting rankings. UF’s class still ranks just 36th in the country and remains the SEC’s worst class. But Napier is trying to close out strong, and Hansen is a player Florida seems to like a lot.