Florida’s top recruiting targets: No. 4

With the dead period now in effect, SEC Country is counting down the top 10 recruiting targets for Florida in the Class of 2017.

No. 4 is Brad Stewart, a 4-star defensive back from New Orleans. Recruiting importance of Brad Stewart

The Gators will likely lose three starters from their secondary after the bowl game. Junior cornerbacks Jalen “Teez” Tabor and Quincy Wilson are both expected to turn pro, and starting safety Marcus Maye is a senior. The three of them will make five defensive backs that Florida has sent to the NFL in the last two years — potentially four in the first round of the draft. The Gators plan to sign at least six defensive backs for the Class of 2017, and Stewart is one of their top targets. The UF coaches like him as a corner, but he’s willing to play safety or nickel as well. Biggest competition for Brad Stewart

Southern Cal and Virginia Tech. Stewart named a top 6 last week that also included Arizona State, Florida, Kansas and Oklahoma. In an interview with SEC Country, Stewart discussed all of his finalists and why they made the cut for him. Stewart likes Virginia Tech’s track record with defensive backs and sees an opportunity at USC for early playing time. He plans to officially visit both schools in January along with UF. Signing day projection for Brad Stewart

Stewart sounded very methodical in how he came up with his final group. He’s placing a lot of value in being able to play as a true freshman and having a close relationship with the coaching staff. The Gators check off both of those boxes for Stewart, and Florida has been recruiting him harder and longer than every school expect Arizona State. Early on in his recruitment, Stewart expressed a desire to play in the SEC. UF is the last school Stewart visited (on July 22) and will receive his final official visit on Jan. 27. That trip should seal the deal for Florida.

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