Gator Chomps: Florida secures final visit from 5-star DT Aubrey Solomon

Michael Carvell/AJC 5-star defensive tackle Aubrey Solomon. GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Florida got huge news on the recruiting trail Wednesday.

Defensive coordinator Chris Rumph and defensive line coach Chris Rumph visited 5-star defensive tackle Aubrey Solomon (Leesburg, Ga.) and secured his final official visit for the weekend of Jan. 27.

Solomon attended Florida’s Junior Day event on Jan. 30 and the Gators took the lead in his recruitment after that trip. However, the U.S. Army All-American hasn’t visited since then and it appeared UF was no longer in the mix this fall.

But the coaches have continued recruiting him throughout the cycle, and their need for defensive tackles is an attractive selling point. The Gators have lost all three of their commitments at the position in the last month, making Solomon an even bigger priority.

UF is currently leading for 3-star defensive tackle Tyrone Truesdell (Augusta, Ga.) and pursuing two more 3-star prospects, Florida State commit Cory Durden (Newberry, Fla.) and Alec Jackson (Montgomery, Ala.). But Solomon is Florida’s No. 1 DT target.

The former Michigan commit has named six different leaders during his recruiting process and always seems to fall in love with the last school he visits. That trend could bode well for the Gators.

Alabama, Georgia, Michigan, Oregon and Southern Cal are the other schools in the mix for the nation’s No. 2 defensive tackle and No. 31 overall prospect. Crimson Tide defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt also visited Solomon on Wednesday and Collins took a picture with him. Def Coordinators from UF and Bama at Lee Co GA recruiting at same time this morning. Jeremy Pruitt n Geoff Collins. pic.twitter.com/W9NyPsAXuc — Coach Pych (@pychke) December 7, 2016 Florida visits two more 5-star recruits

In addition to Solomon, the Gators went to see Alabama 5-star wide receiver commit Jerry Jeudy (Deerfield Beach, Fla.) and 5-star Ohio State cornerback commit Shaun Wade (Jacksonville, Fla.) on Wednesday.

Coach Jim McElwain, offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier and receivers coach Kerry Dixon II visited Jeudy as well as Gators 3-star quarterback commit Jake Allen in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Secondary coach Torrian Gray and running backs coach Tim Skipper stopped by to see Wade and his 2018 teammate, 5-star safety Tyreke Johnson.

The staff was hoping to get Jeudy and Wade, both early enrollees, on campus this weekend before the dead period, but at this time they’re not planning to visit. That would seemingly hurt Florida’s ability to flip them.

Dixon also visited a pair of 4-star defensive ends in Jarez Parks (Sebastian, Fla.) and Miami commit Jonathan Garvin (Lake Worth, Fla.), while Nussmeier joined offensive line coach Mike Summers to see 3-star offensive tackle Jerry Drake (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.).

While in Georgia for Solomon, Collins and Rumph saw 4-star defensive ends Markaviest Bryant (Cordele, Ga.) and Malik Herring (Forsyth, Ga.), a Georgia commit. Linebackers coach Randy Shannon was in Fort Lauderdale visiting Gators 3-star linebacker commit James Houston and Michigan 4-star offensive tackle commit Kai-Leon Herbert, teammates at American Heritage High School.

UF commit Zech Byrd, a 3-star tight end from Millbrook, […]