Photo via Jordan Castell (twitter)
After a lull lasting a couple of weeks on the recruiting trail, the Gators’ 2023 recruiting class has officially re-caught fire. This time, it’s Jordan Castell who adds his name to the mix, providing another boost to a secondary class that’s already pretty strong.
Castell, a four-star safety from West Orange High School, committed to Florida over a laundry list of other top-tier programs. Among the other schools to offer him included Alabama, Auburn, Texas A&M, Tennessee, Michigan, Ohio State, LSU, Penn State, Arkansas, Oklahoma, FSU, Michigan State, and many, many more. Translation: pretty much everybody wanted Jordan Castell.
You can watch his high school highlights here.
Castell is a versatile defensive back who probably projects best as a safety at the collegiate level, but is quick and agile enough to play corner if needed. He’s tall and lengthy with long limbs and is a sound tackler to boot, which make him an ideal guy to place on a tight end in coverage. He’s not the fastest defensive back in the class, but his feet are good enough that he can change directions well, and he’s quick enough in short-range angle-closing races to the corner that he’s not a huge liability there.
His cover-corner abilities are better than you’d expect from most safeties (see the “versatility” note above) and he seems to enjoy physicality. He’s not afraid to fly up and deliver a huge hit on somebody bigger than him, and he looks solid in the art of disengaging from blocks, navigating through cluttered zones of humanity ahead of him and making open-field tackles. And he just generally seems to have a nose for the ball, and an inherent playmaking ability in him that gives him a promising ceiling.
Truth be told, it’s hard to be too certain where he’ll wind up at Florida. He’s being recruited as a safety and that is where he best projects, but he’s good enough in coverage to be a corner, or at least a slot corner. Then again, Florida does seem to be going heavy on defensive backs in this class, so with his physicality and tackling abilities, maybe, just maybe, he gets shifted to linebacker.
But while his position is still somewhat a question mark, Jordan Castell has an unquestioned ability to make plays and contribute somewhere on the Gators’ defense. I like the upside, and I have confidence that in some capacity, Castell will be contributing for Florida on defense by 2025.
Castell gives the Gators their third commitment in the last 40 hours, following Aidan Mizell and Ja’Keem Jackson. Florida now has fifteen members in its 2023 class, which is ranked in the top 15 by all major scouting services.