Image Credits: Alexis Greaves / UAA
Faced with uncertainty at the quarterback position in the Class of 2023 after their top target recently reversed course and pledged to a rival, the Florida Gators rebounded nicely Thursday with the commitment of four-star Marcus Stokes (Ponte Vedra Beach, FL). Despite previously pledging to Penn State in April, he flipped to join a local program less than two hours from his home.
“This decision was not the easiest to make,” Stokes wrote on Twitter. “After taking time talking with my family and staying up late nights listening to my heart…I will be flipping my commitment to the University of Florida! #GoGators.” He also noted that his “recruitment is completely shut down.”
Stokes (6-foot-2, 185 pounds) led Nease High School to a 9-4 record in 2021 as he competed 60% of his passes for 2,672 yards with 22 touchdowns in the air along with a team-high 496 yards rushing and six more scores on the ground. He’s the first signal caller to join the Gators out of Nease since Tim Tebow, who played for the program while being homeschooled.
Though Stokes is No. 397 nationally in the 247Sports Composite, he’s rated much higher in 247Sports’ internal rankings as the No. 175 players and No. 10 quarterbacks. Many consider him the best senior quarterback in the state entering the 2022 season.
While he’s now the highest-rated offensive playmaker in Florida’s class — boosting it three spots to 36th in the 247Sports Composite team rankings — Stokes is just the seventh-highest rated overall commitment. He is also the eighth of 10 commitments from the Sunshine State; the other two are from Georgia.
With Stokes now in tow, the Gators will aim to build out their arsenal of ball carriers and pass catchers through the remainder of the cycle.
Update: Minutes after Stokes’ commitment, Florida landed a pledge from four-star legacy running back Treyaun Webb (Jacksonville, FL).