A week ago, Florida made four-star defensive lineman Zavion Hardy’s top three along with Liberty and South Carolina. Hardy returned to Gainesville over the weekend for his second visit to UF’s campus, and he left with the Gators as the outright leader in his recruitment, according to Gators Online.

He spent most of the visit with the defensive line coach and co-defensive coordinator Sean Spencer and spent some time with head coach Billy Napier. The staff’s genuine approach to recruiting is refreshing to him and it’s one of the reasons Florida is the first school on his list to lock down an official visit date.

He’ll return on October 15 for the Gators’ date with LSU to get a better feel of the gameday atmosphere in the Swamp. That should put UF over the top as he’s already pretty high on the SEC powerhouse.

“Florida, they’re No. 1,” Hardy said to GO. “…It’s just the Florida tradition. I would like playing in the Swamp and stuff like that.”

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Liberty and South Carolina aren’t the fiercest schools Florida is competing with for recruits this cycle, but they are likely offering the chance to play early on. Losing the lead at this point could be viewed as a bad sign for Napier and Co. unless there are other linemen coming in ranked higher than Hardy.

That’s easier said than done, though. Hardy sits just outside of the top 100 on the On3 consensus ranked No. 155 overall and No. 14 among those in his position group.

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