Chomp: A trio of commits & an A+ grade for Napier’s staff

Napier filling out the 2022 class as National Signing Day approaches. Images provided by University of Florida Athletic Association

This story first appeared in Chomp, our Gators football newsletter. Subscribe here.

Greetings, Gators fans!

Ahead of National Signing Day on Wednesday, Coach Billy Napier has added to the 2022 class with a trio of three-star commits.

Quarterback Max Brown, tight end Hayden Hansen and defensive lineman Andrew Savaiinaea pledged to Florida after visiting Gainesville this past weekend.

In the latest episode of Gators Breakdown, host David Waters and Will Miles of Read and Reaction, react to the commitments.

🏈 Napier finalizes on-field staff

Napier has finalized his on-field staff.

On Wednesday, Chase Clark was named assistant for college personnel/on-campus recruiting. Clark has spent the last three season with the Gators as an assistant director of player personnel. He is the son of former Gators and All-Southeastern Conference kicker Brian Clark, who played at Florida from 1978 to 1981.

The day before that, Napier announced Mike Richard will serve in the role of quality control — offensive line. He spent the last four seasons with Napier at Louisiana.

Napier also announced Tuesday that Lamar Sorey will serve in the role of personnel quality control. Sorey is coming from up the road in Jacksonville, where he spent last season as a scouting assistant for the Jaguars.

On Monday, it was announced that James Thomas Jr., a Florida native, will fill the role of quality control — cornerbacks. He spent the 2021 seasons as a special teams quality control analyst at Maryland.

Corey Bell will be serving in the role of quality control — running backs. Bell is a Miami native and has had plenty of collegiate coaching experience in the Sunshine State. He joined the Gators staff prior to the 2021 season as director of player personnel. He was Florida’s secondary coach in 2017. From 2018 to 2020, he had that same role at the University of Central Florida. From 2014 to ‘16, Bell was the secondary coach and director of player personnel at Florida Atlantic. Before that, he served as the director of football operations for Miami from 2007 to 2010. Bell has also been a head coach at American Senior and Miami Edison, where he became the youngest head coach in the state at the time.

And Joshua Thompson was named director of football operations. Thompson is no stranger to the SEC. Most recently, he was the director of football operations at Auburn. Before that, he served as the executive director of recruiting and player personnel at Arkansas from 2019 to 2020. Thompson served as the director of recruiting and football logistics under Napier at Louisiana in 2018, and he worked in recruiting, personnel and operations at Texas A&M from 2010 to ‘17.

💯 Napier’s staff gets A+

The staff Napier is putting together is getting noticed.

On Tuesday, 247Sports released grades for each coaching staff at all 29 schools that hired a new head coach.

Florida’s staff was the only one that received an A+.

“Billy Napier built the best Group of 5 staff in the country at Louisiana, so it’s no surprise he used the same blueprint to hire the top names in the sport and tweak a few responsibilities at Florida,” 247Sports’ Brandon Marcello wrote.

Marcello continued: “Florida gets the honor of the best-built new staff of the offseason with a wide variety of coaches and experience, a new hiring philosophy along the offensive line and the greatest tagline for a special teams coach in the country: gamechanger coordinator.”

You can see the grades for every new coaching staff here.

In the latest Gators Breakdown episode, Adam McClintock, of Matrix Analytical, also shares why Napier has hired the best new staff in college football.

🏀 Gators hoops fall in last 2 games

After a 61-42 victory over Vanderbilt over the weekend, the Gators men’s basketball team has lost its last two SEC games.

In the Gators’ game Monday at Ole Miss, which was originally scheduled for last month but had to be rescheduled due to COVID-19, they lost 70-54.

And they fell 78-71 to Tennessee on the road on Wednesday.

On Saturday, Florida will host Oklahoma State in the Big 12/SEC Challenge.

✉️ Send us your Gators thoughts & questions

David and I want to hear from you. Do you have any thoughts or questions about the Gators football program? Agree or disagree with something we’ve said? Let us know here, and we’ll share our responses to your questions.

🎙️ Listen to more Gators Breakdown

You can catch up on previous episodes of Gators Breakdown at or click one of the following to tune in: Megaphone | Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Google Podcasts | Stitcher.

About the Author:

Jacksonville native and proud University of Florida graduate who joined News4Jax in March 2016.