“It was great, Barclay said of the visit. “Really the biggest thing I saw, and not even just me but my mom, was the development of the player. Not even the physical things they can develop you with on the field, but mentally, educationally, and socially. They really have a place for everything. They have a whole building for academics and stuff. There are tutors there, and even if you don’t need them, they still have them. They have rehab areas there to keep your body right. If you ever need to talk to someone there, they have a whole program dedicated to that. Sometimes you think of a place being for just football, but Florida has anything for you that you want to take advantage of. Those are the things that really stood out to my mom. Especially the academic side, because she’s a teacher so that is something she cares about a lot.”

Florida cancels series finale vs. St. John’s, can add games to schedule

The Gators were defeated 9-5 in their only contest against St. John’s

Florida Football: Gators Wire's Good, Bad and Ugly from Kentucky loss

No. 2 Florida (0-1) has been forced to stew in its opening night loss for a few more days than it hoped after inclement weather in the Gainesville area limited its season-opening three-game series against St. John’s (1-0) to just the one contest.

After dropping their first opening night game since 2013 and just their second in 17 seasons under the direction of head coach Kevin O’Sullivan, the Gators canceled their Saturday matchup against the Red Storm, which was pushed up from 4 p.m. to 10 a.m. ET in an attempt to beat the weather. Persistent rain and limited flexibility for a start time change forced the teams to call of Sunday’s game, too.

Though the circumstances made it impossible to avoid, Florida’s one-game meeting with St. John’s is still, technically, historic in that it marks the first time the Gators left opening weekend without at least one victory.

“We’ll just have to put this one behind us,” O’Sullivan said Friday night. “We’re not used to losing on opening nights.”

Though a pair of games against St. John’s were canceled, not postponed, it doesn’t necessarily mean Florida will play two fewer contests in its regular-season than initially anticipated (56). NCAA rules allow teams to add contests to their schedule on open dates, should they choose to, though it’s reasonably unlikely that Florida would do that considering its series against the Red Storm should be almost entirely inconsequential in their pursuit of a spot, more specifically top seeding, in the NCAA Tournament and any makeup games would be unlikely to have much impact, either.

The Gators do have two open midweek spots on their calendar toward the end of their season, though they currently precede weekend series against Tennessee in Gainesville and Georgia in Athens. As such, rest could be more preferable than makeup contests.

Florida will now turn the page to a midweek series against in-state foe North Florida, on Feb. 20 and 21. The quick two-game series will be split with the first contest taking place at North Florida and the second in Gainesville. The Gators have won 19 of their 26 matchups against the Osprey on the diamond and are 9-1 in their last 10 meetings, including a six-game win streak, which dates back to February of 2021.

Florida’s next series, a three-game weekend home-stand against Columbia from Feb. 23-25, could provide a decent early-season test for the Gators as the Lions are coming off their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2018 as well as their first-ever Ivy League regular season title. The Gators are undefeated in five meetings against Columbia, including their most recent matchup, which came during the 2018 NCAA Tournament.

The Gators are hoping those games can provide them with more clarity on critical areas such as establishing effective midweek starting pitching and weekend middle relief while also giving the team’s weekend starting rotation, which is comprised of sophomore lefty Cade Fisher, freshman righty Liam Peterson and junior southpaw Jac Caglianone, an opportunity to take the hill.

Only Fisher pitched on Florida’s opening weekend, an outing that saw him record just six outs while surrendering six runs (five earned).

Fisher said he struggled to regain the command that had previously made him so successful.

“I just didn’t throw enough strikes and got behind early in counts,” he said. “They made me pay whenever it was 2-1 or 2-0. I had a couple walks, a hit batter. I just wasn’t in the zone enough tonight.

“They jumped on me pretty early. I don’t know what kind of approach they had but they were hitting some of my fastballs and they had a good feel for my change up, too.”

Florida will likely move down from its No. 2 spot in the national rankings, which are set to be released on Monday morning by D1Baseball.com.