Last Saturday was a big day for the Florida Gators recruiting class of 2018 as the coaching staff hosted double-digit prospects on campus for the class.
Defensive end/linebacker Nik Bonitto (6-2, 204, Fort Lauderdale, FL. St. Thomas Aquinas) was one of those on campus and he got to speak to several coaches.
“It went well,” Bonitto said of his Florida visit on Saturday. “We toured the school and then got to watch practice. I got talk to all of the coaches like Coach [Randy] Shannon, Coach [Jim] Mac and Coach [Tim] Skip.”
Defensive coordinator Randy Shannon spoke with Bonitto on how the Gators see him fitting into the Florida defense if he was to choose Florida.
“Coach Shannon was basically saying he wants to see me more as a stand-up guy,” he said of Shannon’s message to him. “He sees me still rushing the passer on third down depending on what package they’re in.”
Linebackers coach Tim Skipper has been the primary recruiter of Bonitto for some time now and they spoke on Saturday as well.
“I have a pretty good relationship with him and I talk to him a lot,” Bonitto said of his relationship with linebackers coach Tim Skipper. “He tells me pretty much the same thing that Coach Shannon does about me playing as a stand up guy.”
Like most conversations with prospects, head coach Jim McElwain focused on things off the field with Bonitto during their conversation on Saturday.
“I got to talk to him for a little bit too,” he said on his conversations with Jim McElwain. “He was just talking to me more about life after football then he was talking to about football.”
The Gators have yet to offer Bonitto but they explained to him what they’re waiting to see from him before they give out that offer.
“They said that they’re going to come see me this spring,” Bonitto said on what Florida is going to do next in his evaluation. “They want to see me work as a linebacker and see what I can do at that position this spring.”
Bonitto has made no secret that Florida is an offer he wants and he explained why he wants that offer so bad from the Gators.
“It would mean the world to me,” he said on what a Florida offer would mean to him. “They’re still high up there but I’m also going to give everyone a shot. But I like Florida’s mentality on defense and the swagger on defense. Just the school itself is remarkable.”
INSIDERS TAKE: Bonitto has always been high on Florida and an offer from the Gators would impact his recruitment big time. The Gators are looking at Bonitto as a more of a hybrid defensive end/linebacker as they want him to be able to play in coverage as well as rush the passer.