The Florida Gators are trying to build a strong 2017 defensive back class to help replace the loss of several key players.
One of the Gators top targets is cornerback Marco Wilson (6-0, 180, Fort Lauderdale, FL American Heritage), who will be in town this weekend for Florida’s camp.
“I’m going to be visiting for Friday Night Lights,” Wilson said. “I talk to most of the coaches on the staff but mostly Coach [Torrian] Gray, Coach [Randy] Shannon and Coach [Jim] McElwain. They are just trying to get me back up there.”
Defensive backs coach Torrian Gray is recruiting Wilson hard and explains how bad the Gators need him.
“Coach Gray is telling me that he really wants to be my coach in college,” he said of Gray’s message. “He said that he could really teach me some good things at the University of Florida. He told me that I could really fit in at the corner position.”
Wilson doesn’t know Gray that well, since he’s new to the Gators coaching staff, but what Wilson does know about him he likes.
“I met Coach Gray in March and I think he’s a pretty cool guy,” Wilson said of his impression of Gray. “I think he has a good history with what he did with his defensive backs at Virginia Tech. My brother [Quincy Wilson] loves him and says that he has taught him some things that will help him make some plays this year on the field.”
Head coach Jim McElwain is also taken a hand in recruiting Wilson and that alone means a lot to the South Florida cornerback.
“It’s really big to have the head coach recruiting me, it shows that they’re really interested in me,” he said of having McElwain personally recruiting him. “It shows that I’m important to them and they’re putting in the effort to get me there.”
McElwain doesn’t talk much football with Wilson, but talks more with him about the off the field stuff.
“Coach McElwain just tells me how great of opportunity it’s to go to Florida,” Wilson said. “He tells me that they can take care of me on and off the field at Florida.”
One thing that McElwain and Gray are both telling Wilson is that he can play early if he chooses the Gators for college.
“Coach McElwain and Coach Gray are telling me they need defensive backs this year,” he said. “I know that too because I’ve look at the depth chart, so it’s a pretty good opportunity for me to come in and play early if I go there. I see the playing time.”
For a while it seemed like Florida wasn’t in the picture as high as other teams but Wilson says the Gators stepped up their game recently.
“Florida turned it up a lot on me lately,” Wilson said of the change in approach from Florida. “I’ve always liked them but in the past couple of months they have really turned it up on me a lot.”
One other thing the Gators have done a good job with, is making Wilson feel wanted because of his game and not because of his brother’s game.
“They’ve done a really good job of recruiting me and not recruiting me just because of who my brother is,” he said. “They love who I am and they want to coach me and make me the best player I can be. They have done a good job of that and I like that.”
The Gators aren’t the only team recruiting Wilson hard, as he says five schools are after him as he heads into a decision this summer.
“Florida, Miami, Tennessee, USC and Georgia are all recruiting me hard,” Wilson said. “Florida will probably be my last trip. I want to make a decision sometime soon but I don’t have an exact day of when I want to do it.”
INSIDERS TAKE: Most people, including myself, believe this comes down to Miami or Florida for Wilson and both schools are after him hard. Wilson likely makes his decision before the end of July.