The Florida Gators picked up a big commitment on Friday morning from athlete Tyrek Tisdale (6-0, 200, Orlando, FL Oak Ridge) and for Tisdale and his high school coach, Elijah Williams, this a special day.
Williams, who many remember is a former Gators running back under Steve Spurrier, is now the head coach at Oak Ridge and Tisdale is Williams first player to ever sign with his alma mater.
“I think he’s more excited because he could be the first player of mine to sign with Florida,” Williams said. “It will be exciting
for me too when he signs because, like I tell everybody, Florida is the greatest school in the nation. My kids that I coach know that Florida is the greatest school in the country. I like to stay involved in Gator Nation and I like tell people there is nothing better than Gator Nation.”
If Florida fans needed any more reason to like Tisdale, then having Williams blessing should be enough but he also describes his athlete as a great player that can play everywhere.
“He’s a phenomenal athlete,” Williams said. “It’s not often that you see a kid that is 6-1, 205-pounds that can run, jump and do things he can do. He’s one of the tweener type of kids that can play like four different positions. He can play safety, corner, outside linebacker, receiver and running back. He’s probably a dream for a team that needs athletes.”
Some people may say, well, he’s an athlete so he isn’t great at one position but Williams remembers his playing days when Steve Spurrier would recruit a lot of players similar to Tisdale.
“I remember my first year when I came into Florida, they did a good job of just bringing in athletes,” Williams said. “I think out of all the guys they brought in none of us played the position in high school that we played at Florida. We were just players and they plugged us in. Ike [Hillard], Jevon Kearse, Mike Peterson and myself none of us played the position in high school that we played at Florida. I think it worked because we were all athletes.”
Tisdale fits that description to a T, as Williams says his athlete can flat out run and make plays.
“One of the biggest things for him is that he’s fast,” Williams said. “You watch his running style you don’t think he’s moving but when you watch him on the field and kids are trying to catch him, he’s just pulling away from them. He’s very fast but he’s not a long strider but he moves. He’s very quick and hard to tackle and he’s a big kid.”
Williams describes Tisdale as a great athlete but the Gators are getting a good person off the field as well according to his coach.
“He always has a big smile on him and he’s a real good kid,” Williams said. “He lights up the room with his smile. He doesn’t do drugs or drink from my understanding. He has a strong foundation at home with his mom and uncle but his mom drives him everywhere. He doesn’t get in trouble and is just a kid.”
Gators fan don’t have to worry about whether or not Tisdale will arrive in Gainesville ready to work or not because Williams is ready to put Tisdale to the test for the next year and some months.
“Tyrek doesn’t know this yet but he is about to worker harder than he has ever worked in his life,” Williams said. “He is now going to my school and I’m not sending someone there that isn’t ready to play so me and him are about to be working one-on-one in the weight room together.”
For Williams, having Tisdale sign with Florida is a blessing and he credits Jim McElwain and his staff with doing a great job of reaching out to former players for help in the recruiting game.
“Florida is doing a great job of reaching out to us and saying hey you got any players,” Williams said. “Not only do I have some players but who I have played against that can play. They’ re doing a great job of reaching out to former players that are high school coaches because we not only have our kids but the other kids in the area. We aren’t watching HUDL film, we see them in games. The whole staff is doing a great job.”