Florida has a big need for defensive ends in the Class of 2015. To fill that need, Will Muschamp is heading to the junior college ranks to find a player with some experience who could be ready to plug and play.
That prospect is defensive end Jeremiah Ledbetter (6-4, 270, Hutchinson, KS JUCO) who has visited Florida as well as two other schools already and plans to return to Gainesville soon.
“I’ve visited Florida, Miami and Arkansas this summer,” Ledbetter said. “Those are still my top 3 schools and the only three schools I plan on visiting right now. The Arkansas trip was an official visit and Florida and Miami were unofficial visits. I plan to take my official visit to Florida during the season.”
After Ledbetter takes his official visit to Florida and Miami he will be done with the recruiting process and hopes to decide soon after that.
“I want to decide sometime before the season ends,” Ledbetter said. “I’m graduating in December and enrolling at a school in January so I have to decide early. I have two years left so I have to make the best decision for me so that’s why I’m taking my time.”
One thing the Gators are doing well is keeping in close contact with Ledbetter and showing him positives about the university.
“I talk to Coach [Brad] Lawing and Coach [Will] Muschamp pretty often actually,” Ledbetter said. “They both tell me that they want me and how that I would a great fit there. Coach Muschamp always tells me the positives about Florida and how my future will be better because of Florida.”
The JUCO prospect plays both defensive end and defensive tackle currently but Florida sees him mainly at one position.
“Coach Lawing said he wants me to play defensive end,” Ledbetter said. “I like to hear that and I think I could come in and fit right in. I can play the 3-4 or 4-3 and in the 3-4 I could even play defensive tackle.”
Florida has a major ace on its side due to the fact that Ledbetter grew up just over two hours from campus and the Gators are driving that message home.
“Growing up in Orlando, Florida is closer to home so my parents could see me play,” Ledbetter said. “That’s one thing Coach Muschamp kept telling my parents during the visit to Florida.”
INSIDER TAKE: Ledbetter is a take for Florida and I could see him committing during his official visit this season. Florida wants one JUCO defensive end in the class in case both Dante Fowler and Jonathan Bullard leave early and the Gators have made Ledbetter a priority.