One of the biggest positions of needs for the Florida Gators recruiting class of 2018 is finding a pass rushing defensive end.
On Monday the Gators went out and offered one of the top JUCO’s in 2018 when they offered defensive end Dorian Gerald (6-3, 225, Santa Clarita, CA. College of the Canyons) after a phone call with Florida.
“Coach [Drew] Hughes asked me to call him and then he offered when I called,” Gerald said of who offered him from Florida. “I was in class when he first DM’ed me and told me to give him a call. Me and Coach [Chris] Rumph have been in contact for a little bit now and then everybody followed me from Florida on Twitter so I knew something was up.”
When Gerald called Hughes, the Gators assistant offered him and explained that Florida needed him in Gainesville.
“When I called him he introduced himself to me and he said that he thinks that one of if not the best pass rushers in junior college right now,” he said of Hughes’ message to him. “I told him that it was an honor to hear that and he spoke to me about how I could come in and make an impact at Florida. He’s been around a lot of great players so for him to think that I could come in and make an impact was an honor.”
Gerald is also expected to talk to the rest of the Gators staff including defensive coordinator Randy Shannon soon.
“I’m supposed to get on the phone with the rest of the staff today [Tuesday],” Gerald said. “They want me to get on the phone with the defensive coordinator and talk about some of the schemes they run and stuff like that. They’re in need of defensive ends so they want to talk about that too.”
The JUCO defensive end hasn’t visited Florida yet but he already has a personal connection with defensive line coach Chris Rumph.
“My big thing with everyone is building relationships so we’ve just been talking and building that,” he said of his talks with Rumph. “I really figured out that Coach Rumph is from the same area I am. My mother actually knows him and she says that they’re great people. I trust my mom.”
Gerald has picked a lot of big offers recently but he says that the Florida offer speaks for itself because of the Gators history on defense.
“It means a lot, Florida is a great program,” Gerald said of his Florida offer. “They are known for having a great defense and I play defense and I’m on the defensive side of the ball so that means everything. I don’t know a lot about Florida but I’m going to start doing some research.”
The next few weeks Gerald plans to research more schools and he hopes to narrow his choices down soon.
“I’m going to release my top schools on June 1st,” he said. “I don’t have a date that I want to commit, it will just be when my heart tells me that I’m ready. It could be at any time.”
INSIDERS TAKE: South Carolina seems to be the team to beat early on but visits will be key. The Gators are working hard on getting Gerald on campus this summer and if that happens, Florida could get in the mix because of Rumph’s relationship with his family. Gerald has three years to play and will graduate in January.