Illinois linebacker wants to be legendary

Will Muschamp and the Gators landed four top notch linebackers last year. This year, they are looking to add one more to the talented group.

One of their top targets is Joliet (Ill.) Plainfield South linebacker Clifton Garrett who keeps in close contact with the Gators.

“I talked to Florida about three days ago,” Garrett said. “ I talked to Coach (D.J.) Durkin, we just stay in touch and talk about me getting down there for my official and how I’m doing on the field and stuff.. I’m ready to get back down there.”

Right now the 6’2″ 222-pound Garrett is focused on four schools but currently has a leader.

“Florida, LSU, Ole Miss and Tennessee are the four schools that I’m focused in on right now,” Garrett said. “LSU is still my leader but Florida is right there with them and doing a good job recruiting me right now. Ole Miss is making a strong push for me too.”

Garrett has reached the point in his recruitment where he is starting to set up his official and unofficial visits for this fall as well as preparing for his decision.

“I know I’m going to officially visit Florida for the Tennessee game,” Garrett said. “I will be taking an official to Ole Miss for the LSU game and an official to Tennessee for the Georgia game. I will take an unofficial to LSU for the Texas A&M game and I’ll take an official to LSU later in the year.”

After Garrett takes all of his official visits, he plans to sit down with his family and a decision could come soon after that.

“After I take all of my officials I’m going to sit down and weigh the pros and cons on each school,” Garrett said. “I may make a decision after that but if not, it will be at the Army All-American bowl in January.”

For Garrett, when he talks to Florida the message that defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin has for him is simple and to the point.

“He tells me that they haven’t offered too many guys and the ones they offered, they really want,” Garrett said. “He said they don’t just throw offers out there. If they offer, they want you to be a Gator. He tells me to keep working and he can’t wait to get me back down there and that he would love to coach me at Florida.”

Garrett has only taken an unofficial visit to Florida, so getting back down to Florida for the Tennessee game is important to him.

“I just want to get down there and talk to some of the players,” Garrett said. “I will probably go out with some of the guys after the game and hang out and I want to see if we click right off of the bat. I want to get their take on what they think of the coaches and get a feel of the game day atmosphere and see the coaches again. I want to talk to the coaches some and see how they react to the players during the game. I know I won’t get to talk to them a lot since it’s a game day but I just want to watch them.”

For Garrett, he isn’t worried about what a team does on the field this year but  is more worried about what they do on the recruiting trail.

“I just want to be around great people and go somewhere with a great recruiting class that wants to work hard like me,” Garrett said. “I want to go to college and win a national championship. I want to come in with a legendary class and be a part of something special.”

One player that Garrett has taken quick notice of is a recent addition to the Gator recruiting class on Monday.

“Ermon Lane is a huge pickup for Florida,” Garrett said. “He’s a great player and he’s worthy of his stars and accomplishments. I played against him in 7-on-7 tournaments and he’s good.”

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Andrew Spivey
Andrew always knew he wanted to be involved with sports in some capacity. He began by coaching high school football for six years before deciding to pursue a career in journalism. While coaching, he was a part of two state semifinal teams in the state of Alabama. Given his past coaching experience, he figured covering recruiting would be a perfect fit. He began his career as an intern for, covering University of Florida football recruiting. After interning with Rivals for six months, he joined the Gator Country family as a recruiting analyst. Andrew enjoys spending his free time on the golf course and watching his beloved Atlanta Braves. Follow him on Twitter at @AndrewSpiveyGC.