The class of 2016 has had a lot of big time prospects visit the Florida Gators since February, but there haven’t been a lot of elite defensive linemen visit the Gainesville campus.
On Monday that changed when defensive lineman Antwuan Jackson (6-2, 293, Ellenwood, GA Cedar Grove) camped at Florida and worked out despite being one of the best at his position in the country.
“It went great. I just got to meet all of the new coaches and it was just great to get back down there again,” Jackson said. “I really liked how calm the new coaching staff was and how they treated me when I was down there. The facilities are always nice down there.”
Jackson has visited several schools throughout his high school career and he actually met defensive line coach Chris Rumph at Alabama a few years back.
“I’ve been knowing Coach Rumph since my ninth grade year so we’ve had a long relationship together,” he said. “It’s getting stronger every day and I think he’s a great coach. He has a great track record of coaching at some SEC and ACC schools and he has coached a lot of great players.”
Jackson hasn’t visited Florida since his ninth grade year, until Monday and Rumph made sure to tell him that he needed to become a frequent visitor to Gainesville.
“He just tells me to get back down there again to see him and that he wants me to come down for some games this fall,” Jackson said of Rumph’s message to him. “He’s recruiting me real hard and he’s telling me that he can use me at the three technique.”
Many, including myself, haven’t talked about Jackson and Florida much, but the defensive tackle says we should.
“I have a lot interest in Florida but I just had to get back down there see all of the new coaches,” he said. “This visit definitely helped them and I will be back down there either in the fall or summer.”
The good visit to Florida on Monday helped the Gators get another visit and it should help them make Jackson’s short list when he announces it.
“Several schools are recruiting me hard but I plan to narrow it down in late July or early August,” Jackson said. “I want to make a decision either after the season or sometime during the season but I want to take some officials first.”
INSIDERS TAKE: Florida is trailing the Auburn Tigers and Georgia Bulldogs right now but if Jackson starts to visit more often then the Gators will have a much better shot. Jackson is someone that I think a lot of us had written off but I think he’s someone to monitor closely these next few months.