The Florida Gators football program took its entire staff on the road to Jacksonville on Wednesday for the first satellite camp under head coach Jim McElwain.
These camps are good for teaching, but the Florida Gators recruiting efforts were also helped in the minds of recruits in Jacksonville by the Gators showing enough interest to come to their city.
2018 defensive back Tyrek Johnson (6-1, 177, Jacksonville, FL Trinity Christian) was one of those guys who took notice of the Gators efforts and he knows why Florida was in town on Wednesday.
“It shows that they’re really interested in me and Shaun Wade,” he said on what it means to have the entire Florida staff there. “It’s no coincidence that they came to Trinity Christian and everybody knows why they came to Trinity. They came to talk to some of our guys and see the best players in the country. I believe that Jacksonville has the best talent but it’s underrated and overlooked.”
Johnson has visited Gainesville several times in the past and he says that he has a lot of interest in the instate Gators.
“Florida is definitely in my top,” said a smiling Johnson. “Florida is a school that is 45 minutes away and if I want to stay home then that’s the perfect for me. I can come in and play in their defense and it’s fast and young. They play with a lot of swagger just like me.”
New defensive backs coach Torrian Gray has been working hard on Johnson since he was hired in February and the cornerback has done his homework on the coach.
“Yes,” Johnson said when asked if he has a good relationship with Torrian Gray. “I watched a lot of his defensive backs like Kendall Fuller at Virginia Tech and some DB’s before that. I’ve watched him progress over the years and his coaching resume is good. I see that he’s a high caliber coach.”
Florida isn’t the only school recruiting him hard, as he says two other schools from different parts of the country are recruiting him a lot.
“UCLA is still recruiting the most and Georgia is recruiting me heavily now,” he said. “Georgia tells me that being a dog is in your blood. They said that they gave me the offer in eighth grade and you might as well come be a dog now.”
In April, Johnson took a trip out to UCLA and to the west coast and he described what draws his attention to the schools.
“The academics really spark my interest,” Johnson said of the west coast schools. “A lot of opportunity for me to play out there and you know just wonderful schools. They have beautiful weather year around and I don’t have go anywhere for spring break.”
This coming weekend Johnson and his Pro Impact 7-on-7 team will visit several schools and it’s a trip that the cornerback is looking forward too.
“I’m looking forward to all of the schools because I’m uncommitted,” Johnson said of the upcoming tour he’s taking with his 7-on-7 team. “I would like to make my decision before my senior year so I just want to see what each school has to offer and it’s a free trip.”
Pro Impact won’t visit Florida this week but Johnson says he has plans to get to Gainesville soon.
“I’m visiting Florida this summer but I just have to set it up,” Johnson said of a visit to Florida. “I can set that up at anytime because it’s only 45 minutes away.”
INSIDERS TAKE: Florida, Georgia and UCLA are the schools that are linked to Johnson the most right now but area recruiter Tim Skipper has been working this one hard. It’s still a long way to go in Johnson’s recruitment but the Gators are making him a priority.
QUOTES PROVIDED BY NICK DE LA TORRE