Last week Florida sent defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin to watch the First Coast vs Baker County Spring game which featured several top Division I prospects.
One prospect that Durkin was playing close attention to was Florida receiver commit Tristan Payton (6-0, 187, Jacksonville, FL First Coast) who enjoyed seeing a Gator coach on the sidelines.
“Coach Durkin came by Friday to watch our spring game,” Payton said. “It felt pretty good to have a Florida coach on my sideline watching me play. He got to see me catch a touchdown and that showed him what I’m going to be bringing to the next level at Florida.”
While Florida sent Durkin to watch Payton play last week the receiver usually talks to two other coaches from Florida about his recruitment.
“I call Coach Joker [Phillips] at least once a week sometimes more,” Payton said. “I talk to Coach [Kurt] Roper sometimes but usually I just talk to Coach Joker so that we can build a relationship. Coach Joker always tells me to handle business and get ready to compete at Florida because he’s ready to have me.”
Two schools have picked up their recruitment of Payton and one even had the Gator commit ready to visit, but things have changed and Payton doesn’t think he will visit this school now.
“Maryland and Ohio State are recruiting me hard right now,” Payton said. “I’m really not sure that I’m going to take any visits to any other schools because I’m solid to Florida. I was supposed to go up to Ohio State this summer but I don’t think I’m going to do that.”
While other schools are recruiting Payton to come play for their universities, the Jacksonville prospect is recruiting players to join him in Gainesville.
“I’ve been trying to recruit as many guys to Florida as I can,” Payton said. “I have a few guys in mind like my offensive lineman William Sweet. He’s committed to North Carolina right now but I’m still trying to get him.”
With visits to other schools likely off the table this summer Payton does know that he will be back at Florida this summer.
“I know I’m going to be back in Gainesville this summer for a few days,” Payton said. “I’m probably going to camp at Florida this summer.”