One of the key goals for the Florida Gators recruiting class of 2017 is to reload on the defensive line in particular at defensive end as the Gators have several upperclassmen there now.
On Monday the Gators coaching staff played host to defensive end Deandre Johnson (6-3, 235, Miami, FL Southridge), who got the chance to watch Florida practice.
“The visit was great,” Johnson said. “I took a tour around campus, looked at the facilities, met the coaches and then I watched the practice. Practice was great and high energy. I got to see the tempo of practice and watch the defensive line go through practice.”
Johnson played close attention to the defensive line group as he was hoping to pick up some pointers and also pick up on defensive line coach Chris Rumph’s coaching style.
“I loved Coach Rumph’s coaching style, he’s very in touch with his players when coaching,” he said. “He’s very vocal and he spends a lot of time teaching the position. That was great, I like coaches like that because they take the time to correct mistakes and work with you.”
After practice was over Rumph offered up some pointers to help Johnson’s game, plus he did a little recruiting of the defensive end.
“He just told me some tips on how to rush the quarterback,” Johnson said. “He talked to me about wanting and needing at Florida and that he wants me to rush the quarterback there. He said that they could use someone like me up there. He wants me at weak side defensive end.”
Head coach Jim McElwain also had the chance to meet with Johnson and his father and give them a few messages about the Gators program.
“Coach McElwain was just telling me to soak in the school and a get feel for the school during the visit,” he said. “He was telling me and my dad to enjoy the recruiting process but at the end of the day that I was going to be a Gator. It meant a lot to hear from the head coach. It was an honor.”
At this time Johnson’s doesn’t currently have a Florida offer, but he believes that could change soon and it would be a big offer in his mind.
“It would mean a lot to get the offer from Florida, I think it’s coming soon,” Johnson said. “I could see myself going to school there and I would commit on the spot when they offer. That’s somewhere I want to go to school at.”
INSIDERS TAKE: Johnson is a prospect that Florida is watching and evaluating right now and the defensive end plans to return for the spring game next month. Johnson is a big defensive end that can play all over the line.