Super linebacker Lerentee McCray is a Gator!

Dunnellon super linebacker Lerentee McCray has decided he will be a Florida Gator. In front of a crowd at ESPN Club and on national television in Orlando, McCray announced his decision (to be aired on ESPN-U 6-7pm tonight). McCray chose the Gators over archrival Florida State and current National Champion LSU.

ESPN’s number 80 overall ranked player in the 2008 class, McCray is also the number six outside linebacker in the class. He is fast and hits furious, McCray is just what the Gators are looking for in a linebacker.

According to McCray, the Gators have just what he was looking for.

“I chose Florida,” McCray said. “I just love Florida for the school. It is only 30 minutes away, so that is close to my home. I always feel like it is my home when I go up there. The players and the coaches, they feel like home and everyone knows me.”

“I love everything about the Gators. I like the coaching staff, the school, everything. Coach Strong and Coach Mullen are recruiting me. Coach Strong shoots it to me straight all the time. He is not like some coaches, he tells me straight up what I am going to do and how I am going to do it. Coach Mullen is a nice guy and energetic.”

His proximity to Gainesville brought him to several games this season and getting to know some of the players was part of why McCray was attracted to Florida

“I talk to a lot of them on occasion when I go up there,” McCray said. “I talk to the Pounceys, Brandon Spikes, Tim Tebow, Joe Haden, I talk to a lot of the guys, (Ocala’s) John Brantley of course.”

Tebow put out a challenge or two to McCray when he visited. McCray isn’t ready to back down from any challenge, even from the Heisman Trophy winner. He believes having Tebow on the team as the award winner will make it special.

“I think it is going to make me a lot better going against the Heisman winner,” McCray said. “We are also going to have media everywhere because he is a Heisman winner.  Tebow taunted me a couple of times in practice when he saw me on the sideline and he was running the quarterback option.  I just told him he better be ready for me.

McCray also became friends with the Gators latest commitment, running back and wide receiver Jeffrey Demps. The Groveland South lake star made his decision known on ESPNU a week earlier at the same location as McCray today.

“Jeffrey is a real nice guy,” McCray said. “He will be one of my closest friends on the team. He and I have developed our relationship during the recruiting process. He will probably be one of the fastest players on the team when he gets there.”

McCray is growing in the weight room, the right way. He plans on being at game weight by the time the season rolls around, and says Gator fans should expect a really hard working player to take the field when he does.

“I am at 6-2, and 209 pounds, I want to be close to 220 when I get on campus,” he said. “They are going to see a die hard Gator fan, I will go hard every play even if I am banged up.  They will love watching me play. I get out in space and cover receivers, tight ends, and running backs.  I also get from sideline to sideline very well.”

The hits keep coming for the Florida Gators in the class of 2008. Adding another Army All-American to a list of big time prospects, the Gators are filling their needs and filling a roster full for more championships. Lerentee McCray stands to be a big part of that.

Stay tuned to for exclusive video of McCray’s announcement later…