Gators In The Hunt For Star Juco Safety

The Gators took a big hit after the season with the early departure of Reggie Nelson to the NFL draft. With Nelson playing the role of “The Eraser” the Gators rarely gave up a big play so finding a replacement is of paramount importance. This weekend the Gators hosted junior college All-American free safety Nevin McKenzie, who left Gainesville with a big decision to make.

Four teams seem to be even in the McKenzie sweepstakes with Florida, Tennessee, Oklahoma, and Arkansas all with a shot at signing the star safety. Not really heard of much among Gator fans before this weekend, the Athens (TX) Trinity defensive back is someone that could turn heads if he commits to the Gators and Florida is definitely in the mix after this weekend.

“Everything is open right now,” McKenzie said. “I am going to sit down with my mom and my coaches and make a decision. All the visits had nice facilities and nice everything. I just have to sit down and see how I feel about each team and coaching staff.”

The Gators got in the door with a quality visit and the fact McKenzie knows he has a chance at early and major playing time at Florida. He was hosted by linebacker A.J. Jones, but it was the prestige of Florida that really caught his attention.

“My trip to Gainesville was good, I enjoyed myself,” McKenzie said. “It was just cool to be at the University of Florida. They are a good football team and won the national championship. I like what they do with their safeties. They play man, cover-one half the time. They let their safeties run around and be athletes.

McKenzie says he runs a 4.40 in the forty and stands 6-2 and 206 pounds. He said that Coach Urban Meyer had an immediate plan for him at Florida.

“Coach Meyer just talked about me coming in and playing,” he said. “He also talked about how they lost some players but they have a number of good players coming up and ready to play.”

Not heard from much before now in Gator land, Nevin McKenzie would be a big time get for the Florida Gators and replace a fixture in the secondary that will be sorely missed. Look for McKenzie to make his decision sooner and not later.