Donaldson building on his relationship with McGriff and the Gators

New defensive backs coach Wesley McGriff and Jules Montinar have hit the ground running with the Gators, as they’ve been very active in recruiting 2022 defensive backs.

One of those guys that Florida has been on hard is 2022 safety Tre Donaldson (6-2, 190, Tallahassee, FL. University School) who says he talks to Florida a lot.

“Florida is recruiting me hard,” Donaldson said of his talks with Florida. “I talk to them about every day, I talk to them in some shape every day whether that’s a text message or a call.”

Two of the Gators coaches are talking to Donaldson the most and McGriff has a strong message to the safety about needing him.

“I talk to Coach [Wesley] McGriff and Coach [Dan] Mullen,” he said on the coaches he talks to. “It’s the same stuff that he [McGriff] was telling me at Auburn but now he’s just adding that he’s only two hours away and he sees me being able to run the defense because of the vocal leader I am. He wants me to be the same player that I am now at either free safety or strong safety.”

Donaldson and McGriff already had a relationship when he was at Auburn so having him in Gainesville now is big because of the relationships he had with the Florida staff.

“We were building a good bond when he was at Auburn,” Donaldson said of McGriff. “I was building a good bond with Coach Mullen and Coach [Todd] Grantham at Florida at the same time so it helped a lot when he got the job at Florida.”

Head coach Dan Mullen has also explained to Donaldson why Florida is the place for him.

“He says Florida is ready for me,” he said on the message from Mullen. “He says they’re waiting on me to come and make the move and there’s no other place like Florida and I can tell from what they’ve built the last few years.”

Since the dead period is going on Donaldson hasn’t had a chance to meet with the coaches in person but a virtual visit could be coming soon.

“We’re planning on doing one here soon,” Donaldson said on a virtual visit. “We’re definitely going to make the two-hour drive to visit down there to see it in person if they don’t lift the dead period soon.”

Donaldson isn’t ready to name a leader yet but he did say the Gators are one of the schools recruiting him the hardest.

“I still have my top 12, I haven’t cut it from there,” he said. “Florida is still on me hard, Alabama is starting to recruit me hard too, really all of them are starting to recruit me hard.”


INSIDERS TAKE: Donaldson said he’s not sure when he will make a decision as he wants to take some visits.

Andrew Spivey
Andrew always knew he wanted to be involved with sports in some capacity. He began by coaching high school football for six years before deciding to pursue a career in journalism. While coaching, he was a part of two state semifinal teams in the state of Alabama. Given his past coaching experience, he figured covering recruiting would be a perfect fit. He began his career as an intern for, covering University of Florida football recruiting. After interning with Rivals for six months, he joined the Gator Country family as a recruiting analyst. Andrew enjoys spending his free time on the golf course and watching his beloved Atlanta Braves. Follow him on Twitter at @AndrewSpiveyGC.