The Florida Gators like to call themselves DBU, and they have a solid group returning in the defensive backfield next year. Still depth at the cornerback spot could be an issue and that’s something Dan Mullen is looking to address before signing day.
Over the weekend the Gators hosted Maryland cornerback commit Noah Boykin (6-2, 165, Washington DC Woodson HD) and Florida impressed him during his visit to Gainesville.
“It definitely went well, it’s my second time being in Florida with the Blue and Orange on,” Boykin said of the visit. “It was great. The first time I was in Florida, I won a national championship in Pop Warner with Blue and Orange on. It was a great feeling getting back down here. Nice weather.”
While on the visit Boykin had a lot of questions for the Gators coaching staff and his player host about how life in Gainesville is.
“It was cool, my host was Chauncey [Gardner], I like Chauncey,” he said on what he liked about the weekend. “He talks a lot but you can tell he’s focused and knows what he wants to do in life. He was pretty much was taking me through everything and letting me know everything. I asked a lot of questions and he answered them perfectly.”
One of the things that Boykin was trying to get a feel of this weekend was how the Gators academics stack up for him.
“Just what would it be like being an African American in Florida,” Boykin said on some of the questions he asked. “Just like everywhere else, being from a DC public school, what’s the difference between a public school and coming up here to college. Trying to learn something new, the academics aren’t all cut up like it should be at public schools.”
The Gators weren’t in the picture for Boykin under the last coaching staff but new defensive backs coach Charlton Warren instantly started recruiting the cornerback to Florida when he arrived in Gainesville.
“I was initially being recruited by Coach Warren, he came from Tennessee,” he said on how Florida came into the picture. “I was being recruited by Tennessee and he has been looking at me for awhile so he kind of like knew my game and I knew him as well. So we kindof like connected there.”
Warren like most coaches around the country like Boykin’s playing style and he believes the cornerback is the perfect fit for what they’re trying to do on defense next year.
“Pretty much like all of the other coaches, I’m long and tall,” he said on what the coaches like about him. “They like my ball skills, just finishing the plays and being a press corner. That’s what they’re trying to do with this defense. Trying to turn it into a man to man defense.”
Boykin likes the message he got from the coaches and he also likes the history of what the Gators have done on defense at his position in years past.
“It’s definitely the original DBU,” Boykin said on what he likes about Florida. “A lot of people been in and out [of Florida.] Especially two people from the DMV area, Joe Haden and Teez Tabor and it worked out well for them so it might work out well for me.”
This was the last official visit for Boykin and he now knows that he has a big decision to make once he gets home.
“It’s a lot of things I look at when I get home,” Boykin said on what’s next. “Three schools that I’m really looking at are here [Florida], Notre Dame and Maryland. When I get back, it’s basically decision time for me and talk everything over with my family. We’re going to come up with a big decision for February 7th.”
When Boykin sits down with his family, he knows what he’s looking for out of his decision and what will make him a pick a school.
“It definitely has to feel like home,” he said on what’s going to go into his decision. “I know a lot of people are throwing shade to me because I’m committed to Maryland but part of the reason I committed to Maryland was because it’s so much of a family culture up there. I definitely want to be somewhere where I can compete and trying to win something.”
INSIDERS TAKE: Boykin really likes Dan Mullen and the new Gators head coach impressed him and his family a lot during the in-home visit. The Gators did a great job with Boykin this weekend and now they will continue to try to win the signature from Boykin, who is done with official visits.