Florida pushing for in-state linebacker

The Florida Gators have been hot on the recruiting trail of late including the commitment of talented linebacker Adonis Thomas last week. However, after not signing a linebacker in the previous recruiting cycle, Will Muschamp and D.J. Durkin are looking to sign at least two more linebackers in this recruiting cycle.

One player that Florida is recruiting as an athlete that can play linebacker is Derrick Graham (6-4, 220, Wauchula, FL Hardee Senior) and he says five schools are after him hard right now.

“Florida, Arkansas, Iowa State, Georgia Tech and Kentucky are still recruiting me real hard,” Graham said. “A few other teams are still in the mix but they aren’t recruiting me as hard.”

Two weeks ago Graham made news on Twitter by saying he wanted to announce soon but those plans are on hold now.

“I haven’t decided on a date or a time yet,” Graham said. “I’m trying to do it before the season but I really don’t know. I might just wait a while.”

Waiting is something that Florida plans to do for Graham, as he’s an athlete that could play both sides of the ball and that’s the message the Gators are giving him.

“They say they would love to have me and there’s a spot saved for me,” Graham said. “I’ve been talking to the linebacker coach [D.J.] Durkin a lot so more than likely I’ll be playing a lot of outside linebacker and just rushing the passer but I know they also want me at tight end.”

Florida has made no secret that they want to sign a big linebacker class but that’s not an issue to Graham.

“It’s not really a concern for me,” Graham said. “I know they need linebackers and pass rushers at Florida. Really anywhere you go there will be competition at your position.”

With a decision possibly being delayed, Graham has two official visits in mind for the fall.

“I’m pretty sure I’m going to take officials to Florida and Arkansas,” Graham said. “They will be during the season so that I can make a decision earlier than signing day if I decide to go that long.”

The Gators will get the chance in the next few weeks to push Graham’s decision up as he will be in Gainesville for a visit.

“I also plan to go to a practice for Florida before the season starts,” Graham said.


INSIDER TAKE: I know some may say that Graham isn’t a Florida player but he impressed the Gators’ coaching staff at camp and he has a spot in this class as an athlete. I think Graham ultimately chooses Florida but the Gators would like for him to decide sooner rather than later.


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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 Rivals.com, 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.


  1. I’m surprised the Gators want him, but if they think he can play, why not. I do have concerns about two other linebackers UF is pursuing, Tevon Coney and Jeffrey Holland. I thought Coney was down to UF and Notre Dame, but now Miami has come into the equation. Miami has already gotten commits from Dexter Williams and Tyree St. Louis, players that UF wanted, so they are a real threat. As for Holland, I hear that he’s an academic risk.

  2. I see nothing wrong with Adonis, Roquan and/or Holland in this class with a B LB or two. I think 2013 LB class was an anomaly…because we struck out this last class at the position I understand how important this one is. But I caution Gator fans to be realistic and not get rediculous, which they can be sometimes, if it is not a “A” list of talent top to bottom.