Wide receiver Ja’Quavion Fraziars grew up in a diehard Florida State household in Dunnellon, Florida. He doesn’t exactly remember how it happened, but he was the only one in his house cheering for Tim Tebow and Percy Harvin to run up the score against the Seminoles.
As a top-200 recruit, he could’ve gone to college just about anywhere he wanted, including Florida State.
Fraziars never even considered FSU.
He’d had his heart set on playing for the Gators since he was a young kid, so he decided to follow in the footsteps of his cousin, Lerentee McCray, who played for the Gators under Urban Meyer and Will Muschamp and is still in the NFL with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
“We actually grew up in the same neighborhood,” Fraziars said. “He was obviously way older than me, so I couldn’t go play with the big kids. When I was like 8, he was like 14-15 maybe. I had to stay on my street; he had to stay on his. He was all around the place.
“So, growing up with him, looking up to him when he was in high school, him and his older brother, really impacted me a little bit because, just watching them from the stands, watching them make plays, watch people come see them, it really put my mind to what I wanted to do.”
His first year as a Gator probably didn’t follow the script that he had in mind. He only made one reception in 2020, and that came in the Cotton Bowl against Oklahoma when several of the Gators’ top playmakers opted out to prepare for the draft.
Fraziars said that he didn’t get frustrated or upset at the coaches for not playing him more. He understands that this is a long process that is going to have ups and downs.
“I know where I want to be in life,” he said. “I know what I have to do, how patient I have to be with the coaches, the people ahead of me in my position and just learning as time goes on. I had Trevon Grimes, Justin Shorter, all the older guys, Jacob Copeland to look up to while I’m still young.”
His hard work and dedication have paid off this season. He’s become one of the first receivers off of the bench, and he’s caught a touchdown pass in each of the last two games.
He said that he’s put in a bunch of extra effort during practice and meetings to earn his coaches’ trust and the increased playing time that comes with it.
“It’s really just been a grind, I guess,” he said. “Just somebody goes down, just be there when your number’s called. That’s really all it is.
“Stuff like getting into the film room early. Maybe like 30 minutes early, not a lot of time. Just, like I said, buying into what Coach [Dan] Mullen and Coach [Billy] Gonzales have each week, studying the game plan over and over again, whether it be at receiver, special teams, just doing my job each week.”
Fraziars also said that UF’s strength and conditioning program directed by Nick Savage has helped him get into SEC shape. He’s listed at 220 pounds now after enrolling somewhere in the 190 range.
The best thing Savage and his staff have brought to him is structure. He doesn’t really have the option of skipping workouts or eating poorly anymore.
“Once I got serious [about] working out [in] high school, it kind of just flowed over to college,” Fraziars said. “I didn’t take the weight room seriously until, like, junior year in high school, and that’s when I started really putting on weight. But once I got here, it was schedules. Coach Savage had us [on a] meal plan, protein shakes, all that and I just ran with that, gained as much weight as I could.”
Fraziars isn’t putting up monster stats this season, but he’s found a way to score twice for the team that he grew up wanting to play for.
As for his family, well, let’s just say that you shouldn’t expect them to wear orange and blue when Florida and Florida State square off on Nov. 27.
“They’ll come to the games, but you won’t catch them with a Gator shirt on or nothing,” Fraziars said. “They might be in the stands with, like, a bright yellow Lakers shirt or something. That’s about it.”