Gainesville native earns Florida offer

After not signing as linebacker the last recruiting cycle, it is critical that Florida find a few for the class of 2015. Monday the Gators played host to an in-state prospect that is underrated right now.

That prospect was linebacker Derrick Graham (6-4, 220, Wauchula, FL Hardee Senior) who received good news from Florida after he left camp.

“Coach [Will] Muschamp is the coach that offered me, he brought me up to his office and was talking to me about the school and what not and he told me to give him a call when I left campus,” Graham said. “Once I was off campus I gave him a call and he said Derrick I want to tell you something; he said congratulations you have earned a scholarship to come play for the Florida Gators.”

After Muschamp offered Graham the Gators head man went into detail about how Florida could use the Hardee High prospect.

“Coach Muschamp kept saying that he wanted me to come play for them,” said Graham. “He said that the offer was as an athlete because I can play tight end, defensive end and linebacker. He said that they want me mainly at linebacker but that I could also get snaps on offense.”

With the Gators offering Graham he now has 13 offers but this was is extra special because of his connection to Gainesville.

“It was a big deal to me because I’m from Gainesville,” Graham said. “I really can’t explain what it means to me except that I’m excited. It’s a good time for me.”

While Graham was on campus on Monday he also got the opportunity to see the facilities and get a campus tour and he was impressed by what Florida has to offer.

“The facilities were amazing and top notch,” Graham said. “The dorms and the weight room are real nice and top notch too. I’ve been around the facilities before but this was my first time actually going inside and actually getting a tour of it.”

Going to a college camp is no joke and Graham found that out first hand, but he also says he learned a lot about two of Florida’s coaches.

“Coach Muschamp and Coach Durkin are great coaches,” Graham said. “They get you fired up and pumped up but they also coach you up and show you what you’re doing wrong. They want everything to be perfect and I like that. They really wore me out at camp.”

Despite the big offer from Florida, Graham says he’s in no rush to make a decision but he does plan to return to Florida soon.

“Right now I don’t have any leaders because I’m just trying to get a good view of everything,” Graham said. “Once I finish my visit to Louisville and Kentucky then my mother and I are going to talk about everything and just work everything out.”

INSIDER TAKE: Florida needs linebackers in a big way and after seeing Graham work out the Gators are convinced he can play in the SEC. Florida has a few targets ahead of Graham but they would certainly take his commitment if he wanted in now. I wouldn’t call Graham a slam dunk to Florida but the Gators are certainly in good shape with the Gainesville native who moved away from Gainesville just a few short years ago.

While Graham’s offer list may have some fans questioning his game, I think the thing we need to remember is that Graham hasn’t gone to many camps, which has hurt his offer list. Graham has good size for a linebacker and good enough speed to play linebacker in the SEC and if linebacker doesn’t work out he has a body frame that could allow him to grow into a defensive end.

Graham is an intriguing prospect that I think Florida fans should remember as the months go on.

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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, 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. Please tell us if Joker Phillips resignation will have any effect on recruiting? Where was his area? Dis any of the recruits UF is after or have already committed cite Phillips as a reason for their interest in Florida? Will Chris Leak take over his recruiting region? Is this another blow to the perception that Muschamp wants prospects to believe, namely that the staff at Florida is stable? It’s no secret he’s on the hot seat and this latest news of a coach leaving can’t be helpful. I’d rather a coach leave than another player, though, so I guess it’s good news that no other players are leaving UF.