The Florida Gators hosted 2019 outside linebacker Diamante Howard (6-2, 178, Miami, FL. Miami Southridge) and his team for Friday’s 7-on-7 tournament.
Different Florida coaches crowded around Southridge’s games throughout the tournament to watch Howard and teammates Tyrique Stevenson and Marcus Fleming. He disrupted plays all day and got in for a couple of picks, which earned some high praise from the staff.
“Today, my performance was great,” Howard said. “The coaches told me that I played great today.”
Howard reopened his recruitment back in March after being locked in with the Miami Hurricanes for nearly two years.
Since he’s been back on the market, he’s been in contact with schools including Tennessee, UCF and Baylor. He’s also drawn some interest from Florida, which he picked up an offer from in November.
“I like Florida, to be honest,” Howard said. “It’s a great school to be at, with great coaches, great players. I know half of the players that’s here.”
The comfort of playing with former teammates Kemore Gamble and Shawn Davis is a big plus for him, and he has found that feeling with the new coaching staff as well.
Quarterbacks coach Brian Johnson is Howard’s main recruiter. They have built a father/son relationship over the last few months.
“I just like to talk to Coach Johnson because I’m comfortable with Coach Johnson,” he said. “He talks to me like I’m not a child, but he talks to me like I’m his child.”
Howard not only feels that with Johnson, but with all of the Florida coaches he is in contact with.
“When they talk to me, it’s comfortable. The communication is good. I love the communication that they’ve got with me.”
With time ticking for the upcoming senior, he is not putting a rush on committing to a school. He said he plans to take his time and choose what is best for him both academically and athletically.