2019 defensive back commit Jaleel McRae (6-0, 185, New Smyrna, FL. High) has been a frequent guest in the south endzone since he committed to the Florida Gators in 2016 and that continued on Saturday.
One of the things that McRae wanted to do while in Gainesville on Saturday was catch up with everyone and be back on campus again.
“It was good, it’s always good to be back in Gainesville,” McRae said after Saturday’s visit to Florida. “Coach [Randy] Shannon is doing a very good job and he’s a good man. We only see what he does on Saturday’s but Monday through Friday, I’m sure he’s getting them boys right.”
McRae hasn’t wavered since he committed to Florida and he explained why that’s the case for him.
“I feel good, I committed to the logo not to the coach,” he said on how he feels about everything at Florida now. “What it means, it doesn’t matter who the coach is, the logo means something special to you. It don’t matter, I could come in my freshman year and lose my coach so the logo has to mean something special to you.”
The 2019 commit admits that the Orange and Blue is everywhere he turns and his family is also huge fans.
“I’ve been a life long Florida fan since I was five years old,” McRae said of Florida. “My house is full Gators, my family is full of Gators and my room is full of Gators. I’ve got posters, my wall is blue. On my door it says ‘only Gators get out alive.’”
Despite being solid to Florida, McRae admits that UCF and Georgia are after him he remembers the last thing Jim McElwain told him before he was let go at Florida.
“I’m taking things slow,” McRae said on his process. “The last thing Coach Mac told me before he left, we were in the room and he told me to ‘trust the process.’ That’s what I’m going to do.”
McRae has had those teams coming after him but he says his commitment remains the same.
“It didn’t drop one bit at all,” he said on his commitment to Florida. “I’ve always loved the Gators and I’m still here.”
Several other 2019 commits have also said that their commitment is still as solid as it was and McRae says everyone talks on a daily basis.
“We talk everyday, we have a group chat,” he said on how often he talks to the 2019 commits. “We check up on everybody, it’s like a brotherhood and we aren’t even at the University of Florida yet. I can’t wait to see what the brotherhood will be like when we get here.”
Despite not having McElwain around anymore, McRae says things are still bright for the Gators in the future and he knows the process that they have to go through.
“The future of this program is going to be bright, real bright,” he said on the future of Florida. “You’ve got to go through hell to get to Heaven and you’ve got to go through bad to get the good. It’s bright for Florida.”
When asked who he wanted as the next coach at Florida, McRae quickly admit Chip Kelly was a guy that has his attention.
“Hopefully they bring in Chip, if they bring in Chip then the offense is going to be rolling,” McRae said on a possible hiring of the next coach. “The defense, Florida is always going to have a defense. It doesn’t matter who the defensive coordinator would be.”
Athletic director Scott Stricklin also spoke with McRae and had a quick message for him.
“He told me to just be patient,” McRae said on Stricklin’s message to him. “He said we’re going to get you coach that leads for you and is another father figure to you. It was great to hear from him.”
Stricklin caught McRae by surprised when he recognized him and called him a big piece to the 2019 class.
“I was face to face to him,” he said on how he talked to Stricklin. “He’s a good man to, he approached me. I guess he knew me and he called me the leader of the class. He told me to keep being a leader.”