The Florida Gators have several signees playing in All-Star games this week but all attention is being paid to one uncommitted prospect who will announce his decision on Saturday at the All-American Bowl.
Defensive back Chris Steele (6-1, 187, Bellflower, CA. St. John Bosco) will announce his decision on Saturday in what will end a long process that dates back several years for the cornerback.
“I mean, I’m just real excited to get it done. I mean, I’ve been getting recruited since my freshman year,” Steele said on if he’s excited to be done with his recruitment. “ Early on in my freshman year. Eighth grade or freshman year, so it’s like, it’s been a lot longer than a lot of other people’s process. I’m just glad it’s over. I finally have peace of mind sort of. It’s a rollercoaster ride. There was a lot of ups and downs in my recruitment. I committed to two schools and it didn’t really work out, so now I finally found my home. I’m happy about that.”
Steele had two SEC schools in his final group of schools and he says the tradition in Gainesville was something that caught his attention about Florida.
“It’s just the fact that with all the schools, I was considering a few SEC schools,” he said on what was appealing about Florida. “Them and South Carolina, they have a tradition with having defensive backs in the league that are pretty successful. That tells you a lot about their culture and their development. Regardless of who the coaches are at South Carolina and Florida, they’re always gonna be South Carolina and Florida, I mean, it’s two schools that are always gonna produce SEC talent, playing against the top dudes every week, getting to matchup against the top receivers and quarterbacks in the country.”
Head coach Dan Mullen played a large part of Steele’s recruitment but he says two other Gators assistant coaches helped recruit him to Florida.
“Yeah. So, Coach [Ron] English and I have a good relationship,” he said on his relationship with Florida. “He was recruiting me when they were at Mississippi State, so I kind of knew them already. And Coach [Charlton] Warren was recruiting me while he was at Tennessee, too, so I kind of already knew the staff.”
The California native took several trips to Gainesville and to South Carolina but at one time distance was a major part in his recruitment.
“I mean, distance was never really a factor for me,” Steele said on moving across the country played a role in his decision. “Early on it was just because my mom plays a big role in my decision. She didn’t really want me to leave home, so I committed to UCLA. The staff got fired, my uncle got fired, so I ended up committing to USC, and I just didn’t really feel comfortable I guess you could say. So, you know, I talked to my mom and ended up leaving across the country somewhere, the middle of the country. I’m leaving home regardless.”
When Steele steps up to the stage on Saturday to announce his decision he will choose between four schools.
“South Carolina, Florida, Oklahoma, and then, Oregon,” Steele said on who he’s deciding between. “I know where I’m going.”