UF makes favorable impression on lightning-fast Stinson

One of the biggest priorities for the Gators on the recruiting trail over the past couple of cycles has been improving the overall team speed.

UF has had some players with elite speed recently, such as CJ Henderson, Kadarius Toney and Marco Wilson. But they haven’t had near enough of them, and that’s shown up in their biggest games against teams like Alabama, Georgia and LSU.

That makes Opelika (Ala.) High School cornerback Jarell Stinson an intriguing prospect for the Gators despite only being ranked as a three-star recruit. The Auburn commit recently won the state championships in the 100-, 200- and 400-meter sprints.

Over the weekend, he visited his first campus other than Auburn when he took an official visit to UF. He met secondary coach Wesley McGriff, his primary recruiter, for the first time.

“I got to see campus and got to hang out with the players, got to meet with some of the other recruits, things like that,” Stinson said.

“I definitely loved the campus. The staff, I got to meet some guys I ain’t ever met. It was my first time meeting Crime Dawg (McGriff). That was really good. I got to meet some recruits I ain’t met and got some good connections with them.”

Despite Stinson’s smaller size at 5-foot-10 and 160 pounds, McGriff has told him that he likes his skillset and that he can get him to the NFL with his coaching.

His player host on his visit was cornerback Jaydon Hill, a fellow Alabaman. The Gators hope that Stinson will make the same trek southward to the Swamp.

“It was pretty good,” he said. “We got to go through a few things, some of the plays. He was telling me how much he liked it here and how he thinks I should really come here.”

Stinson said Florida will continue to be one of his top schools, but he hasn’t established a timeline for making his final decision.

He’ll officially visit UCF next weekend and Auburn the week after that. He thinks Penn State and Florida State will get his other two official visits.

“Right now, I’m just going day by day,” Stinson said. “I’m just opening up my options a little bit.”

Ethan was born in Gainesville and has lived in the Starke, Florida, area his entire life. He played basketball for five years and knew he wanted to be a sportswriter when he was in middle school. He’s attended countless Gators athletic events since his early childhood, with baseball being his favorite sport to attend. He’s a proud 2019 graduate of the University of Florida and a 2017 graduate of Santa Fe College. He interned with the University Athletic Association’s communications department for 1 ½ years as a student and has spent the last two football seasons writing for InsideTheGators.com. He is a long-suffering fan of the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Tampa Bay Rays. You can follow him on Twitter @ehughes97.