Ukponu likes the history of the Florida Gators program

Last Saturday, the Florida Gators hosted a loaded group of visitors on campus for the final junior day of this contact period.

2025 defensive lineman Xavier Ukponu (6-3, 290, Denton, TX. Guyer) was on campus and enjoyed getting to hear from several current players for the Gators.

“It was fun,” Ukponu said on his visit to Florida on Saturday. “I met with the coaches, got a tour of the facilities, and got to hear from the players and hear their point of view.”

While on campus, Ukponu had the chance to meet new Gators defensive line coach Gerald Chatman who had a simple and to-the-point message for the lineman.

“Coach [Kali] James and Coach [Gerald] Chatman,” he said on the coaches he spent the most time with. “He [Chatman] said he’s going to try and get me out of the state of Texas and to be a Gator.”

Chatman also explained to Ukponu just where he wants the defensive lineman to play on the line if he picks Florida for college.

“He wants me to play in the interior of the defensive line,” Ukponu said on where Chatman wants him to play. “He just wants guys that can play everywhere on the line, but he mainly sees me as a defensive tackle.”

Ukponu was impressed by his first meeting with Chatman in person and he likes a few things about the assistant coach.

“We have already built a good relationship,” he said on his relationship with Chatman. “He’s an energetic coach and a technician. I know he has coached at LSU, Tulane, and Texas A&M.”

Texas A&M, LSU, Texas, Oregon, and Baylor are all recruiting Ukponu hard with the Gators but he says Florida is high in his recruitment early on.

“They’re definitely up there,” Ukponu said on where Florida stands for him. “I like the rich history and their desire to win right now.”

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.