Wingo goes in-depth on why he flipped to the Florida Gators

The Florida Gators coaching staff made big news in June when they flipped linebacker Derek Wingo (6-2, 210, Fort Lauderdale, FL. St. Thomas Aquinas) from Penn State.

Wingo made his way back to Gainesville on Friday for his first publically talked about visit to Gainesville and he likes what’s going on with the Gators linebackers.

“That’s kind of what has been the talk in the linebacker room,” Wingo said on working for a position once he gets on campus. “Knowing some of those guys and having those relationships and knowing that I can come in and compete and hopefully get on the field my freshman year is great.”

Linebackers coach Christian Robinson made Wingo a top priority for 2020 and the two parties have started to build a good relationship.

“He’s pretty close to my mom and I’m building a relationship with him and his girlfriend,” he said on his relationship with Christian Robinson. “They’re great people, he’s a young guy so he’s always active and doing fun stuff.”

Wingo plays all over at St. Thomas but he says the Gators have talked to him about two potential position in Florida’s defense.

“They say they might actually try the edge,” Wingo said on where Florida sees him playing. “They said if not, they have a spot kind of open that they have a need at, at the MIKE linebacker position.”

The Gators had to work hard to flip Wingo from Penn State and the linebacker says a few things played into why he flipped.

“Definitely, Florida the whole entire program is on the rise,” Wingo said on what ultimately got him to flip to Florida. “Coach Mullen has changed the whole entire program, keeping the football players academically above average and just the overall program is going better. The biggest thing is also staying home.”

Since committing to Florida, Wingo has been a big recruiter for the Gators and he has a list of guys he’s trying to recruit.

“Basically everyone, I’m trying to definitely get Demarkcus Bowman,” he said on who he’s recruiting. “Obviously Marcus Dumervil out of my school. Some of the guys coming in town today, I have a whole list of them, we have a whole group chat. Issiah Walker, I’m going to have a talk with him.”

On Friday, Wingo rode five hours to Gainesville with Dumervil as he continues to try and get the offensive lineman to join him at Florida.

“He wasn’t too big on Florida actually originally,” Wingo said on recruiting Dumervil on the way to Gainesville on Friday. “He opened up now, seeing that I’m going there and seeing different things and he kind of likes to stay home. He’s starting to build a really good relationship with the coaches.”

 

INSIDERS TAKE: Wingo says he will take his official visit to Florida for the Auburn game and he wants to see the atmosphere in the Swamp. That game will be his first visit to Gainesville for a game.

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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 Rivals.com, 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.