The Florida Gators were on the road last week but the week before last the Gators had several big visitors in the stands at the Swamp to watch the win over Tennessee.
In the Swamp was defensive back Tyreke Johnson (6-1, 191, Jacksonville, FL. Trinity Christian) who liked how Florida fought until the end against Tennessee.
“Well, first off, it was a really great atmosphere,” Johnson said of his visit to Florida for the Tennessee game. “ It was really fun to come out here and watch both teams fire around. Tennessee, they played a great game. They showed a lot to me because they never gave up. Down to the last second, they never gave up, but Florida had more inside of them. They had more of a will to win. Tyrie Cleveland came up big in the last seconds and won the game on a Hail Mary play.”
Johnson has been a frequent visitor to Gainesville and he explained why he likes visiting the Swamp.
“Just the tradition,” Johnson said on what makes him interested in Florida. “I just love coming here. It’s a place that I can feel like it’s home, you know. I just like coming up here and watching them play.”
One of the things that stood out to Johnson and really all of the visitors in attendance was how many young players were on the field for Florida during that game.
“Of course. Marco [Wilson] did his thing,” he said on if he likes seeing the young defensive backs play. “It was just one of those things where I was excited to see that the coaches are going to play the best, so young guys on the field early, that just shows that anybody is replaceable.”
Like any defensive player, Johnson played close attention to the Gators defense and how defensive coordinator Randy Shannon called the game.
“I love the scheme,” Johnson said of Florida’s defense. “They played a lot of man-to-man, bump and run, and cover three and stuff like that. That’s something I’m very interested in, to be able to put your hands on somebody who gets in your zone. It was just a lot of fun watching them.”
After the game was over with Johnson got to speak to area recruiter Tim Skipper and head coach Jim McElwain about things.
“I talked to Coach Mac and I spoke to Coach Skip,” he said on which coaches he spoke to. “He’s [Skipper] a great guy. He’s just a guy that’s going to keep it honest with you and he’s a great recruiter.”
While those two coaches talked to Johnson, they explained how Florida sees him fitting in with the Gators defense if he chooses to attend school in Gainesville.
“They want me to play corner,” he said of where Florida wants him to play. “But also they want me to be able to move around like they did with Duke Dawson today and just play wherever I’m needed.”
Johnson is open to the role that the Gators have set out for him as he simply just wants to play on Saturday’s.
“I love that role,” Johnson said on if he likes the role Florida has for him. “Because I think that I just want to play something to where I’m able to get on the field fast.”
The Jacksonville cornerback also knows several players in Gainesville so he was able to catch up with them while in town.
“I spoke to Chauncey [Gardner] and Nick Washington,” Johnson said of the players he talked too. “Those are guys I grew up with and they just said they were glad I’m here and to come be a Gator.”
Johnson’s recruitment is drawing towards an end and he knows about the time he will make a final decision on things.
“Late November or early December,” he said on when he wants to announce a decision. “I’m early enrolling. I actually have a Top 6 coming out, but I’m waiting on my edit.”
INSIDERS TAKE: Georgia seems to be the leader here but if Florida turns up the heat and starts pushing for Johnson then the Gators would be right up there with the Bulldogs.