To this point, Florida football recruiting hasn’t quite capitalized on the quarantine period the way many may have hoped. However, that’s not stopping a pair of 2021 committed teammates from publicly aiding the charge to get more elite players to Gainesville.
Quarterback Carlos Del Rio and wide receiver Daejon Reynolds, both Grayson (Ga.) High School products, are big Twitter guys. Nearly every day, the two quote-tweet the country’s top players with a slew of Gator emojis and reminders to “remember what we talked about.”
— DR⁴ (@DaejonReynolds) May 13, 2020
“There’s nowhere better to go,” Reynolds said. “They’re always a winning team in both education and football. They’re on pace to have a greater team nationally.”
Del Rio, Reynolds, and fellow ’21 commit Chief Borders are in a group chat to help determine which uncommitted players they should go after the hardest.
“We just look out for people who fit our family best,” Del Rio said. “For example, if I like a person based on what I’ve seen, but I haven’t seen him in a while, I’ll ask Daejon. And if he says ‘He’s gotten soft, we want this man instead,’ we go after him instead.”
Reynolds laid out a list of the trio’s top targets.
“@Charles">Charles Montgomery, who’s committing next week hopefully to us over Maryland, Christian Leary and the five players from Palmetto.”
Reynolds says he’s also trying to get in the ear of his teammate Phil Mafah, a four-star running back who is currently committed to Clemson.
“Clemson lowkey has a lot of running backs,” he laughed.
Despite the Gators’ 2021 class sitting fifth or sixth overall (depending on different sites), the class average is lower than some schools that have fewer commits. Also, recruiting powerhouses like Alabama, Georgia and Oklahoma, that are bound to snag top players and shoot up in the rankings later on, have yet to begin their respective surges.
Recruiting is arguably more difficult than winning games. Coaches must strike a balance to persuade high-profile high schoolers to fall in love with a program’s past and their own futures while personalizing incentives – all without looking like used-car salesmen.
Del Rio said Florida’s “family-oriented” atmosphere was a large selling point for him. And as we all know, being a member of a family sometimes means hearing the truth instead of what makes you feel good.
“Some schools will tell players they’re the man and they’ll settle. Most people would rather hear what they want to hear instead of what they need to hear.” he said. “[At Florida], coaches are going to keep it very real with you. If you’re a competitor… they’ll tell you. If you’re not a competitor, they’ll tell you that too.”
“To be great, you have to play with great players,” he said.
Both players practice what they preach, getting frequent reps in with current – and even former – Gators when they can. Most Florida fans have seen the videos of Del Rio and Emory Jones working on quarterback drills, but Tyrie Cleveland, Trey Dean, Kyle Pitts and more were also mentioned as being helpful.
Related: Learning the ropes, Del Rio and Jones working out together
While he didn’t divulge too much, del Rio ended with this.
“We’ve got some commitments on the way.”