Florida shoots their shot with four-star defensive end

Jul 21, 2021 | 0 comments

Back in April, Booneville (Mo.) four-star defensive end DJ Wesolak‍ tweeted out a list of his 15 favorites, and then spent the month of June on a fact-finding mission, seeing six of those programs in person in order to hopefully help begin to put them all in some type of order.

What it did though is add to the confusion of recruiting.

During the month of June, he took official visits to Florida (6/18) and Southern Cal (6/25), while unofficially visiting Clemson, Georgia, Missouri, and North Carolina.

“They were all 10s, every place was a 10,” replied Wesolak when asked to rate each visit on a 1-to-10 scale. “I couldn't say anything bad about any of them. They all had the bells and whistles that you would expect from big-time football schools. I'm from here in Missouri, we don't see a lot of the stuff I got to see at those big football schools in those real college towns. I liked the atmosphere around all of them.”

Wesolak, who was hosted by Khris Bogle while on his official to Florida, said one thing, in particular, stands out about the Gators.

“I loved it there,” said Wesolak. “The one thing that stood out is how close the players are. That was like a brotherhood there. Out of the colleges I've been to that was the one where the players hang out together the most. They were the ones that were the most like a family.”

Every family needs a father figure, in the case of the Gators recruiting of Wesolak, that would be Todd Grantham.

“I was with Coach Grantham and he was great,” said Wesolak. “He showed me what he's done throughout his career, having a defensive end drafted every year. He showed me his board of players, how they did in college, and succeeded on the next level. It was great being with him. He is the coach who made me feel the most like a priority than any other coach on any other staff.”

Now that the June visits are over, he said that he is working on setting up his remaining three official visits, as well as his plans for the fall

“I've been trying to figure it out,” said Wesolak. “I know I want to visit Penn State for their White Out game and I'd like to see Notre Dame play USC. Those are two I could take, but I don't have any visits set up. I'd like to see Georgia and Clemson for a game too.”

As far as making it back to Florida for a game, he replied, “I don't think I'm going to be able to squeeze it in between my own games and taking my other visits.”

According to the 6-foot-4, 240-pounder, while publically he isn't ready to narrow his list down any further, in his mind he is already formulating his list of finalists.

“I still have my top 15,” said Wesolak. “I'm at the stage where I'm figuring it out in my head, but I'm not going to release a new list right now. I'd like to make a commitment or at least get down to a top-five or something for my birthday in September or sometime soon after that.”

When asked if there are any programs he knows for sure will be there until the end, he replied, “Alabama, Georgia, and Clemson are the three I know will be there because I don't have to focus on them or question them because I know what they can do for me at the end of the day.”

The Inside Scoop: There was some good and some bad in there. Florida is still officially in the running for his services, but the fact that the Gators haven't secured a spot as a finalist after having already gotten an official visit doesn't speak highly of their chances. Add in that he doesn't plan on making it back to campus this fall for a game, and the writing is pretty much on the wall – UNLESS (yes, this is recruiting and there’s always an unless). Unless those three he mentioned above end up filling out their defensive end board with more highly coveted prospects, and you could then see UF become more of a factor because he liked how the staff prioritized him.

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