Florida’s message to Fabien Lovett was a simple yet impactful one: “Win a championship.”
The 6-foot-4, 323-pound defensive end out of Olive Branch, Mississippi took an official visit to Florida this weekend, and it left a lasting impression. With under a week until Signing Day, Lovett said he has a lot to think about before Wednesday, but the Gators are certainly in the mix to land the No. 20-ranked strongside defensive end in the 2018 class by 247Sports.
“It was great. It was a lot of stuff that I’ve never seen. And it was just fun, I enjoyed the environment,” Lovett said of his official visit. “(Gainesville) is amazing. It’s a lot to take in.”
After an unofficial visit to Mississippi State last weekend, it appeared the Bulldogs were in a prime position to land a signature from Lovett, but he said the University of Florida impressed made a stronger impression.
“They have a lot more here than they do at State,” Lovett said. “(The academic center) is bigger than any I’ve seen. It’s like two sizes bigger and they have more advanced stuff than anything I’ve seen.”
Lovett, who de-committed Jan. 1 from Mississippi State, already had a relationship with coach Dan Mullen and many of his coaches that made the leap from Starkville to Gainesville, and he said their message was more of the same:
“We still connect,” Lovett said. “They’re just cool and want to do what’s best for me.”
UF junior linebacker David Reese hosted Lovett over the weekend, and Reese’s message to Lovett was a slightly selfish one, but it resonated.
“He’s cool, he was just like, he wants me down here,” Lovett said, “because I can make his job easier.”
Lovett said that signing with Florida is “very realistic”, but added the caveat that he also could see himself playing for either Mississippi State or Ole Miss.
“I could see myself playing here, but I also could see myself playing at the other schools, too,” Lovett said. “I just need a little bit of time.”
Despite his family in Mississippi, Lovett said his support system would understand a decision to leave his home state if he believes it’s the best long-term option.
“Honestly, it wouldn’t matter to me,” Lovett said, “because I’m the one who has to live with this for the next three to four years.”
Although there’s just four days until Signing Day, Lovett stated hat he wished he had more time to make the biggest decision of his life.
“I need another week,” Lovett said. “Yeah, it did (complicate my decision).”