Those who have followed Dorian Gerald’s recruitment knows he has no shortage of suitors.
Ranked the No. 1 JUCO defensive end in the nation, Gerald has had a full slate of official visits lined up in recent weeks, including taking a mid-week visit to Arkansas before arriving in Gainesville on Friday. In fact, Gerald said he wasn’t positive he would take an official visit to Florida until that morning.
“They were trying to get me down to Ole Miss (this weekend). I planned to come here first, but the first day I got to Arkansas I was like ‘Alright, I’m not going to go to Florida’. I slept on it, the next morning I called (UF) and said ‘I’m coming to Florida’,”, Gerald said. “I really enjoyed myself. It was definitely more than I expected. Florida is a great place, great coaches and the players, I gel well with them.”
Gerald said he wouldn’t have even taken an official visit to UF if it weren’t for defensive coordinator Todd Grantham, whose reputation of developing defensive end prospects appealed to the 6-foot-3, 260-pounder.
“Coach Grantham, we had a really good relationship,” Gerald said. “He has been a lot of places and he has a great reputation for not only good coaching but transforming JUCO guys from when they get to school to developing them to them to get to the league and stuff like that.”
When he arrived in Gainesville, Gerald said it “was definitely more than I expected” and the town wasn’t what he expected.
“I didn’t know, I thought Gainesville was country-backwoods type thing,” Gerald said. “I didn’t know it was nice like this. It really opened my eyes.”
Gerald said the highlights of his trip were on the personal level, and the relationship between the players and new coach Dan Mullen stood out.
“Meeting the people, meeting everyone and seeing them interact with each other,” Gerald said. “A lot of times that’s what I look for I got to a school and see if I wasn’t a football player, could I see myself here. And I could definitely see myself here.”
With just three days until Signing Day, Gerald has a massive decision on his hands, and he’ll decide between the Gators and three other schools around the country.
“Florida, Texas A&M, Arkansas and Louisville,” Gerald said. “(I’m going to) go home, sleep on it and pray. Hopefully God will give me the answers.”