UF lands 20th commitment


Published: Monday, January 23, 2012 at 1:31 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, January 23, 2012 at 1:31 p.m.

Florida’s recruiting momentum continued Monday with the commitment of three-star defensive end Alex McCalister.

The 6-foot-6, 220-pounder from West Forsyth High School in Clemmons, N.C., is the 20th member of UF’s 2012 recruiting class. McCalister took an official visit to Gainesville this past weekend and chose the Gators over Georgia Tech and North Carolina.

“It’s feels so great to be a Gator,” McCalister said. “It’s a big stess-reliever to get this recruiting process over with. I called my coach on Sunday and said it’s done. I told him this is the right place for me and I feel comfortable here.”

If Florida were to name one of its coaches recruiter of the year, that distinction would go to UF linebacker coach D.J. Durkin.

The Gators have landed four of the top 13 prospects in North Carolina according to Rivals.com: McCalister, five-star offensive tackle D.J. Humphries, five-star defensive end Jonathan Bullard and three-star safety Rhaheim Ledbetter.

“D.J. Durkin has been on him the whole time,” said West Forsyth High coach Adrian Snow. “Alex always liked him and he does a heck of a job recruiting our state.”

McCalister is a former basketball player and has only played football for two years. And although he will likely redshirt next season, Snow spoke highly of his star player.

“I know they’re gonna have a great class come in, but there’s probably not a more pure athlete than Alex McCalister,” Snow said. “He’s freakish. He does things that are just amazing for a 6-foot-6, 220-pound kid. It’s unbelievable.”

According to his coach, McCalister can run the 40-yard dash in 4.6 seconds and his best pro shuttle time is 4.06. He also has a 7-foot, 3-inch wingspan, a 10-foot standing broad jump and a 35-inch vertical leap.

With his athleticism, McCalister will come to UF as a buck linebacker. Once he arrives, his coach said McCalister needs to hit the weight room and improve his work ethic.

“They said he’s exactly what they’re looking for at that position,” Snow said. “He played outside linebacker for us in our 3-4 scheme, but also played end and came off the edge.

“He’s got the tools to do it. The sky is the limit for this young guy. He can handle a bunch more weight. I always tell people, he’ll weigh as much as I do, but look a whole lot better than me.”

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