UF football commit list grows to 22


Published: Friday, August 3, 2012 at 12:13 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, August 3, 2012 at 5:30 p.m.

In every recruiting cycle, there seems to always be a mystery recruit who makes a verbal commitment to Florida.

This year, it’s offensive lineman Octavius Jackson (Moultrie, Ga./Colquitt County).

The 6-foot-4, 304-pounder pledged to UF during a ceremony at his school Friday. He chose the Gators over Vanderbilt and also held offers from schools such as Kentucky and South Florida. Jackson favored Florida because of its closeness to home and his relationship with the coaching staff.

After flying under the radar for the first half of the year, he camped at UF in June and was one of the top linemen who participated. Rated a three-star prospect by ESPN, Jackson received an offer from UF coach Will Muschamp on Tuesday following a summer where he missed on a few targets at the position.

Colquitt County coach Rush Propst said Jackson was overlooked because of the shoulder surgery he had after his junior season, which caused him to miss three months and most of the spring. Propst believes Jackson is the best offensive lineman he’s coached in his 32-year career.

“He’s the most versatile and talented kid I’ve ever been around,” Propst said. “He’s an athlete playing offensive line. He has a 31-inch vertical jump, he has a 9-foot, 4-inch broad jump and he runs a 4.95 forty-yard dash at 300-plus pounds. I think he’s an absolute steal for Florida because two hours before his announcement, Alabama, Georgia and Florida State called and asked if he would hold his decision so they could offer him.”

Florida now has 22 members in its 2013 class, which is No. 2 in the nation according to ESPN’s team rankings. Verbal commitments are not binding until prospects sign their national letters of intent the first Wednesday in February.

Jackson is expected to play guard for the Gators, which allows them to still save a spot for five-star tackle Laremy Tunsil from nearby Lake City Columbia. However, UF looks to be trailing Georgia for his services at this time.

Jackson is the fourth lineman to commit to Florida, joining center Cameron Dillard (Canton, Mich./Canton), tackle Roderick Johnson (Delray Beach, Fla./American Heritage) and guard Joshua Outlaw (Lithonia, Ga./Martin Luther King).

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