Gators flip highly recruited OLB Derek Wingo from PSU

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Derek Wingo's commitment edit (Courtesy of Wingo's Twitter account)

Florida flipped a heavily recruited outside linebacker, and one of the top in-state prospects, from Penn State University on Saturday.

Derek Wingo, ranked the No. 24 overall prospect from the state of Florida by 247Sports, committed to the Gators just hours after de-committing from the Nittany Lions, according to Wingo’s Twitter account.

“I would like to thank Coach Franklin and the entire Penn State staff for giving me an opportunity, and I am thankful for all the relationships that have been built between friends and fans. At this time, I feel that I need to make the best decision for me and my family and recommit from Penn State University,” wrote Wingo. “Some people do not understand how hard it can be to make a college decision at such a young age, realizing that one choice will affect the rest of your life. With that being said I would like to officially shut down my recruitment and announce that I’m 100% committed to the University of Florida.”

Wingo, a 6-foot-2, 210-pounder out of noted in-state powerhouse St. Thomas Aquinas, is ranked the No. 11 outside linebacker in the 2020 class.

With the additions of Wingo, Tre’Vez Johnson and Lamar Goods, Florida’s 2020 class has moved up from No. 11 to No. 7 in the 247Sports rankings in the span of 48 hours. The Gators now have a total of 16 prospects committed in the 2020 recruiting class.

35 COMMENTS

  1. And how many were worried about recruiting after the Steele J. Jones fiasco? We have coaches who can recruit. And recruiters who know how to coach. Be ready for the reawakening of the next era of Bear Bryant’s Sleeping Giant. With the Gator Nation sending out an SOS for a decade, there is no reason to believe it hasn’t been answered with the advent of the CDM tenure! Go Gators!

      • Your negative comment is not appreciated – if you were a true Gator fan, you would not post negative comments. I grew up in Gainesville – I attended my first game with my father (who graduated from UF with high honors in 1958 – Accounting) when Florida played Houston as our first home game. Houston was heavily favored and the stadium was half empty. I watched John Reaves and Carlos Alvarez, both UNHERALDED prospects, DECIMATE Houston. We were up 35-0 at halftime and the final score was 59-34. I BECAME A TRUE GATOR FAN RIGHT THERE AND THEN.

        • IAMAWOMAN: So let me get this straight, Gators are not allowed free speech? OK, now that you’ve established that — how about sarcasm? Good grief, girlfriend, it’s all I got! You might say it’s my spiritual gift.

          If by any chance you might think that my comment was directed at our pal, Phil — don’t try that glide path since my record of respect for his comments is well known……even though I’ve only been a die hard Gator since 1960 myself. T’was as Dallas sustains, just casting aspersions at those weak and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat, but are nonetheless still more than willing to criticize Dan Mullen for putting together a championship program one year at a time instead of overnight. If that still aggravates you, I don’t know, you might try a laxative and see how you feel tomorrow?

          Go Gators.

        • @IAMAWOMAN Gator-6 IS a true blue Gator. This is without question. There have been numerous posts here by various folks decrying UF’s not being able to land 5 star recruits. He was just poking fun of the notion that UF can’t recruit or win without twenty 5 star recruits.

          • gelco – LOL – check out the name you typed and compare it to the person you directed your comment to. It somehow caught me and I had to read it twice before I actually found it…LOL. I knew something was off, but I couldn’t get it the first time. It is still making me laugh. Thanks for that one. GO GATORS!!!

        • By golly, right you are Phil! That was a rare coup indeed — man, I wish Dameon Pierce was twins. I think that kid is going to shine this year (but with as many skilled running backs as we have, he may not yet get the carries to really show it yet).

          I hope Wingo sets a precedent — or reverses a trend — and gets some of these young home grown stud muffins away from being seduced up north. Or worse yet, to UGA (Home of the Original 8* Recruits but you still can’t get a decent cheeseburger in Athens).

        • That’s the spirit, Smith. Truthfully though, I’m wondering what the naysayers will say when CDM beats the stuffing out of both Saban and Smart with his so called rag tag band of 3 and 4 star “nobodys”. I’d say in another year, but who knows? It may be before 2020.

    • Man I was expecting a little more enthusiasm out of you after how much criticism you’ve been throwing at this staff for their recruiting abilities, and how they needed to get more Florida players and how Penn State was out-recruiting us. This is not only a homegrown player and one of the top recruits in the state, but he comes from an NFL factory in St. Thomes, which could open up a pipeline to that school. Just a good flip that you hope sticks huh? By the way, if you follow twitter at all, you’d see how much this kids family is raving about Mullen and his staff. It’s safe to say barring anything crazy, it’s going to stick.

      • I don’t follow twitter. I really do hope this kid sticks for all the reasons you gave. I’m not getting too excited because I don’t know if he’s been given much if any attention by BAMA, UGA, OSU or Clemson. I really don’t see the allure of going to PSU. That’s why I just don’t get kids going there unless that’s their best option which isn’t better than a UF option. Facilities aren’t better. Education isn’t better. Other than 1 season they haven’t really performed much better than UF either. I don’t see PSU as competition. Over the last 30 years there has only been a handful of top 30 type Florida recruits that signed with PSU. Last year was their best year in the last 30 years for PSU in Florida. They were and still are on track to have their second best year in Florida even if they sign only half of the players they are leading on. That’s how much of a non-factor they have been until last year. OSU has really had their grip on STA for a long time. It will be interesting to see if they become a factor. especially since he was already serious about a lesser Big 10 school who has no history at STA. Not only that but UF has always had a hard time at stay. We’ve had some big gets from there but the signees have been few and far between. I remember how Cameron Davis was a big get because it had been so long since we had signed a high profile STA player. Major Wright probably the best player we’ve signed from there in the last 30 years. Only a handful of other signees from there other than those 2. Second best would probably be Marcus Gilbert.

    • I don’t understand the lure of Penn State either vs programs down here, but they have a solid coach there and historically a blue blood program..not that these young guys know this. I guess times are changing. I remember when back in the day Michael Timpson choosing Penn State in like 86 or so, when our in state schools were dominant and it was a head scratcher.

  2. Three commits in one weekend , and these sounds like kids who will stick.You never know, but I like the “shutting down the recruitment” part. Lamar Goods said something interesting when he committed. He said he likes the way the players have transformed their bodies and have developed. I have friends who work or are highly connected with the Jacksonville Jaguars. One of the things they loved about Jawaun Taylor was not just his body, but the transformation of it once Mullen got there. They are giving a lot of credit to Mullen’s staff for getting these guys NFL ready, and the League is noticing. That will be a huge recruiting tool for us. Mullen hasn’t been there long enough to further show this part of his regime off. It will be common knowledge in two years, if not sooner. Savage is a huge asset and we need to pay him whatever to keep him.

    • Yeah Savage definitely needs a bump in pay. Right now he’s sitting at 40th in the country in terms of salary for strength coaches at $250,000 a year. To put that in perspective, the highest paid, Chris Doyle at Iowa, is making $725,000 a year. Tennessee’s S&C coach makes $625,000 and is sitting at #2. No reason he should be making more than double what Savage makes. Savage is the 3rd lowest paid S&C coach in the SEC. That’s a crime. He’s going into the 2nd year of a 2 year contract, so Mullen better show the love after this season or no doubt someone else will.

      • Man alive, Joe — not to use a worn out, left wing phrase lightly…..that really IS income inequality! Did not know it was that stark. Were I in a position to make the decision, I’d pay him tops in the nation plus all the Krystal cheeseburgers he can eat and the criss-cross chili cheese fries to go with them. I’d do it for the Krystals alone, but that’s another story entirely.

        • 6 I would do it for the Krystals alone also, as long as they had cheese. I stop in Starke on the way back to Jax as a ritual after Gator night games. I still remember the old Krystals on University back in the day. On a given Saturday night around midnight, you could find serial killers, hookers, alien abductees and even their alien captors if it was a full moon, as well as other assorted folk.

          • Same thing when I was stationed at Ft Gordon…..there was a modern, pristine, high class Krystal up on Wrightsboro Road not real far from post, but seems I always gravitated down to the one way down on Walton Way near the Medical College of Georgia. Not the best part of Augusta, but man-o’-man……a sackful of those little beauties sure tasted good with a little danger added to the menu! Often not for the feint of heart, but I was always armed anyway so what the hey.

            You don’t know how good you got it there in Jax, bud…..our solitary Krystal in Killeen, Texas closed about 7 or 8 years ago and I’ve been in mourning ever since. Closest one now is in Pensacola off I-10, so while life in Texas is good, it sure as hell ain’t great all things considered.

  3. If the 247 site is correct and I clicked on the right links this kid played QB as well and had some nice passes. Hope he stays on azimuth and can read the map to success is as a GATOR playing in the Swamp! Once he is college ready AKA SAVAGED and coached he could be a monster for us.