By Chris Boyle, GateHouse Florida
Ask, and you shall receive.
Back in January, DeLand’s Dionte Marks posted a public service announcement of sorts onto Twitter. The 6-foot-2, 187-pound wide receiver wanted Florida head coach Dan Mullen to recruit him.
The tweet caught fire, and Marks’ phone buzzed almost non-stop with notifications and comments from friends and fans alike.
“I was mind-blown,” Marks said. “I didn’t really expect that many people to retweet my message. But, I knew it was going to come. I just had to be patient.”
Sure enough, a month later, Mullen reached out to Marks and offered him on the spot.
As a kid, Marks said he would only use the Gators when playing the NCAA Football video game series. On Wednesday, Marks’ lifelong dream of signing a scholarship to play for the Gators became a reality.
A dynamic, explosive big-play threat throughout the 2018 season, Marks caught 45 passes for 964 yards and 10 touchdowns. When asked what he thinks he will bring to Gainesviile, Marks said he will add a “dog” mentality to the team’s receiving corps — a combination of hard work, effort and aggressiveness.
Marks also possesses plenty of athleticism. In the summer of 2017, he clocked an unofficial 4.37-second time in the 40-yard dash at Florida Atlantic. Then, in January, he posted an 11-foot, 3-inch broad jump at the U.S. Army All-American Combine in San Antonio.
“He is such a raw, raw athletic specimen — his length, his twitchiness, his reactivity, and his ball skills were much better,” DeLand head coach Steve Allen said. “Once he realized guys were more worried about covering him or when he had the ball, he had the cards. He figured out he’s the guy that other guys would like to be.”