DeLand’s Marks fulfills lifelong dream, signs with Florida

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Dionte Marks. [Courtesy of UAA]

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.”

12 COMMENTS

  1. This WR reminds me of Callaway, except Marks is 2 inches taller. Long, lanky and fast. Hope he doesn’t taKE up any Callaway habits. A very good signing and looks like the Gator’s 2019 recruiting class is going to be a Top 10 class. Getting the 3 Lakeland guys was a steal as all the major recruiting sites did NOT have them going to Gainesville. Mullen is doing MORE than Gator fans expected and is a HUGE improvement over McElwhine and MusChump.

    • Yet (notice that I didn’t say “And yet”)……still some doom and gloom from the peanut gallery. I guess that can’t be avoided, but if we’re doing this well for Year Two of the Mullen era, and given a good season in 2019, look out world cuz we’re coming thru!

        • Probably so, but the guy who speaks the most logically about not piling on to judge them is Sly — but at the same time he’s among the first to acknowledge Dan Mullen as taking us where we need to be. Fair and balanced, eh? Me, I’m just glad CDM decided to come home!

          • Truth…Sly is a solid poster…agreed. I just see a lot of angst towards those guys…but then the expectation of Bama type classes right way whcih is a head scratcher. Many of us stated development and wins will turn that around, but it take a little time.

          • No doubt, I just believe mistakes were made, the fit wasn’t right, and that’s the end of it by now. I used to have a lot to say about both of them — but its all been said many times over, so why stare at the past instead of where we’re headed now? But man alive, what’s with all this disappointment over a Top 20 class in Year Two? It takes time, as you said.

    • cattrick….great analogy. I saw this kid play this year…he is fast and a game breaker. DeLand is a better than average program that made the playoffs and got knocked off by eventual champ Jax Mandarin. Callaway was a 3 star too. It’s funny when you analyze stars for there are 4 star guys I have seen that didn’t have his impact.

  2. Great day for Coach Mullen with the young men he brought in. I’m expecting big things from the Gator Naughts as well as from Mr. Marks. Sounds like the kind of young man UF needs. Striving for greatness and the ‘want to’ to be a Gator. Good luck fellas & great job Coach Mullen and the entire coaching staff. GO GATORS!!

  3. I sense the potential for Dionte Marks to become a great Gator wide receiver – dedication, discipline, learning, hard work, willingness to be coached, and striving to become a leader by example – these things will help him achieve his goals and become a Gator football legend. GO GATORS!!!

  4. When a guy runs a sub-4.4 40 yard dash and has a broad jump over 11 feet like Dionte, it tells me his star rating might be a function of not attending all these camps whose primary purpose is to rank kids based mainly on athleticism. Camps can be an expensive racket.