A consensus three-star recruit, Buchholz athlete Trent Whittemore probably is going to be one of the more overlooked prospects in the Florida recruiting class. But his new head coach certainly is high on him.
“He’s an amazing athlete,” UF coach Dan Mullen said Wednesday. “Football, basketball. When he gets to concentrate on one sport. … I don’t think he’s ever lifted a weight in his life. When he gets on that training program, he’s physically going to be a different guy.
“He’s got great size, great athleticism. He played all over the field in football. He’s a phenomenal basketball player.”
Whittemore is a versatile athlete who played quarterback, wide receiver and defensive back for the Bobcats. The UF coaches haven’t yet decided what position he’ll start out at with the Gators.
“We’ve got to see where he’s going to end up playing for us,” Mullen said. “I have an idea. It’s not fair to label that right now for him. I want to see him go through workouts as he grows and progresses. He’s got a really bright future.”
Weston’s high ceiling
Three-star wide receiver Ja’Markis Weston is one of the lowest rated members of the class. But if you listen to Mullen, he may have the biggest upside.
“I’m a big fan of Ja’Markis Weston,” Mullen said.
Mullen asked what Weston’s ranking is among the recruiting services. When he was told it wasn’t very high, he said, “Not very high? OK, good, we’ll see.”
The Clewiston receiver is 6-foot-3, 212 pounds with excellent speed and hands. But he did not attend any of the big football camps, so the recruiting analysts don’t know much about him.
Mullen does, though.
“He’s a tremendous young man,” Mullen said. “He has great potential, great athleticism, great size. But most important, amazing character and work ethic for a young man. Academically, takes care of his business. How he’s respected in the town of Clewiston, it’s pretty special.
“He’s got a first-class brand. I’m really happy to have him part of the family. He’s got potential to have a pretty special career here at Florida.”
DT needs to be addressed
The Gators only signed one defensive tackle Wednesday, so adding one of two more is a priority between now and national signing day Feb. 6.
The one tackle UF did land is a highly rated one — four-star Jaelin Humphries from Lawrenceville, Ga. He also had offers from Alabama, Georgia and Auburn, but stuck with an earlier commitment to the Gators.
“It’s huge,” Mullen said. “He’s a big, physical guy on the defensive line. That’s a big position that we’re not finished recruiting yet.”
Even though the Gators came up one running back short when five-star Trey Sanders signed with Alabama, Mullen seems pretty excited about the one running back UF did sign — Miami Carol City’s Nay’Quan Wright, a four-star prospect.
“He’s a guy that has a great combination of power and speed, great quickness,” Mullen said of the 5-9, 195-pound Wright. “You’re not going to look at him and say, ‘He’s a big power back.’ But he has the size to play physical.
“He also can make you miss and he has the speed to be a dynamic player in the open field.”
Mullen said Wright also has excellent hands and should be a factor in the passing game coming out of the backfield.