I ventured up to Lake Butler Friday to check out some local football and I must say, it was a pretty entertaining game. A new quarterback led the Taylor County Bulldogs to a 28-12 over the Union County Tigers. It was another spread offense exploiting a flat-footed defense. But after the game, I did some investigating on the Taylor County side. How was the offense so effective with it’s starting quarterback out? Indeed, coach Shane Boggs had an ace up his sleeve.
Boggs said one reason for the success was that he directed his offensive plays as far away from Tigers’ junior defensive lineman Lonnie Gosha as possible. Gosha was a force in the first quarter. He was in on almost every tackle and he finished the game with a couple of forced fumbles. The Bulldogs had no offense after one quarter, so Boggs changed things up. Where ever the 6-foot-3, 245-pound Gosha was, the Bulldogs made sure they weren’t.
“We did the kinds of things where we weren’t going to let him make that big-time hit,” Boggs said. “He’s a phenomenal player and he’s as good as he’s built up to be.”
Gosha, who lined up at defensive end for most of the night, still made some plays with the ball going away from him, just not as many. He’s got tremendous speed off the edge (when he’s not getting double-teamed). He still has room for improvement with his technique — I mean, he’s only a junior — but Gosha could be one of the top defenders in the state of Florida next year.
“I just try my best to get to the ball out there, ripping through the blocks, getting to (opposing players),” Gosha said.
He’s already got his pick of schools with a year and half of high school remaining. He lists offers from Duke, Florida International, Arkansas and Florida. He’s also considering Florida State, Cincinnati and Clemson.
The team that sticks out is Florida. When I asked about how his recruitment with Florida was going, his eyes lit up like kid on Christmas just saying the word “Florida.” His main recruiters from Florida are tight ends coach Dan White and defensive line coach Dan McCarney.
“(Florida) sends me a lot of letters,” he said. “I’ve gone to all their home games so far (this season). I like the atmosphere. I like how they play, it gets loud (inside The Swamp).”
The one thing about Florida that really entices Gosha is the amount of younger talent that sees the field on defense.
Gosha said he’s going to take his time with recruiting, but admits it’s been hard not give a verbal pledge to the Gators.
“I was thinking about (committing to) Florida,” he said. “Florida, I like them. I don’t know, I’m just waiting to see. It’s early, so I’d like to see who all is interested and I’d like to go on visits.”