LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Jabari Gorman has been feeling the love from college programs for a few years now.
Former Florida coach Urban Meyer first got interested in the Miramar Monsignor Pace safety when he was in ninth grade. Ohio State’s coaches started sending him information at the end of his sophomore year.
That attention then shifted from coaches to analysts, as he was selected to play in Wednesday’s Under Armour All-America Game last year. During his three days at the ESPN Wide World of Sports, Gorman has been a standout on the field. He’s shown tremendous tackling ability and has an impressive nose for the ball. Matching instinct with speed, Gorman has consistently stymied receivers and running backs alike.
“I’m blessed to be here,” Gorman said Monday. “Not too many athletes can actually say they played in the Under Armour All-America Game.
“That was one of my goals in life. I was like, ‘I want to play in the Under Armour All-America Game because I know that’s the best of the best of the best and I feel like I’m one the best, so I have to compete against the best.’ ”
What will make his Under Armour experience that much more special is that he’ll make his college decision live during the game. He’s down to Ohio State, Florida and Miami.
What drew him to those three was the long line of successful defensive backs who came from those schools.
Though he’s from south Florida, Miami is the school on the outside at the moment. Ohio State and Florida are the favorites.
“It’s really between them,” Gorman said.
Gorman said the atmosphere in Columbus is what is drawing him toward the Buckeyes.
“I went to the Eastern Michigan game and it was packed — completely,” he said. “Even though it’s a small school you’re playing against, it’s still a sold-out crowd and that’s what you want to look at in schools — how much loyalty do the fans have for you?”
For Florida, the close proximity is very attractive to him.
“One thing about Florida, it felt like home because it was so close to home and it felt like the fans, I could relate to them about anything,” he said. “I know a couple of people up there that are playing for Coach (Will) Muschamp and they tell me how great it is to be a Gator.”
Gorman had the opportunity to speak with Muschamp the night he was hired. Gorman was on his official visit at the time. The two have spoken since and Gorman said Muschamp hopes to make him a part of his first class at Florida.
“He liked my film and thinks I can be a difference-maker to their program,” Gorman said.
While he’ll make his decision Wednesday, Gorman said he’s still interested in meeting new Miami coach Al Golden. Gorman said he’s done a lot of his own research on Golden and has been impressed with his work, especially at Temple.
“He completely changed around the whole program and that’s what you want to be a part of — a good program,” Gorman said of Golden.
Gorman said meeting Golden after Wednesday’s decision could change things for him. This could be part of an twisting recruiting ride for Gorman and the three schools chasing him.
“I still have until Feb. 2, to make a final decision,” he said.
Stay tuned …