Richard Benjamin came to Gainesville Saturday with a top five.
He left with a leader.
Following an unofficial visit to UF, his third of the year, the Tampa Bay Tech receiver called the Gators his top school.
“Florida is No. 1,” said Benjamin, who also has interest in Miami, FSU, USF and USC. “They separated themselves today because I sat back and realized that I’ll be able to play, I have a good connection with the coaches and the education is great. So they have all the things I’m looking for.”
Benjamin hung out with Florida WR commit Rodney Adams during practice, and they shadowed receivers coach Aubrey Hill all afternoon.
“I was right next to coach Hill at practice,” Benjamin said, “and I went wherever the receivers went. Everything he said to them, he would turn around and tell me and Rodney. His main advice was it’s important to stay low and keep your feet moving.”
It was Benjamin’s first time seeing Hill in action, and he came away impressed with the former Gator wideout.
“He knows a lot about football,” Benjamin said of Hill. “He’s a nice guy and a good coach. He gets on you when you’re wrong and congrats you when you’re right.”
In watching Hill at work, Benjamin also noticed Florida’s lack of depth at receiver. The opportunity to make an immediate impact is another reason he favors the Gators.
“My chances of playing early are very good because I’ll be an early enrollee,” he said. “I learn fast, so I’ll be able to play fast and not have to think. My motto is ‘work harder than the man next to me,’ and I always will.”
On Friday, Benjamin tweeted that he was looking forward to the outcome of his UF trip. And while he said it was a nice one, there was no commitment from the ESPNU 150 Watch List member.
“I thought about it,” Benjamin admitted, “but I would have been getting caught up in the moment if I did that. I’m going to wait.”
The wait could be over on June 9, when Benjamin attends Florida’s summer camp for what he says will be a “big day.”
The 6-foot, 200-pounder said the UF coaches like his versatility at the position, but they need to see him drop some weight and improve his technique.
“They like that I’m a go-getter at receiver. I can stretch the field and play multiple positions,” Benjamin said. “The things they want me to work on is getting better with my technique. They tell me to stay active and keep working out hard.”
“I just need to show them (on June 9) that I’m a ball player and I can make plays, with pads and without them.”
Photos from Zach Abolverdi and Benjamin’s Facebook.