Russell calls Florida visit his favorite


Florida made quite the first impression on Dontavius Russell over the weekend.

The four-star defensive tackle from Carrollton (Ga.) visited UF with his parents and teammate, tight end Cole Clark. Afterward, Russell called it the best trip he has taken in his recruitment thus far.

Russell holds offers from several top SEC schools. (Photo by 247Sports)

“I had a great experience,” Russell said. “I’ve been wanting to visit Gainesville for a long time and I’m glad I finally got to see everything Florida had to offer.”

The 6-foot-3, 300-pounder had made unofficial visits to Auburn, Alabama, Georgia and Georgia Tech prior to Saturday, but UF stood out because of the interactions with coach Will Muschamp and his staff.

“It was really just me and the coaches on campus, so it was a lot more personalized than the other trips I’ve been on,” Russell said. “I got to see more than I would have at a junior day. I spent time in coach Muschamp’s office and got to hold the National Championship trophy and put the ring on. That was definitley the highlight of my visit.”

Florida was the second school to offer Russell, a day after Georgia Tech, and the UF coaches have been recruiting him the hardest.

“I talk to them the most and they’re really interested in me,” Russell said. “It was good to meet them in person. They told me I can commit at any time and they want me to be a Gator.”

Florida’s football program and academics stand out to Russell, which is a good sign for the Gators given his determing factors.

“I want to play for a good team and get a good education,” Russell said. “Those are the two things that matter most to me.”

Russell claims no leaders at this time and doesn’t have a time table for his decision. He is ranked the nation’s No. 4 defensive tackle and 68th overall by 247Sports.

Defensive back Edward Paris (Arlington, Texas/Mansfield Timberview) did not visit Florida over the weekend as planned and committed to LSU on Monday.


  1. It seems like the players that spend time with coach Boom are really sold on our program. You can tell our guys like playing for him. He has so much passion and desire to win, I can see national championships in our near future!! Go Gators!!

  2. hey Zach: This is a little off the subject, but let me ask your opinion. We all know Mack Brown is on very thin ice at Texas. We all also know the coach Texas will target is Muschamp. Can they throw enough at him to sway him to Austin, or is he a Gator for ever?

  3. It’s good to see a defensive lineman with academics high on his criteria. It seems like we lose out on more d-linemen, because of academics, than any other position.

    If this guy is the #4 DT in the country, why does he only have offers from UF and GT? Hopefully, it will stay that way – I don’t see that happening, though.

    Muschamp won’t be leaving UF, unless he is fired, period. I don’t see him making that jump back to the NFL. I didn’t think Meyer would crash and burn, either; so, I could be wrong. I see something different in Muschamp than I saw in Meyer, though. Muschamp seems to really love the University of Florida and the Gainesville area. I think meyer said the things he said, about loving UF and not leaving, for his personal gain, on the recruiting trail. Texas is a great school; however, it’s not UF and when someone has been in both places, they know this.

    Thanks for keeping the recruiting news flowing, Zach!

  4. Sorry, I think the things Meyer spoke of were genuine at the time. Stress and chest pains will make anyone take a step back and re-evaluate their life. This particular coaching job became too tough for him…. so he walked away – so what. I like Muschamp too, and hope this is his only stop and stays 20+ years. But, if he left and Meyer wanted to comeback….you’re damn right I would welcome him back. Some of you need to move on.

  5. Muschamp isnt going anywhere. He has the keys to the kingdom right where he is. He is much closer to a NC here than he would ever be at texas and he knows it. The opportunity to compete on a yearly basis is at his fingertips. He stays and he stays a long time.

  6. Agree Whole Heartedly with scooterp, I loved Myer after his second year when he learned how to coach “speed”, I like the things that coach Muschamp is doing with the program as well, but I do not dislike coach Myers because he left. To me it was the best thing for the program, He was burned out. If you couldn’t see that in his last two years then you are probably one of those people that are mad at him for leaving. I believe this was his heart and soul when he was able to handle the pressure, but when it got to where he had no more control of the situation, he did the right thing for HIMSELF and The UNIVERSITY of FLORIDA. Let him go in PEACE, you guy’s loved the man when he had the program at the TOP. Show him that same LOVE now, he actually made it possible for coach Muschamp to be here and return the program back to its former status. GO GATORS!!!!