JUCO DL officially visiting Florida next month


In the past two recruiting cycles, Florida looked to the JUCO ranks for linemen and found success at the same school in consecutive years.

The Gators landed Damien Jacobs in 2012 and returned to East Mississippi C.C. to sign defensive tackles Darious Cummings and Jarran Reed in the last class.

UF is hoping to have similar results at Georgia Military College in Milledgeville, Ga.

Florida has stopped by Lambert's school twice this spring. (Photo by 247Sports)

Florida defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin and defensive line coach Brad Lawing were at the school Wednesday to evaluate defensive lineman DaVonte Lambert. He is former teammates with 2013 offensive tackle signee Trenton Brown, who enrolled at UF on May 13.

“Me and Trenton have a pretty good relationship,” Lambert said. “Going against him in practice last year taught me a lot. He helped me use my hands and get off blocks better, and now I know what to do in the pass rush.”

Nowadays, the two don’t discuss recruiting much when they talk on the phone.

“He’s already told me enough about Florida,” Lambert said. “He made it clear that the coaches don’t lie and I’m seeing it right now. They’re not promising me I can come in and start. They’re promising me an opportunity and that’s all I’m looking for.”

UF offered Lambert last month and, unlike some schools, have consistently communicated with him.

“College coaches look at a player’s film and say, ‘OK, I like him. I’m going to offer him.’ But then they never talk to them again. I’ve been getting that a lot.” Lambert said. “But with Florida, they call every week to talk and check up on me. It’s a good feeling to know they really want me.”

The Gators aren’t alone. Lambert has offers from several SEC schools and currently lists Florida, Georgia and Tennessee as his Top 3 with no leader. The 6-foot-3, 278-pounder plans to see all three favorites next month, including an official visit to UF on June 15.

It will be Lambert’s first trip to Gainesville.

“I’m really looking forward to seeing how the players and coaches act. The love they show me and family is a big deal to me. I also want to see to the education and if I have a chance to come in and play,” said Lambert, who would like to reach a decision before his seasons starts.


  1. He’s got old teammates on this team, they can tell him where he can fit in. It will be up to him to solidify his spot if he thinks he can fit in here. He knows from the jump that NOTHING is GIVEN here at FLORIDA, it’s ALL EARNED. GO GATORS!!!!

  2. The ability to stop the run with a front 4 is crucial to playing great sound defense. Muschamp’s staff didn’t sign a H.S. DT their first year and paltry number the last two classes. Which is why Muschamp is turning to JUCO signees.

    The problem with JUCO players:

    1. In 30 years we have not had a JUCO player make a meaningful contribution. Reggie Nelson withstanding, who was a top 100 player coming out of HS, the rest have not been able to get ahead of Gator and SEC talent.

    2. The talent pipeline cycle gets diluted. Instead of offering the scholarship to a player with 4-5 years, it goes to a player for 2 years. The staff has to recruit, orientate, teach the plays 2 times in 4 years when they give a s‘ship to a JUCO player. Very in efficient.

    3. Indication a position hasn’t been adequately recruited and the position is a weakness on the team. Having a weak DT position in the SEC is trouble.

    Based on virtually every JUCO player doing little to nothing in the history of the Gators, I don’t think for a minute the next one we recruit will do any more. The odds and history are overwhelmingly against it.

  3. @ gatorsidney, you made some good points and all three may be legit. But look at it in a different light, if we haven’t gotten any Good H.S. DT and that is a weakness what is the next BEST thing for the coaches to do? JUCO!! That have some advantages to it also (experience and game ready) History is a good thing to look back at sometimes but to know the present and prepare for the future is a virtue as well. If these JUCO players can bridge the gap for us in the present, its the SMART move to make for present and near future (while you address the slightly distant future). This Player (if we get him) will be a GREAT addition to the TEAM that we already have assembled. We are working on all our weaknesses, you should be able to see that in the last two recruiting classes. GO GATORS!!!!

  4. We haven’t had much success the last 20+ years w/ JUCO’s is because Spurrier signed 3 and Zook signed 3 or 4. That’s it.

    Jacobs will likely be a starter. Cummings played at FSU for one season. Reed was recruited by Bama and several other SEC schools…so, if he’s a bust, then Bama’s “evaluator’s” did a bad job also.

    If we didn’t have the 3 JUCO DT’s on this year’s roster we’d be in big, big trouble. No way we get through the season w/ Orr, Brantley and Easly as our only options at DT.

    I like the JUCO recruiting and think it’s changed over the last 5 years. UGA, Bama, Tennessee, Auburn and several other SEC schools are having a lot of success w/ it.