Florida visit made McWilliams feel at home

Missouri DE commit Rocel McWilliams could be another recruit that flips to Florida. (Photo by Zach Abolverdi/The Gainesville Sun)

Missouri defensive end commit Rocel McWilliams made an official visit to Florida this weekend, the first of his recruiting process.

He camped at UF two summers ago, and this trip to Gainesville was an even better experience for him.

“It was great,” he said. “Me and my family loved it. The weather was great. I loved seeing the campus. The coaches and players showed love. It just felt like home.”

McWilliams was a late addition to the visitors list, and it appeared the Gators were making a late run at the 6-foot-3, 240-pounder from Pensacola West Florida Tech.

But they’ve been recruiting him as a Buck/defensive end since November.

“The month before last they started showing interest, and then they ended up offering me,” McWilliams said. “I’ve developed a relationship with coach (D.J.) Durkin, the defensive coordinator.

“I’m from Florida, so the Gators are a team I grew up watching. My family loves Florida, so visiting here was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up.”

The Gators have one of his family members in their corner.

“My dad is a big Florida Gator fan,” he said. “This is his first time being here, so he enjoyed himself. He wants me to make my own decision, but he gave me little hints here and there that he wants me to go to Florida.”

McWilliams, a consensus three-star prospect, admits his parents’ opinion will factor into his final decision, which he plans to make on signing day.

“I want to go somewhere I can feel at home and my parents trust me with the coaches,” he said. “It’s a hard decision to think about. I’m going to sit down with my family and figure things out. That’s why I wanted them to come on this visit with me.”

Missouri coach Gary Pinkel is scheduled Thursday to have an in-home visit with McWilliams, who will officially visit the Tigers the following day.

Where do things currently stand with his pledge to Mizzou?

“I don’t know right now,” he said. “I’m weighing my options. I just have to see how my trip goes up there next weekend.”


  1. I’m also from Pensacola. I played football in Kansas for 2 years. The question I have for you is DO YOU KNOW HOW COLD IT GETS UP THERE??? Stay in Fla and be closer to home where your Dad can come see play in WARM weather.

  2. I’m curious, isn’t Carter the guy that the Gators want badly? When the Gators started to scramble for running backs and receivers, it was a hint they knew what was going to happen with Cook and Lane. I thought UF was always the leader for Carter, has they changed? This guy sounds like Plan B.

  3. If both Carter and McWilliams sign with us we will just have to over sign. I know we sill probably over sign about three to four players any way, no since in letting good players go. The staff should know how many over signs that we can get away with. Bama does it every year, over sign 30 players (EXAGGERATION). Snowprint if you don’t have a plan “B” you don’t really have a plan (that’s called a dream). GO GATORS!!!!

  4. I’ve read they’re looking at McWilliams for Buck, not necessarily DE. Carter would be a straight DE. But with the hiring of Jeremy Pruitt to UGA, and Carter being from Norcross, he’s UGA’s to lose and that’s very unlikely. Mizzou has been recruiting McWilliams all along. Lot’s of ground to make up.

  5. really like the kid and i hope he comes down to uf..defense will never be a problem under champ and im gaining confidence that the offense will improve greatly.. the only problem i have is champ converts too many players to play a different positions than they did in high school..sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesnt but i would like to see us recruit players and keep them at their position instead of assuming they cant play because of size..for example showers was mainly a ball carrier in high school flipped to db and now is back on the o…but with all that said i still trust champ and i know he’ll get us back to the big stage..GO GATORS!!!