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.”