When you’re the nation’s No. 1 outside linebacker, playing time is a priority as you look at colleges.
For five-star recruit Lyndell “Mack” Wilson, Florida’s numbers at his position has him licking his chops.
“I am, I really am,” he said. “I just like to hear coach say it, coach (Geoff) Collins. He just tells me, ‘Look at the depth chart and make your decision.’ And I have been looking at it. They signed one linebacker in the last two years.”
Collins is Wilson’s primary recruiter at UF, and secondary coach Kirk Callahan visited him Monday at his high school (Montgomery, Ala./Carver).
Wilson, a consensus top-50 overall recruit, named Florida his top school last month and the Gators continue to hold the edge in his recruitment.
“I originally had a top 8, but as the season went on I stayed in contact with coaching staff,” Wilson said. “I’ve sat down and watched the scheme and I feel like I can play very well in their defense. I just want to surround myself with great players that’ll get after it.
“One thing I’ve seen about Florida is that they never give up. When they were down against Tennessee and LSU, they came back in the second half and that tells me something about the Florida program.”
The 6-foot-2, 236-pounder attended the UF-LSU game last weekend. The Tigers are Wilson’s No. 2 team on his leaderboard.
“It was a great experience,” Wilson said. “I had never been to a night game before in Baton Rouge. It was great to finally do that and be able to watch a matchup like that.
“Offensively, I think Florida put up enough points to win the game. Defensively, I just feel like they had a lot of mishaps with some of the DB’s and their eyes in the backfield on big plays. But other than the fake field goal, the defense played great in the second half.”
Wilson admits he pulled for the Gators during the game.
“Yeah,” he said laughing, “I was kind of cheering for them. Me and Florida commit Jeawon Taylor were there. We had a little handshake we did every time Florida scored.”
Taylor and Wilson have been close friends for several years. They visited UF on Aug. 1 and plan to return together on an official visit.
“He always talks to me about Florida,” Wilson said of Taylor. “We text each other every day and he’s on me about it. It’s going to play a big role because it would be a dream come true to play with him. When we were younger, we always talked about playing college ball on the same football team.”
Wilson will make his decision on signing day. Florida is the only school guaranteed to receive one of his officials.
For the Gators to strengthen their chances, there is one thing Wilson wants moving forward.
“I just need to build a relationship with coach (Jim) McElwain and coach (Randy) Shannon, who will be my position coach,” Wilson said. “I know (director of player personnel) Drew Hughes really well. He’s from Montgomery also, so that wasn’t hard to get close with him at all. I’m real cool with coach Collins.
“I just need to get to know coach McElwain, which is not going to be hard. He’s a laid-back person and a great head coach. I’m just looking forward to my official visit for that.”
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