Jalen Goss ready for position change with Gators


When it came to Jalen Goss’ commitment, the Gators had an early advantage.

A Gators fan since middle school, Goss verbally committed to coach Jim McElwain and Florida’s 2018 class while visiting Friday for the Orange and Blue Debut game.

A three-star offensive tackle prospect out of Lowndes (Valdosta, Ga.), Goss helped lead the Vikings to a 10-3 record that commenced with a 24-21 loss in the Class 7A quarterfinals.

With Goss at right tackle, the Lowndes offense set nine school records in the 2016-17 season.

But when UF noticed Goss’ potential, Florida’s coaching staff didn’t envision him as a tackle.

Instead, the Gators plan on converting Goss into a tight end, a move he’s meeting head-on.

“I like it, I could get used to playing it,” the 6-foot-5, 250-pound Goss said. “I just want to do whatever I can do to help the team win.”

Goss has some previous experience playing the position, but naturally moved to offensive lineman as his body developed rapidly.

“I did (play tight end) in middle school,” Goss said. “I’m willing to do it. I’m willing to learn again and get better at it.”

It didn’t take long for Florida’s coaching staff to sway Goss on the transition, and the university itself.

“I like that they show they care about you,” Goss said. “I was here earlier today and I went on tour and I liked everything I saw, and I’ve also wanted to come here since I was in middle school. That also had something to do with it, and it’s close to home.”

Goss picked up a scholarship offer from Florida on March 25, giving him more than 20 offers, and the Gators were elated to pick up his commitment.

“They were excited and pumped up about it, and they welcomed me to the family,” Goss said. (Coach Greg) Nord told me that I could really help them. He wants to help me get better.”

Goss said he enjoyed what he saw out of The Swamp in the Orange’s 31-0 victory.

“It’s crazy,” Goss said of Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. “This is the spring game, but I want to see it in a real game.”

With less than 10 months until National Signing Day, Goss said he hopes to spend the cycle convincing prospects to join Florida’s 2018 class.

“That’s what I plan to be,” Goss said. “I want to get my quarterback (Mike Barrett) here.”