Gators 2021 class lands 6-foot-6 DT Desmond Watson

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David Turner

Florida’s 2021 class landed one of its top remaining targets Thursday when 6-foot-6 defensive tackle Desmond Watson committed to coach Dan Mullen and the Gators over Texas A&M.

Ranked the No. 21 defensive tackle in the 2021 class in 247Sports’ composite rankings, Watson recently narrowed his decision to UF and TAMU and initially planned to commit sometime in August, several months after visiting Florida’s campus March 7 for Junior Day.

“I feel like that is going to be the best school to develop me and get me to the next level,” Watson said of the Gators, adding his skill-set is needed at UF. “They’ve been saying that I was going to be a bigger interior threat, and push the pocket, and be a run-stopper. I feel like I could go in and make a big impact early. That was basically the message.”

The 350-pound Watson, whose brother, Darrian McNeal, played wide receiver for the Oregon Ducks, is the 23rd prospect to join UF’s 2021 class, which is currently ranked No. 11 by 247Sports. He said he’s been able to workout and stay in shape during the COVID19 pandemic; but, like most elite 2021 prospects, he’s looking forward to taking the field again sooner rather than later.

“I’ve been lucky that we’ve been working out and stuff like that, but I’m ready to get the season started,” he said.

And as soon as it’s approved by the NCAA, he plans on taking a visit back to Gainesville this time, the hope for both Florida and Watson is it’s an official one prior to his signing.

“I’ll be up there as soon as everything opens back up,” Watson said.