Florida football: Former Dunnellon High standout Ja’Quavion Fraziars emerging in Gators passing game

Graham Hall
Special to The Sun
Florida wide receiver Ja'Quavion Fraziars scores the second touchdown of the game in the first half Saturday against Vanderbilt at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.

They may have most of the acclaim, but quarterback Anthony Richardson and wide receiver Trent Whittemore aren’t the only playmakers hailing from the Gainesville area who are contributing on the field this season for the Florida football team. 

As the Gators prepare to take on LSU, Dunnellon native Ja’Quavion Fraziars appears to be emerging as a reliable target in the passing game after finding the end zone in consecutive contests for Florida. 

On his lone target of the night, Fraziars hauled in a seven-yard touchdown in the 20-13 loss to the Wildcats on Oct. 2, which marked the 6-foot-3 wide receiver’s first collegiate touchdown. And against the Commodores on Homecoming, Fraziars caught two five-yard passes, one of which put UF up 14-0. 

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This has long been the plan he’s envisioned; the sophomore Fraziars said he’s dreamed of scoring in The Swamp since before he was a four-star prospect with interest from programs across the country, and contributing at Florida “definitely” means more when considering his early childhood fandom. 

“I was a big Tim Tebow fan. A big Percy Harvin fan,” Fraziars said. “It was just that.” 

Despite growing up just under 45 minutes from Gainesville — ”30 with the right person driving,” he notes — it was anything but easy for Fraziars to rock the orange and blue. Not with the rest of the family donning the garnet and gold. 

“I grew up the only Gator fan in the house, actually,” Fraziars said. “Everybody else is Florida State.”

Don’t think they’ve switched allegiances either now that Fraziars is on his way to becoming a name in the homes of Florida fans. They’ll make the trip north to support him, but that’s where the buck stops. 

"They'll come to the games, but you won't catch them with a Gator shirt on or nothing. They might be in the stands with, like, a bright yellow Laker shirt on or something, that's about it,” Fraziars said. “They're proud of me, of course, but probably not (putting on) the shirt or clothes. Nah, I can't get them in orange and blue."

Though Fraziars’ fandom for Florida has little to do with his actual success on the field – that’s a credit to his work ethic and attitude. He emphasized the importance of having a forbearing attitude when it comes to succeeding at Florida, saying he’s aware of the depth in the ranks at his position. 

“It’s really just longterm. I know where I want to be in life. I know what I have to do. How patient I have to be with the coaches, the people ahead of me in my position and just learning as time goes on,” Fraziars said. “I had Trevon Grimes, Justin Shorter, all the older guys, Jacob Copeland to look up to while I’m still young.” 

Unlike his devotion to the Florida program, it’s an approach he learned from his family.

“Just being raised back where I’m from,” he said, “that’s what everybody used to tell me: Just listen to your elders.” 

When older wide receivers pointed to film study, Fraziars listened. 

“Getting into the film room early, maybe, like, 30 minutes early, not a lot of time,” he said. “Studying the game plan over and over again. Whether it be at receiver, special teams, you know, just doing my job each week."

When his position coach, Billy Gonzales, stressed the need to improve as a blocker, he worked at that, too. 

“It’s always been just as important as catching the ball. When you catch the ball as a receiver, you expect other people to turn and block for you,” Fraziars says. “You would want that, so give it to other people.”

Fraziars puts on the muscle

Upon arriving at UF and receiving access to all of the resources necessary to build muscle mass, Fraziars prioritized getting into peak physical condition under the watch of strength and condition coordinator Nick Savage, though he had already fallen in love with the weight room. Having weighed 185 pounds at Dunnellon, Fraziars is now listed at 220 pounds on UF’s official roster. Weight he said limits the ability of defensive backs to bump him off his routes. 

“Once I got serious working out in high school,  it kind of just flowed over to college. I didn't take the weight room seriously until, like, junior year in high school. And that's when I started really, like putting on weight,” Fraziars said. “But once I got here it was actually like, it was schedules. Like, Coach Savage had us on a meal plan, you know, protein shakes all that, and I just ran with that. Gained as much weight as I could."

Like Richardson and Whittemore, Fraziars appears to have a promising UF career in front of him, though to attain it he knows he must stay on the path, the one that led him to this point. 

“Just go with the flow, do as you’re told, buy into the game plan each week and everything will be successful,” Fraziars said. “It’s all about winning — you can’t be selfish in college football.” 


Who: No. 17 Florida (4-2, 2-2 SEC) vs. LSU (3-3, 1-2)

When: 12 p.m. 

Where: Tiger Stadium, Baton Rouge, La.


Radio: 103.7-FM, AM-850