No. 1 JUCO DE Dorian Gerald impressed with UF, has Gators in his final 4 schools

Dorian Gerald took an official visit to Florida on the weekend before Signing Day [Photo by Graham Hall/Special to The Sun]

Those who have followed Dorian Gerald’s recruitment knows he has no shortage of suitors.

Ranked the No. 1 JUCO defensive end in the nation, Gerald has had a full slate of official visits lined up in recent weeks, including taking a mid-week visit to Arkansas before arriving in Gainesville on Friday. In fact, Gerald said he wasn’t positive he would take an official visit to Florida until that morning.

“They were trying to get me down to Ole Miss (this weekend). I planned to come here first, but the first day I got to Arkansas I was like ‘Alright, I’m not going to go to Florida’. I slept on it, the next morning I called (UF) and said ‘I’m coming to Florida’,”, Gerald said. “I really enjoyed myself. It was definitely more than I expected. Florida is a great place, great coaches and the players, I gel well with them.”

Gerald said he wouldn’t have even taken an official visit to UF if it weren’t for defensive coordinator Todd Grantham, whose reputation of developing defensive end prospects appealed to the 6-foot-3, 260-pounder.

“Coach Grantham, we had a really good relationship,” Gerald said. “He has been a lot of places and he has a great reputation for not only good coaching but transforming JUCO guys from when they get to school to developing them to them to get to the league and stuff like that.”

When he arrived in Gainesville, Gerald said it “was definitely more than I expected” and the town wasn’t what he expected.

“I didn’t know, I thought Gainesville was country-backwoods type thing,” Gerald said. “I didn’t know it was nice like this. It really opened my eyes.”

Gerald said the highlights of his trip were on the personal level, and the relationship between the players and new coach Dan Mullen stood out.

“Meeting the people, meeting everyone and seeing them interact with each other,” Gerald said. “A lot of times that’s what I look for I got to a school and see if I wasn’t a football player, could I see myself here. And I could definitely see myself here.”

With just three days until Signing Day, Gerald has a massive decision on his hands, and he’ll decide between the Gators and three other schools around the country.

“Florida, Texas A&M, Arkansas and Louisville,” Gerald said. “(I’m going to) go home, sleep on it and pray. Hopefully God will give me the answers.”


  1. He would be a great addition, I think. As of today we’re sitting at a ranking of #18, not sure if we’ll crack the Top-10 or not this season, but confident that we’ll be higher up within the SEC than we have been recently. Whatever it turns out to be, I feel confident in the players coming in and especially the coaching and development they’ll get once here. Also confident for next season’s recruiting efforts from this staff. GO GATORS!

  2. I pray that God steers Dorian Gerald to the Gators – UF can use a defensive playmaker on the line, and I get the impression that Dorian is a superb edge rusher who can disrupt opposing offenses in many ways.

  3. I have a feeling we’ll end up strong in recruiting rankings…maybe not top ten, but better than anyone might have hoped for a month ago. But I also have a feeling that the new staff will be able to do things with the existing talent that the previous regime was unable to.

    All in all, it’s an exciting time again in the Swamp.

    • I was looking at composite rankings yesterday, Rog, and we were at +/- 3.75 stars average all ratings boards. That’s pretty close to average of 4-Star, so when you throw in whatever comes in before Wednesday, we should look very good in both the metrics and the actual quality. I don’t think that translates to a Top-10 class either, but as you said, it’s more what you do with ’em once you got ’em.

      I swear, I’m coming out for the O&B game this year!

  4. No matter how it shakes out on Wednesday, Coach Mullen and his staff did a great job of going after the kids they need and some will fall our way. For a recruit, Florida is a place where you may be able to get on the field quickly and the coaching development will be there. Mullen will win at Florida and re-establish the Swamp as a feared place to come to for our opponents. It’s going to be tough, hard-hitting and exciting football.

  5. Gator 6 we’ve been ranked in the top ten so I don’t know what you mean about our rankings…we did ok under Mac and was better under muschamp but lacked on offense skill players….was to heavy on defense.