Jordan Sherit seems to have a habit, for better or worse.
Each time the four-star defensive end visits a school, there always comes a point when he considers making a commitment.
“Every place I visit,” Sherit said, “I do think about it.”
Saturday’s trip to Florida was no different, other than the fact that he thought about pulling the trigger more than he ever has before.
“Of course,” Sherit said when asked if he pondered picking the Gators. “It was a great day. This was like the pinnacle of all my Florida visits. So that did cross my mind a couple times, it really did.”
This was the first time Sherit has been the lone recruit on a college campus, and the attention he received from the UF coaching staff made it his best visit thus far.
“The fact that I was singled out and the focus wasn’t on other guys like it is for games and Junior Day, that meant a lot,” Sherit said. “I had a great time talking to coach (Will) Muschamp and all the coaches. They could have been elsewhere. Coach Muschamp’s son was playing flag football, so he could have been out there all day. But he decided to spend some time with me too and show me around, and that’s a true blessing.”
The 6-foot-4, 238-pounder was shown a side of Gainesville that he hadn’t seen on his previous stops.
“Seeing all the sights down there was really fun,” he said. “It’s just a beautiful place. In my opinion, it’s one of the top universities in the country. Athletically and academically, there’s a great combination there. I talked to academic advisers and ambassadors of the school in the Honors College. I saw the O’Dome for the first time and I even got to see alligators. I thought I had done everything in Gainesville, but I was wrong. So as far as visits go, it’s one I’ll remember forever.”
What made it even more special was sharing the experience with both of his parents. Sherit’s father was with him when he attended Junior Day in February, but Saturday was his mother’s first trip to Florida.
“I thought it went very well for my mom,” he said. “One thing that I was stressing a lot is that it’s a true college environment. Some schools just have football and academics. So she was very excited about that facet of the visit. And it was just great for her to hear coach Muschamp talk about the program and the plans for the future. Having both of them with me to see a school I’m looking very serious into and getting their opinion, which is something I value very highly, was definitely important to me.”
The Tampa Hillsborough prospect said his parents were drawn to UF’s closeness to home, which could play a factor in his recruitment.
“They were really excited about how easy it is to get from Tampa to Gainesville and back in a day. That was a big thing for them. At the end of the day it’s my decision, and I’ll go wherever the game of football takes me. It could be Hawaii, it doesn’t matter to me. I’m looking for the best fit, but obviously having a school closer to home is a plus. I get to see my family a lot more often, so it’s definitely an advantage.”
Another advantage for the Gators is their need for defensive ends. Florida has none in the 2013 class and there aren’t many spots left, so Sherit is a high priority for Muschamp & Co. But they won’t push for a commitment until the Rivals100 member is prepared to decide.
“They have 15 commitments and coach Muschamp was saying they’re going to take 22,” Sherit said. “Right now they don’t have any defensive ends, so he was talking about how important me coming to Florida is for him. He said, ‘Our evaluation is done and we want you to be a Gator, now it’s time for you to evaluate us. But we want you to be a Gator when you’re ready. We won’t pressure you into making a decision.’ And that was huge to hear. I’ve been to other schools and they pressured me into committing while I was there. So I’m glad coach Muschamp put it that way, and that gave me an even better relationship with him and the staff.”
Sherit’s evaluation of UF is now complete with Saturday’s visit and there’s nothing left for the Gators to show him. His next step is checking out some other schools and developing a leaderboard. He is also considering Miami, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma and Stanford.
“Florida’s going to win games this year and be competitive in the SEC,” Sherit said. “And their recruiting class this year is one of the best. It’s not a matter of me evaluating Florida anymore. Especially growing up with the Gators being the powerhouse that they were and I believe they will be again sometime real soon. I’ve seen what there is to see and I’ll definitely be back to watch some games. Now it’s just a matter of me going to other places, comparing and contrasting, and seeing if they can measure up to this visit. That’s something I’ll do in the summer and I might take some officials.”
Photos taken from Sherit’s twitter account.