Florida made quite the first impression on Dontavius Russell over the weekend.
The four-star defensive tackle from Carrollton (Ga.) visited UF with his parents and teammate, tight end Cole Clark. Afterward, Russell called it the best trip he has taken in his recruitment thus far.
“I had a great experience,” Russell said. “I’ve been wanting to visit Gainesville for a long time and I’m glad I finally got to see everything Florida had to offer.”
The 6-foot-3, 300-pounder had made unofficial visits to Auburn, Alabama, Georgia and Georgia Tech prior to Saturday, but UF stood out because of the interactions with coach Will Muschamp and his staff.
“It was really just me and the coaches on campus, so it was a lot more personalized than the other trips I’ve been on,” Russell said. “I got to see more than I would have at a junior day. I spent time in coach Muschamp’s office and got to hold the National Championship trophy and put the ring on. That was definitley the highlight of my visit.”
Florida was the second school to offer Russell, a day after Georgia Tech, and the UF coaches have been recruiting him the hardest.
“I talk to them the most and they’re really interested in me,” Russell said. “It was good to meet them in person. They told me I can commit at any time and they want me to be a Gator.”
Florida’s football program and academics stand out to Russell, which is a good sign for the Gators given his determing factors.
“I want to play for a good team and get a good education,” Russell said. “Those are the two things that matter most to me.”
Russell claims no leaders at this time and doesn’t have a time table for his decision. He is ranked the nation’s No. 4 defensive tackle and 68th overall by 247Sports.
Defensive back Edward Paris (Arlington, Texas/Mansfield Timberview) did not visit Florida over the weekend as planned and committed to LSU on Monday.