CeCe Jefferson is a name Gator fans should get familiar with if they haven’t already.
The Glen Saint Mary Baker County product is already considered one of the top recruits in the class of 2015 with more than 25 offers.
247Sports has him rated five stars and ranked No. 2 overall in the state of Florida and No. 10 nationally. Positionally, the site sees him as a strongside defensive end and the third-best prospect at the position.
In May, the 6-foot-3, 260-pounder named a Top 3 of Alabama, Florida and Florida State. But Jefferson revealed to The Sun that there’s no leaderboard for him and never was.
He does, however, have a favorite.
“I really shouldn’t say this,” Jefferson said reluctantly, “but I just did (the announcement) to get my Twitter followers up. To tell you the truth, that’s all it was. I’ve been to Bama one time, and that was just for a camp. Honestly, Florida is my leader. But I don’t have a top list of schools. I haven’t visited enough places yet. ‘Twitter, I’m sorry.’ ”
A number of factors give the Gators an early edge for Jefferson. For one, he has a family full of Florida fans and grew up rooting for UF.
“If it was up to my parents,” he said, “I’d be signing with Florida right now.”
He also lives 45 minutes away from Gainesville and has been to a handful of games throughout high school.
“Distance really doesn’t matter to me, but it would be nice for my parents to come check up on me whenever they want to,” Jefferson said. “And the gameday environment and atmosphere is just crazy. Coming to The Swamp, day or night, I get chills every time.”
Lastly, Jefferson likes what Will Muschamp and his coaches have to offer on and off the field.
“They’re running a successful program,” he said. “Coach Muschamp, he’s a great guy. He’s all about his players and preparing them for life after football. All the coaches treat you like a son and they have plan for you to succeed.”
Despite all of his high remarks, don’t count on him to join Florida’s class just yet. Jefferson visited UCLA and USC in late June and has trips coming up to Kentucky, Louisville and Ohio State.
He plans on taking his time, using his official visits during his senior season and making a late commitment.
“Florida is sitting good with me, I just need to open my eyes a little bit more and see the country,” Jefferson said. “I’m going to go out with a bang. This is a once-in-a-lifetime chance. I’m blessed to have an opportunity like this and I’m going to take full advantage of it.”
Along the way, Jefferson is sure to receive more hype and recognition as he goes through his recruiting process. Although he welcomes the attention, he has a support system in place to keep him grounded and focused on what’s important.
“All of this feels real good,” he said. “I’m from a town where we have a bunch of athletes that could have been. Thankfully, I was the one to get the publicity and my name out there.
“But I’m going to keep God first and stay humble. I talk to my parents about my recruitment, so they’re really involved. My coaches and my family, they’re with me every step of the way to help me out. So I’m going to make every decision whole-heartedly and do what’s best for me in the end.”