Florida is No. 2 nationally in total defense through the first five weeks of the season, but there has been one issue with the unit so far.
The safety position.
UF coach Will Muschamp is still shuffling players at both spots in search of solidified starters.
Jamal Adams has taken notice.
“He does his homework,” said his father, George, “and I do mine. We see there’s a good opportunity to come there and compete for a starting job. To be honest with you, that’s the situation that we want.”
ESPN and Rivals ranks Adams as a Top-30 overall recruit and the nation’s No. 3 safety. He is a five-star on Scout.
The Under Armour All-American wants to go a school where he can showcase that talent, and Florida offers him the chance.
“He’s been a starter since his freshman year of high school, and it would be hard for him not to play,” Adams said. “I really think he’s prepared and ready to go for college.
“He’s not scared of competition, but we don’t want to be in a numbers game. At the same time, I don’t want anybody to tell us, ‘Jamal, you can come in and start.’ No, I don’t like that. You gotta earn it.”
His father believes that would be the case in Gainesville. He and his wife joined their son on his official visit to UF on Sept. 21. At the Tennessee game, they were encouraged to see true freshman cornerback Vernon Hargreaves in the starting lineup.
“That just lets us know what the coaches are telling him is true, that they will play the best players,” Adams said. “That showed us these coaches are not lying to us.
“I know about recruiting. You tell them what they want to hear. But going to the game, we saw it. In your first year, you can get on the field if you come in and show them you’re ready to play.”
Adams also attended Florida’s summer camp with his son, but their latest trip raised the bar.
“It was first class,” he said of the official visit. “The highlight was everything. We went to (Texas A&M) before we came to Florida, and it was totally different. I’m just so excited about it, man. Make a long story short, they just rolled out the red carpet.”
Distance is not an issue for the Lewisville (Texas) Hebron standout due his unique relationship with one of Florida’s coaches.
“One big factor is Joker Phillips,” Adams said. “He’s my son’s godfather. Me and him are best friends. He was the best man at my wedding. We were roommates at Kentucky. So he would have family there. It’s a long way (from Texas), but we would feel secure because of coach Phillips. It potentially helps Florida out a lot.”
Another person that makes UF appealing to Adams is Muschamp, who coaches his position.
“That’s a big factor, and it’s something me and him talked about,” Adams said. “I told him, ‘Ain’t nothing better than to be coached by the head coach.’ To get that from Muschamp would be the best thing to do.
“Now, we know he can get fiery and rowdy at times. If you do something wrong, you’re going to get jumped on. If you doing something good, he’s going to be all wound up. But my son likes that. That’s the way he is. So I know it’s a good fit for him.”
The 6-foot, 199-pounder plans to make his commitment in November after taking three more official visits to Ohio State, Ole Miss and Texas. Although there’s still time and trips left in his recruitment, the Gators appear to be great position with him judging by what he will base his decision on.
“Getting that opportunity and the right fit,” his father said.