January 3rd, 2014 02:00pm

Playing time available at UF appeals to Prince


Five-star OT Damian Prince sees an opportunity at Florida. (Photo by Under Armour)

Damian Prince doesn’t want to be awaiting the offensive tackle throne in college.

He wants it right away.

“I play like a king,” Prince said, “and I feel like I should go somewhere I can show that. I’m not even considering a school where I’ll have to ride the bench.”

Prince has the size and skill to warrant such statement. Rivals ranks the 6-foot-5, 295-pound five-star prospect No. 2 at his position and 10th overall.

He earned more than three dozen offers during his recruitment but is down to five finalists — Florida, Florida State, Maryland, Miami and South Carolina.

Prince gained interest in the Gators recently after their offensive line struggles in 2013. He has developed a strong relationship with UF coach Will Muschamp, who is personally recruiting him.

“Coach Muschamp is a great coach,” Prince said. “I like the fact that he’s honest. Even though he’s got assistant coaches, he still takes the time to make phone calls to me.

“I think he’s going to hire a great offensive line coach just like he did for offensive coordinator (Kurt Roper). I’ve watched Duke play, and I enjoy their style of offense.”

Prince took official visits in November to Florida State and Maryland, two schools that have been considered his leaders for a while. This month he will take trip to South Carolina (Jan. 17), Florida (Jan. 24) and Miami (Jan. 31) before making his decision on Feb. 14.

Prince insists the Gators have a legit shot at him.

“I wouldn’t go down there if they didn’t,” he said. “They just went 4-8 and they don’t have a coach at my position right now, but yet I’m still going to visit them. That should tell you something.

“But other than this season, they won a lot of games over the years. They’re in the SEC, which is a plus. But I just see an opportunity for me to come in and play as a freshman, and that’s big for me.”

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  1. January 3rd, 2014 2:08 pm

    would love to have you prince, but one thing you have to be willing to do and that is to compete, nothing will be giving to you. earn it son, including your degree

    by dub

  2. January 3rd, 2014 2:15 pm

    Feb 14th decision? Is that a typo?

    by jacob

  3. January 3rd, 2014 2:18 pm

    He’s deciding on Feb. 14 to honor his grandmother, who raised him and was born on Valentine’s Day.

    by Zach Abolverdi

  4. January 3rd, 2014 2:43 pm

    How is that possible? Isn’t signing day the 5th?

    by Arizona_Gator

  5. January 3rd, 2014 2:52 pm

    Signing day (Feb. 5) is the first day prospects can sign their letter of intent, but there are a few every year that sign later for various reasons.

    by Zach Abolverdi

  6. January 3rd, 2014 2:54 pm

    You can sign any after National Signing Day. It is a start, not a cutoff.

    by Patrick

  7. January 3rd, 2014 2:58 pm

    Right forgot about that. Get so caught up in that day that I forget the world keeps turning after that day. Haha

    by Arizona_Gator

  8. January 3rd, 2014 3:02 pm

    Happens all the time… How does she factor into decision making process?

    by KR

  9. January 3rd, 2014 3:03 pm

    hey zach, how many recruits can we sign? i know we are close the limit

    by dub

  10. January 3rd, 2014 3:54 pm

    I live down the street from his high school McNamara and hav seen him play, real beast! Would love to get him at UF! Go Gators!

    by Gator fan in MD

  11. January 3rd, 2014 4:27 pm

    Dub, I agree and hope The Prince realizes, that just because we are weak in that area he does not waltz into a (given) spot. I KNOW Champ has been honest with him and told him if he’s the best at that position then it’s his but until then he has to earn whatever he gets at this University. There are others that are going to make it tough on him trying to waltz in and take a spot, others are looking to be wearing that label of starter also. GO GATORS!!!!


  12. January 3rd, 2014 4:49 pm

    Mr Prince, we need you. If you are as good as you claim, you will play. Come on down.

    by Dan Dixon

  13. January 3rd, 2014 5:31 pm

    No one’s gonna give you a position, dude. Get down to Gainesville and earn it. That way you’ ll appreciate it more. I’m sure you’d be a nice fit & the nation would love to have you but ya gotta put in the work. GO GATORS!!

    by baton rouge gator fan (brgf)

  14. January 3rd, 2014 7:05 pm

    Sounds like a future leader up front for the Florida Gators. Come down to Gainesville to a city and campus you’ll love forever.

    by Gatormac

  15. January 3rd, 2014 7:23 pm

    ” Right forgot about that. Get so caught up in that day that I forget the world keeps turning after that day. Haha” – Arizona_Gator RIGHT!!! me too man LOL….

    I kind of agree with Gatormac here…Normally, that kind of talk turns me off to a kid, but I get the impression he wants to play ball and motivation and competition aren’t going to be this kid’s problems. If Champ pulls this kid, that’s going to be a LOT of young talent on the line in this class.

    by Tim

  16. January 3rd, 2014 10:58 pm

    This will be our get back at FSU for Cook. Prince will be a Gator! If he truly is looking at opportunity, there’s no better one than UF. He will have a new OC and OL coach, who will be starting with a clean slate. He will not have to compete against older players who have relationships with the coaches.

    by GIGator

  17. January 3rd, 2014 10:58 pm

    To be honest this would be a great addition and make the loss of Cook and Lane sting less. A great OLine can make even an average back above average.

    by Primo

  18. January 4th, 2014 2:08 pm

    I really love this young man! I like his confidence, his intelligence, and I think he shows very good signs of great team leadership! All these things we would love to have along with his physical size, strength, and ability! Come to University Of Florida, Mr. Prince! Gator Nation Awaits you! Go Gators!!

    by GatorStrong

  19. January 6th, 2014 10:13 am

    I hope he comes to Gainesville, and he should have every right to start day one. The one thing as a Coach you should never do is crush a young kids confidence. Muschamp is notorious for this, did it to Kent taylor, kelvin taylor, and debose. Prince has the confidence you need, and Muschamp wont be involved in the offense anymore. So should be a no brainer for prince, unless he wants to start for a bottom feeder like Maryand.

    by Jay

  20. January 6th, 2014 7:21 pm

    Jay, Muschamp wasn’t around for the start of Debose career. But keep on hating anyway. Good thing you have the facts he kept Kent and Kelvin Taylor off the field also.

    by Ed

  21. January 6th, 2014 8:00 pm

    [...] The Gators’ No. 1 remaining target tweeted “UF got Mike Summers” with smiley faces. Prince also called him “the king” and told one of his Twitter followers that he loved the hire. The Under Armour All-American officially visits Florida on Jan. 24. [...]

    by UF commits, targets like experience of Summers | Gator Prospectus Gator Prospectus - Gator Sports - Gainesville, FL - Archive

  22. January 7th, 2014 4:27 pm

    Sorry Gators, It’s beginning to look like he is trending towards the gamecocks.

    by Elliott

  23. January 11th, 2014 12:05 am

    [...] my update with him last week, there’s been some changes in his [...]

    by Zach's Mail Stack 1/11 | Gator Prospectus Gator Prospectus - Gator Sports - Gainesville, FL - Archive

  24. January 31st, 2014 1:37 pm

    [...] Prince is also a fan of new offensive coordinator Kurt Roper and sees an opportunity to play early at UF. [...]

    by Prince previews UF visit | Gator Prospectus Gator Prospectus - Gator Sports - Gainesville, FL - Archive

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