Florida still leads for T.J. Slaton, a U.S. Army All-American

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Tedarrell “T.J.” Slaton named Florida his leader earlier this month when he arrived in San Antonio for the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.

Coming off his official visit to UF last weekend, the Gators still hold the edge for the 4-star defensive tackle from Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

“That was my vibe I got from him,” said Travis Spiva, an assistant coach at American Heritage High School. “I know he’s still going to be visiting Georgia this weekend, but my opinion is that in his head he knows UF is where he wants to be.”

Two of Slaton’s teammates, 4-star cornerback Marco Wilson and 3-star linebacker James Houston , are members of Florida’s 2017 class. A third teammate, 4-star offensive tackle Kai-Leon Herbert , officially visits the Gators this weekend.

The possibility of playing with Herbert, Houston and Wilson at UF is appealing to Slaton.

“I think it helps a lot,” Spiva said. “I think that’s one of the big things about UF with him is he wants to be around people that he’s familiar with. He’s played with a lot of those kids going there or that like UF a lot.”

The 6-foot-5, 350-pound prospect is ranked the nation’s No. 2 offensive guard, but wants to play defensive tackle in college. Spiva believes Slaton is more suited for that spot.

“I always told him I thought he was going to be a D-tackle, and that’s what he did mostly at the Army game,” Spiva said. “I think that’s why Florida and Georgia are the schools he’s mentioning most now because they have been talking defensive tackle.

“He’s real athletic and he’s naturally strong. He isn’t a guy that lives in the weight room but when he’s in there he can put 400 on the bar and do it without trying.” T.J. Slaton is ranked the nation’s No. 69 overall recruit. (Andrew Ivins, 247Sports) Unless otherwise noted, ratings and rankings come from the 247Sports Composite.