As Jim McElwain tries to rebuild Florida football into a championship program, one of his mottos is “recruit daily or die.” Join us here on SEC Country for a daily recap of the latest UF recruiting news , tales from the trail and perspective on what it all means for the Gators. An unlikely fan
Jaquayln Crawford blew up on the recruiting trail in February, earning a total of 10 scholarship offers.
The likes of Auburn, Florida, Georgia and Oklahoma entered the race for the 4-star athlete from Rockdale, Texas.
“It’s pretty cool,” Crawford said of his recruitment. “It’s like nothing else I’ve ever experienced. Schools you’ve dreamed of going to wanting you to attend their college, it’s special.”
Surprisingly, the dream school for Crawford isn’t an in-state program. It’s actually UF, which offered him on Feb. 21.
“Florida was my favorite school growing up,” he said. “Every Saturday I was watching Florida play. So that (offer) was pretty big for me considering that’s the school I’ve always wanted to go to.”
Crawford still watches the Gators regularly and likes role they have for their top wide receiver.
“Offensively, I see how they’re using Antonio Callaway now and just giving him the ball however they can,” Crawford said. “He make plays deep and in the return game.”
The 5-foot-10, 170-pound prospect plays both sides of the ball in high school and is also a return specialist. Crawford could be a cornerback or receiver at the next level, but he has a preference.
“Wherever I can get on the field fast,” Crawford said. “I prefer to play offense, but if I can play my freshman year on defense and my junior year on offense, I’ll play defense without a doubt. So that’s how that goes.”
In addition to Florida, Georgia, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Texas and Texas A&M are recruiting him the hardest. Crawford claims his recruitment is still open, but one school is guaranteed to receive a visit.
“I’m definitely going to Florida this summer,” Crawford said. Bigger in Texas
The Gators continue to pick their spots in Texas when it comes to recruiting.McElwain has signed a prospect from the Lone Star State in each of his three classes at UF, including wide receiver Tyrie Cleveland.Former Florida coach Urban Meyer had five Texas players in three of his first four classes. Then from 2009-14, the Gators didn’t land any recruits from the talent-rich state.That has changed under McElwain with four signees thus far. The Gators have offered 13 prospects from Texas for 2018, including Crawford and fast-rising offensive tackle Rafiti Ghirmai . Miss a previous Gator Chomps notebook? Find every daily recap of Florida Gators recruiting right here . Unless otherwise indicated, ratings and rankings come from the 247Sports composite.