Join us here on SEC Country for a daily recap of the latest Florida recruiting news, tales from the trail and perspective on what it all means for the Gators.
Amari Burney ready to be a Gator
Florida hosted seven official visitors this past weekend, including top-200 overall recruit Amari Burney.
The 4-star athlete from Calvary Christian in Clearwater, Fla., made the trip with his parents. The highlight of their visit was meeting with new Gators coach Dan Mullen in his office.
“My mom and dad loved him,” Burney said. “He really wasn’t talking about football. He was talking about my academics and how he’s going to treat me like his own son and take care of me. That was a big deal to my parents.
“They have to let me go for three or four years to a college and they want a coach they trust. Just me and my family having a one-on-one with Coach Mullen, that was probably one of the best things about the trip.”
Burney committed to Florida on June 1 and didn’t waver on his pledge during the coaching change. With Mullen now at the helm, Burney feels confident in the football program under his direction.
“He knows what he’s doing,” Burney said of Mullen. “He has won national championships before and he has the blueprint to do it again. He’s bringing in people that are on the same page as him, so I can’t wait to get up there and play under him.”
The Gators have major needs at safety and linebacker, and Burney could end up at either position depending on how his body develops at 6-foot-1, 215 pounds. Either way, he’ll have a shot at early playing time in the 3-4 scheme under new defensive coordinator Todd Grantham.
“I feet great about it,” Burney said of Grantham’s defense. “He told me he’s going to move me around to safety, nickel, outside linebacker, and he said I’m going to be blitzing. I loved to blitz in high school, but I could barely do it with the defense we were running.
“Coming into the visit, really my main focus was just sitting down with Coach Grantham and getting a chance to talk to him. Just listening to him talk about defense and how he’s going to use me, I just like what I heard. I’m ready to enroll early in Gainesville.”
Burney, who plans to sign on Dec. 20, is ranked the nation’s No. 15 safety and No. 168 overall prospect in the 247Sports Composite. Gators defensive back Chauncey Gardner served as the host for Burney on his official visit.
“I also wanted to get a feel for the players too, and that’s what happened,” Burney said of his trip. “They got me in my comfort zone and I had fun hanging out with the other commits who were visiting.
“Chauncey Gardner was giving me knowledge on college, just about staying focused and keeping your head on straight. If your dreams are to go to the league, then you can make it happen at Florida.”
Miss a previous Gator Chomps notebook? Find every daily recap of Florida Gators recruiting right here.