GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Dameon Pierce’s pledge to the Florida Gators over the weekend sent shockwaves through the recruiting world and solidified the Gators as the nation’s hottest team on the trail.
The addition of Pierce also means UF will sign a pair of running backs in the 2018 class for the fourth cycle in a row. With the Gators’ current players and their recent recruiting haul, they could have the SEC’s best backfield in a couple years.
Here’s a closer look at the new Florida commit.
4-star running back Dameon Pierce
Position: Running back
Weight: 205 pounds
High school: Bainbridge (Bainbridge, Ga.)
Rankings: No. 9 running back, No. 186 overall prospect (247Sports composite)
Details of his decision: Pierce visited Florida on March 18 and de-committed from Alabama two months later, with interest in the Gators as well as Auburn, Florida State and Georgia. Pierce attended Friday Night Lights and the trip blew him away, prompting him to return to campus less than a week later for a second visit. The Tigers were considered the team to beat coming out of July, but Pierce made a surprise pledge to the Gators last weekend and unexpectedly ended his recruitment.
— Dameon Pierce (@IRep229) August 6, 2017
How he fits in: After signing a pair of dynamic backs with speed and elusiveness in the 2017 class, the Gators wanted some downhill runners with power and physicality for 2018. Iverson Clement and Pierce fit the bill, providing running backs coach JaJuan Seider with two new toys who have different skill sets than Florida’s current players at the position. Seider is getting a sure-handed ball carrier in Pierce, who has 715 rushing attempts (4,656 yards) in high school with zero fumbles.
Chances of playing early: Jordan Scarlett could leave early for the NFL draft if he has a productive junior season, and 2017 is the final season for senior Mark Thomspon. Malik Davis and Adarius Lemons are incoming freshmen and could contribute this season, but Lamical Perine should be Florida’s feature back in 2018. The Gators will need a fourth back in their rotation next season and Pierce could be the guy as a true freshman.
— Hudl (@Hudl) August 9, 2017