Derick Hunter/courtesy
Top-200 DL Derick Hunter named Florida in his top 8 last month.

Despite Georgia’s lead, Florida has inside track for DL Derick Hunter

Zach Abolverdi

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Top-200 overall defensive lineman Derick Hunter (Fort Myers, Fla.) has named Georgia his leader, but I think Florida is actually the school with the inside track to his commitment.

One rule of thumb in recruiting is “follow the visits” when trying to project a player’s college destination. In the case of Hunter, there’s quite a discrepancy between his trips to Athens and Gainesville.

The Gators have hosted him on four visits this year — most recently for the Orange & Blue Game — and Hunter told SEC Country in mid-March he had been to Florida “probably 20 times” dating back to his freshman year of high school.

Georgia’s spring game on April 21 was Hunter’s first-ever visit to UGA.

“I’m comfortable with Florida and that’s going to help them a lot,” Hunter told SEC Country. “I can come to this city and know exactly what to do. I don’t have to pull up my GPS. I know where the mall is. I know where all the facilities are. I know where the food spots are, like Relish. It’s kind of like a second home for me.”

Hunter’s relationship with Gators defensive line coach Sal Sunseri has been well documented and that’s another advantage for Florida. Based on proximity to home and his propensity for visiting Gainesville, Hunter will likely return a handful of times before his decision. The Bulldogs, meanwhile, may only get back him in Athens on a couple occasions.

After checking out UGA last month, Hunter told DawgNation’s Jeff Sentell that Georgia fits him more than Florida and named the Bulldogs his leader. It remains to be seen if Hunter got caught up in the moment or Georgia’s lead is legit.

That will become clear in the coming months as the battle heats up between the Bulldogs and Gators. Hunter also has six other finalists under consideration and plans to take his recruitment deep into the 2019 cycle.

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