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Gators make their case for CBs Chester Kimbrough, Derek Stingley Jr.
Cornerback is a big position of need for Florida in their 2019 class, and they’re hoping to fill it with a pair of prospects from Louisiana.
The Gators hosted 5-star CB Derek Stingley Jr. (Baton Rouge) and 4-star CB Chester Kimbrough (New Orleans) for the Orange & Blue Game on Saturday.
“I really enjoyed getting down for a visit,” Stingley told SEC Country. “This was the second time I’ve gotten to do that. It was a nice spring game and there wasn’t a point during the day that I was bored. I just like the environment. I mean, that was a spring game and it was still loud. I was just trying to imagine for a full game with over 90,000 people.”
Last weekend was Kimbrough’s first trip to Florida. He said he enjoyed spending time with the coaching staff and watching the Gators secondary in the spring game.
“I had a good time getting down to Florida and I liked seeing it all. I liked being around the coaches and I had a good time,” Kimbrough said. “They got some savages out there and all the DBs are lockdown. If I came in then I could be that missing piece. It’s appealing for [Florida] to be DBU. I took that in when I first got the offer.”
Had a great visit at the University of Florida! pic.twitter.com/uAGi8bNmIg
— Derek Stingley Jr. (@JrStingley) April 15, 2018
Stingley spoke at length with Gators coach Dan Mullen and cornerbacks coach Charlton Warren, who broke down their depth chart at cornerback and the opportunity for early playing time. Warren even sold Stingley on the prospect of playing with Kimbrough.
“They tell me how they have two really good cornerbacks now and they would be juniors if I came here as a freshman,” Stingley said. “Coach Warren said me and Chester Kimbrough, who is also from the same area as me, that we could come in and be the two guys to play for them.
“They were talking about how I would fit in. Me being a big corner, they can use me as a press guy to eliminate someone or I can be a guy that knows how to use zone coverages. They said I would be perfect for that.”
The possibility of teaming up with Stingley also appeals to Kimbrough, who is ranked as the nation’s No. 24 cornerback in the 247Sports composite. Stingley is ranked No. 2 at his position and 20th nationally.
“That made a huge impact on me because Stingley and I are very close,” Kimbrough said of Florida’s pitch. “Me and him playing and balling together is a dream come true. … They just told me how they really want me. They showed me a chart and said if I follow every aspect of it, then I could fit in. Coach [Dan] Mullen was telling me to have fun with the process and to make it happen.”
— ~Chester Ki〽️brough~ (@chaazz19) April 15, 2018
Where Florida stands with Chester Kimbrough, Derek Stingley Jr.
The Gators are now in the driver’s seat for Kimbrough, who named Florida his No. 1 school following his visit.
“They are the leader right now,” Kimbrough said. “It’s just the legacy and what they bring to the table for me.”
Did Kimbrough think about pulling the trigger while in Gainesville?
“I don’t know about committing,” Kimbrough said after a long pause. “I’m just going to wait and go through the process.”
Stingley named his hometown LSU Tigers his leader in March, and they’re still the team to beat in his recruitment. However, he included the Gators in his top 6 last month, and they moved up his leaderboard after his second trip to Gainesville.
“It helps out their case really good,” Stingley said. “This was my first game, so getting to see all that bumped them up higher. … LSU still leads. They just have been there from the beginning and they were the first to offer me. They know how to talk to me and [have been] building that relationship for three years.”
Kimbrough said he wants to visit Georgia, Michigan and Mississippi State before spring ball starts for him. Stingley said he plans to trim his list to three finalists this summer and will be an early enrollee.
“I have an official visit to the University of Texas on May 5, and then I think I’m going to do something at Florida sometime in the summer. That’s what I’m thinking about,” Stingley said. “I just want to go on these visits with a blank slate and keep an open mind.”
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