Join us here at 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.
DE Derick Hunter trimming list
Top-200 overall prospect Derick Hunter is ready to narrow more than 40 scholarship offers to a group of finalists.
The 4-star defensive end from Dunbar High School (Fort Myers, Fla.) plans to announce his top 8 on Wednesday and Florida will certainly make the cut.
However, the Gators will not be atop on his list.
Hunter made his long-awaited first trip to Georiga last weekend, attending its spring game and seeing everything the program had to offer. Following his visit, he told DawgNation’s Jeff Sentell the Bulldogs are now his leader.
“Georgia is totally different than Florida,” Hunter said. “I can actually say that because I have seen that now. I can separate them now because I have actually seen Georgia with my own eyes.
“To be honest, I am not going to lie when I say that Georgia fits me more. … No offense toward Florida but [Georgia] fits me. I have seen Florida a lot, but after seeing Georgia I see now that it really kind of does fit me.”
This is not the first time Hunter has named UGA his top school. He also called the Bulldogs his leader after receiving an offer in February, despite never visiting UGA.
The Gators pulled “even” with Georgia in mid-March after Hunter attended Florida’s first spring practices. He was back in Gainesville for the second scrimmage and that visit appeared to put Florida in the driver’s seat, especially when he returned the following weekend for the Orange & Blue Game.
Flroida’s Sal Sunseri could sway Derick Hunter
Hunter strengthened his relationship with Gators defensive line coach Sal Sunseri on his latest trip. The veteran assistant even convinced him to attend Florida’s spring game instead of Miami.
“I can talk to Coach Sal about everything. He’s like a father figure to me. I know if I come to Florida, he’s going to be there and look out for me,” Hunter told SEC Country. “He doesn’t want me to go anywhere else. He wants me to be a Gator. He heard I was going to Miami and hit me up ASAP. He got my mind right and I had to go back to the Swamp.”
Sentell gave his thoughts on Hunter’s bond with Sunseri in the story:
“Hunter really likes what he had seen up to this point in Gainesville. When he speaks about his relationship with Florida defensive line coach Sal Sunseri, Hunter puts a lot of emphasis on his words. Syllables are stressed. He wants them to mean something. Sunseri is a great recruiter. He had a hand in building up that college football dynasty at Alabama.”
The 6-foot-4, 276-pound pass rusher is ranked the nation’s No. 13 strongside defensive end and No. 187 overall prospect in the 247Sports composite. Despite Hunter’s glowing comments about Georgia, his recruitment is far from over.
He has already had a turbulent process thus far, including a de-commitment from Miami and a few different front-runners. There will likely be more shakeups to his leaderboard before Hunter is ready to make a final decision.
Miss a previous Gator Chomps notebook? Find every daily recap of Florida Gators recruiting right here.