CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Clemson and Virginia Tech have been considered the schools to beat for Devon Hunter, but an SEC school has entered the mix.
A visit to Florida last month apparently did the trick.
When listing his top schools of interest at Nike’s “The Opening” regional camp in Charlotte, the nation’s No. 2 athlete from Chesapeake, Va., said “Florida, Clemson, Virginia Tech, UNC, Alabama, Georgia and I’ll throw Notre Dame in there.”
Hunter, who will likely play safety in college and earned an invite Sunday to “The Opening” finals camp in Oregon, isn’t revealing a leader at this time, but named Virginia Tech, Florida and Clemson as the schools recruiting him the hardest.
Two coaches for the Gators and the team’s defensive reputation has made UF a contender.
“Their defense, it’s ‘DBU’ there,” Hunter said when asked what he likes about Florida. “They always have a good defensive line, so that comes with interceptions and turnovers. I like that.”
Hunter said he’s close with Gators defensive backs coach Torrian Gray and quality control coach Mark DeBastiani, who served as the defensive coordinator at Norfolk State for 10 seasons before coming to Florida last year.
DeBastiani is well respected in the state of Virginia, and Hunter’s history with Gray gives the Gators an advantage.
“It actually does because I’ve had a great relationship with him since I was in eighth grade,” Hunter said of the former Virginia Tech assistant. “With him going down there to take on the DB’s and them putting a lot of DB’s in the league, it makes me like them.”
The AJC’s Jeff Sentell contributed to this report.
Unless otherwise indicated, rankings and ratings come from the 247Sports Composite.
DB Devon Hunter
Indian River (VA)
— The Opening (@TheOpening) April 24, 2016