GAINESVILLE, Fla. — For most of the Florida football players, seeing the program’s new ambassador/consultant Steve Spurrier observing practices this month has been their first up-close encounter with the legendary Head Ball Coach.
But not so for one of the newest Gators, junior college transfer Dre Massey.
Massey, versatile receiver who projects to be one of the team’s most impactful newcomers, was actually recruited by Spurrier at South Carolina before his academics forced him to go the junior college route and again as a JuCo recruit.
“I had a couple offers out of high school. Actually, Steve Spurrier was recruiting me out of high school,” Massey revealed Thursday. “Everybody knew my grades, I wasn’t going to make it, so I had to go the JuCo route and then I kind of got back on track and got some offers. I heard from Steve Spurrier, actually, but I felt like the best fit was to come here.”
Massey starred at Mauldin High School near Greenville, S.C., where as a senior in 2013 he passed for 2,798 yards and 28 touchdowns and rushed for 2,050 yards and 34 scores.
He and Spurrier have had a few interactions so far since the former Gators and Gamecocks head coach has returned to Gainesville.
“We reminisce and stuff,” Massey said.
So if Spurrier wouldn’t have retired midway through last season, could Massey have ended up a Gamecock instead of a Gator after his time at Holmes Community College in Mississippi?
“I think they’d of had a better chance, but I kind of knew he wasn’t (going to be there long) so I was like, ‘I’m not even going to go there,'” Massey said.
It worked out well for both guys in the end.
Spurrier will get to watch Massey up close nonetheless this fall, from whatever game day vantage point he chooses for himself inside Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.
Ryan Young is a Florida beat writer for SEC Country and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.