GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Florida has officially signed five-star defensive end Antonneous Clayton, adding another tremendous talent and potential first-round pick to its defensive line. Clayton holds the highest ranking for a UF signee in the 247Sports Composite.
With his letter of intent in, the Gators have now inked at least one ESPN 300 recruit ranked 11th overall or higher for nine consecutive years.
The 6-foot-4, 236-pounder from Vienna (Ga.) Dooley County became one of the nation’s elite prospects after dominating at the Under Armour All-America practices.
“That week, I really showed up and proved my point,” Clayton said. “When I get to Florida, they’re going to develop me into a better pass rusher and a more disciplined player. Gator Nation, you got a dog coming in.”
Clayton’s high school coach, Jimmy Hughes, said his standout player raised the bar as a senior.
“He’s developed over the last year and a half into a pretty doggone good football player,” Hughes said of Clayton. “I believe his best football is ahead of him. I think he’s got so much more to learn, and he’ll get excellent coaching when he goes to Florida. I can’t wait to watch him play in college.”
Clayton is looking forward to playing under UF defensive coordinator Geoff Collins and defensive line coach Chris Rumph.
“Me and coach Collins talk a lot about the defense,” Clayton said. “He does a good job of taking the abilities and skills of his players and focusing the scheme around that. He wants to use me in the role Alex McCalister had.
“Coach Rumph is an honest, down-to-earth person. He just keeps it real with me. He doesn’t sugarcoat anything or beat around the bush. He tells you how it is, and that’s the type of person I am. We have a great connection and I can’t wait to play for him.”
“I was always fully committed to UF,” Clayton said. “I can’t wait to get there with this class we got coming in. I think we’re going to do big things at Florida.”