GAINESVILLE, Fla. — When cornerback Brad Stewart committed to Florida in this past recruiting cycle, he encouraged fellow New Orleans-area native Ja’Marr Chase to keep an eye on the Gators.
Chase was on campus at Florida this week to take part in the program’s “Friday Night Lights” recruiting showcase for the second year in a row, and liking what he saw and heard from the coaches. He said he was now ready to talk with Stewart a little more in-depth about the Gators.
“We’re pretty close. I used to hang with him back in New Orleans. But after tonight, I think I’m going to talk to him after this,” Chase said inside The Swamp after the event Friday evening.
The 247Sports composite ranks Chase as a 4-star recruit, the No. 21 wide receiver nationally in the 2018 class, the No. 4 overall prospect at any position in the state of Louisiana and the No. 106 overall prospect in the country.
The 6-foot-1, 195-pound receiver from Archbishop Rummel High School in Metairie, La., is considering Florida, TCU and LSU and says he has no ranking among the three and no timeline in mind for his decision.
“All three schools are still the same,” he said.
Chase did have a timeline in mind for his commitment, planning to announce his decision live on NFL Network during The Opening recruiting showcase in Oregon a few weeks ago. But a scheduling snafu bumped his time slot and he decided not to make an announcement.
“I looked at that as a sign. I wanted to make sure everything was perfect for me,” Chase said Friday night. “… Whichever one I’m comfortable with the most, that’s how I’m going to make my decision. Whenever that happens I’ll be ready.”
At the time, it was expected he was picking between TCU and LSU, but he spoke highly of the Gators after this recent visit.
While it was raining a year ago when he attended “Friday Night Lights,” Chase enjoyed the opportunity this time to finish up inside The Swamp and envision what it would be like playing inside the stadium.
During the drills that took part earlier in the evening at the team’s indoor practice facility, Chase showed great speed and separation abilities while going up against the cornerbacks at the camp. He didn’t feel he had anything to prove, though, he said.
He was eager to further his relationship with the Florida coaching staff on this visit, and as he wrapped up he felt that had been a success.
“It’s a good place to be. I always want to come back here. Great coaching staff, great football team, SEC, it’s a great place to be,” Chase said. “[The goal this time was] just a relationship with the coaches. That’s what I came to do and I have that now. I like all of them. Coach Skip [Tim Skipper], Coach Kerry [Kerry Dixon], Coach Mac (Jim McElwain), all of them. They’re just good people, they treat me like family. … They say I’d be a great fit.”