As Jim McElwain tries to rebuild Florida football into a championship program, one of his mottos is “recruit daily or die.” Join us here on SEC Country for a daily recap of the latest UF recruiting news, tales from the trail and perspective on what it all means for the Gators.
First SEC offer
Quay Walker released his top 5 last week, and the list was made up entirely of SEC teams.
The 4-star linebacker from Cordele, Ga., included Florida on his leaderboard along with Alabama, Auburn, LSU and South Carolina. The Gators were first to the party on Walker’s recruitment.
“The reason they’re in it is because they’re the first SEC school that offered me,” Walker said. “It’s a school I grew up liking and fell in love with.”
The 6-foot-4, 220-pound Walker is ranked the nation’s No. 11 outside linebacker and the No. 196 overall prospect in the 247Sports Composite. Walker told SEC Country that Alabama is his top school, but he’s yet to visit Florida.
“I’ve never been there, but I’m anxious to get there. I can’t wait,” said Walker, who doesn’t plan on committing until the fall. “The coaching staff texts me every day to check up on me and see how I’m doing. That plays a big part of it.”
2019 DE has Florida ties
Walker isn’t the only Georgia defender the Gators got a jump on.
Florida was also the first SEC school to offer Derrick McLendon, a 2019 defensive end from Tucker, Ga.
Gators coach Jim McElwain and defensive line coach Chris Rumph made the offer to McLendon last summer after he camped at Florida.
“First, I went to their satellite camp last year,” McLendon told SEC Country’s Pete Scantlebury. “Coach Rumph was like, ‘We want you to come down to our Sensational Sophomore Night. We can’t offer you a scholarship here, it’s illegal.’
“So I went down there, he introduced me to Coach McElwain. I had a great camp, and Coach McElwain didn’t waste any time. He was like, ‘We want to offer you a scholarship. You’ll look great in blue and orange.’ That’s when my dreams started becoming reality.”
Since then, McLendon has received offers from Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and Tennessee.
The 6-3, 220-pound prospect has ties to UF. His parents are Florida fans, and one of his family members was a linebacker for the Gators from 1998 to 2001.
“My cousin Andra Davis played at Florida,” McLendon said. “I grew up in a family full of Florida Gators. I wasn’t a Florida Gator, but my dad always told me Florida would be my first big offer, and he was telling me that from the age of 7.”
McLendon received an offer from the Crimson Tide on April 27 and lists them as his top team. He also plans to visit Southern Cal and UCLA this summer.
Miss a previous Gator Chomps notebook? Find every daily recap of Florida Gators recruiting right here.