Saturday was his first visit to UF in seven months, but well worth the wait. Surtain witnessed a thrilling finish in The Swamp, with the Gators defeating the Vols on a last-second Hail Mary.
“It was great,” Surtain told SEC Country afterward. “They performed well. The offense picked it up toward the end of the game, the defense did their thing. It was an all around great team win.”
Florida made the cut for Surtain in late August when named six finalists, including Alabama, Clemson, Florida State, LSU and Ohio State. He admits Florida’s chances improved after his latest trip.
“Yeah, it did,” Surtain said. “Just the atmosphere, you know. The vibe, the fans, the staff. I felt a great relationship with the coaches today. You could feel the brotherhood they have — the teammates. They get along with each other.”
When asked if long-time leader LSU continues to hold the edge, Surtain said the Gators and others have closed the gap on the Tigers.
“It’s an evened-out race,” he revealed. “LSU is still up there.”
The Gators have also secured a pair of return trips from Surtain, who dismissed the perception that Florida isn’t a contender in his recruitment.
“I’ve always liked Florida. I don’t know why people have been saying that,” Surtain said. “I’m thinking about making a trip to the LSU game. I haven’t set (an official visit) up, but I know most likely I’m going to take one (to Florida) after the season.”
Surtain plans to officially visit some other finalists as well before deciding on National Signing day. He is ranked the nation’s No. 1 cornerback and No. 4 overall prospect in the 247Sports Composite.