Rick Wells was Florida’s first commitment in the 2016 class, and he stayed true to that pledge through National Signing Day despite checking out other schools.
The four-star wide receiver officially visited South Florida and Virginia Tech in January, but his last trip to UF reaffirmed his decision.
“It came down to Florida vs. USF, and that’s a big difference,” Wells said. “Nothing compares to an SEC school.”
Wells said the Hokies didn’t have a shot after he spent three days in Blacksburg, Va.
“It was just cold,” Well said. “I ain’t with that cold. It was boring, too. It’s a good school, but I can’t be cold and bored all the time.”
The following is a Q&A with Wells in the third edition of our Florida recruiting rewind series.
Q: If you could give a junior ONLY one piece of advice about the recruiting process, what would it be?
A: “Take your time and don’t rush it. Weigh all your options and then make a decision.”
Q: What was the most creative thing a school or coach did to get your attention?
A: “Building a family bond, just with the way coach Mac and my parents were talking. They felt really strongly about him and the other coaches recruiting me at Florida.”
Q: What was the biggest rumor about you that wasn’t true?
A: “That I was going to flip. Everywhere I went I heard it. It was just because I had other offers coming in and I was taking visits. But I never thought about flipping.”
Q: What’s the biggest secret you kept during the recruiting process?
A: “There really wasn’t any secrets. Everything was out there with me.”
Q: What is the funniest thing any HEAD coach said to you during the entire recruiting process?
A: “Coach (Wille) Taggart at USF. He told me he never thought a player as good as me would come to his school or that they could recruit somebody like me. That was pretty funny.”
Q: What was your biggest regret during the recruiting process?
A: “Committing so early. I was the first commitment in the class. I just wish I would have waited a little bit.”
Q: What was the funniest story that happened on one of your recruiting trips.
A: “It’s always a funny moment with me and Tyrie (Cleveland). I can’t really describe anything from our visit. We just had fun.”
Q: Describe the impact of cost of attendance on your recruiting?
A: “No, not really. Once they brought it up I was like, ‘OK.’ It sounded good to me.”
Q: Which coach was it the hardest to say no?
A: “It had to be the USF coach. I told him the day before. He just said he had a good time recruiting me and he knows I’ll do well at the next level. He said I was a special kid and he wishes he could have had me.”
Q: Which college would you have considered more seriously if they had offered you earlier in the process?
A: “USF. If they had offered me before I committed, I would have waited on making a decision and looked at them more.”
Q: How much negative recruiting was out there?
A: “There wasn’t really any negative recruiting. Each school had something good to say about other schools. It was all positive.”
Q: Which head coach of a team that you did not sign with was the nicest? Which coach was not the nicest?
A: “Coach (Justin) Fuente at Virginia Tech. He was a nice person overall. I didn’t have any bad recruiters. All of them were nice to me.”
Q: If you were in charge of the NCAA, what’s the one rule you would change with recruiting?
A: “That we’re able to practice with the team once we sign. We should be able to participate in spring practice during our spring break.”