5-star Waller picks Gators, touts ‘versatile’ defense

5-star defensive finish Jamonta Waller dedicated to Florida on Monday evening.

Waller (No. 16 within the 2024 ESPN 300), from Picayune Memorial Excessive College in Picayune, Mississippi, turns into the highest-ranked defensive member and second five-star prospect of Billy Napier’s 2024 class. Quarterback Dj Lagway is ranked No. 14 total.

“It simply felt like residence after I went there, each on my common go to and my OV,” Waller informed ESPN. “(Defensive coordinator) Coach (Austin) Armstrong, he recruited me when he was at Southern Miss, Alabama and at Florida. In order that’s very particular to me.

“They achieve this a lot on protection and their protection is so versatile, and that is how I’m as a participant. I can achieve this a lot and I really feel like I am going to simply stand out within the protection and be capable to come off the sting and simply achieve this a lot (and) transfer round quite a bit.”

He is the fourth ESPN 300 participant the Gators have secured a pledge from since Saturday, following linebacker Aaron Chiles (No. 63 total), tight finish Amir Jackson (No. 102) and defensive finish Amaris Williams (No. 279).

The presence of each Waller and Willis Excessive College (Texas) signal-caller Lagway, who dedicated in December, will solely increase Florida’s momentum on the recruiting path. The Gators’ 2024 class is presently ranked eleventh by ESPN, and 9 gamers have dedicated to this system since June 12.

“We prepared, child,” Waller mentioned. “They’re glad I am residence, able to get to work and get The Swamp to the way it was. (This 2024 class goes to get) even higher as a result of I will begin recruiting now.”

Waller — the third-best defensive finish on this yr’s cycle — took official visits to Auburn and Penn State earlier this month.

A 3-sport athlete (soccer, basketball, observe and area), the 6-foot-2, 230-pound Waller recorded 106 tackles, 24 tackles for loss and 11.5 sacks.

Underneath defensive coordinator Armstrong, the Gators’ protection ranked twelfth within the SEC in each whole protection (415.8 YPG) and scoring protection (28.8 PPG) in 2022.

With the infusion of defensive expertise coming into this system this yr and subsequent (10 ESPN 300 recruits mixed) within the final two recruiting cycles, Waller is aware of he will be a part of the change in Gainesville whereas working within the Jack place as an outdoor linebacker.

“I would say my get off might be one of many quickest within the nation,” he mentioned. “My get off and my effort and the way I play the sport. I am going to simply say my effort that I convey to the desk each recreation — not too many on the market that may match it.”

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Revealed : 2023-06-22 12:24:32

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