The Broward County Athletic Association has named St. Thomas Aquinas outside linebacker and Florida Gators 2020 signee Derek Wingo as the county's Male Athlete of the Year, southern division, as announced on Twitter.
Florida's second-highest rated prospect in the 2020 class by the 247Sports Composite, Wingo led the state champion St. Thomas Aquinas defense in sacks with 18 and tackles for loss with 16, while also breaking up two passes and forcing two fumbles. Two years after making a transition from quarterback to a chess-piece defender for the Raiders' defense, Wingo ranked second on the squad in tackles with 62 in 15 games.
Wingo is a member of the inaugural Sports Illustrated All-American second team, and was named the 2019-20 Gatorade Florida Football Player of the Year. Wingo also played in the 2020 U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio this past January. Originally committed to Penn State, Wingo flipped to Florida in the summer leading into the 2019 season and never looked back.
Decorated in accolades, Wingo is expected to take on a big role at Florida, perhaps sooner rather than later.
The incoming freshman, standing at 6-2, 210 lbs., primarily played defensive end at St. Thomas Aquinas but will likely be moved off the ball to linebacker in defensive coordinator Todd Grantham's scheme. An instinctual player and tremendous athlete, as seen over his transition to the defensive side of the ball, Wingo could best be served as the team's heir to in the middle linebacker spot.
However, Florida could certainly get creative with Wingo and use him in the pass rush, given his burst and twitch. One way or another, the Gators will certainly find a way to incorporate the top talent a la Mohamoud Diabate in 2019.