Versatile DB, Teammate of Two Florida Gators Commits Recaps Offer
The Florida Gators continue to dig into the talent coming out of Grayson High School in Loganville, Ga., after offering 2023 defensive back Michael Daugherty on May 18th.
Daugherty's recruitment has taken off over the past week, as ten Power Five schools have offered him since May 16th. Being a 2023 prospect, Daugherty hasn't begun taking virtual visits during the coronavirus pandemic, but is excited to begin checking out the schools that have shown interest when in-person recruiting opens back up, including Florida.
"I've been in contact with [assistant director player personnel] coach [Jamar] Chaney, as well as [cornerbacks coach] Torrian Gray," Daugherty told AllGators on Wednesday. "But I have made contact with coach Chaney and he let me know that after review and evaluating, he and Torrian Gray want to offer me."
The 6-0, 175 lb. defensive back made an immediate impact as a freshman, seeing action in 12 games and recording 32 tackles and three defended passes. Grayson finished the season 11-2 and advanced to the quarterfinals of Georgia's 7A playoffs.
Perhaps even more impressive is Daugherty's versatility as a freshman, playing not only cornerback, but nickel corner and free safety in 2019. Daugherty prides himself on such versatility, and believes it allows him to stand out as a prospect.
"I think that's such an underrated trait nowadays. Especially with how complex some schemes are at certain schools," said Daugherty. "I worked so hard to just understand one spot, but being able to play several adds more value to yourself as a player."
"Some skills at corner, you can't really use at safety," Daugherty continued. "At corner you have to be quicker at some recognition of the receiver, and certain routes and searching for him, because not all of the time do you have help over top or in the middle. It's an IQ thing to be able to identify the route and be in the position to make a play on the ball. With nickel, you have to be more physical, being able to support the run as well as come out and support the pass. And at safety, at the free spot, you really have to be able to run that alley and identify, as well as be able to support, and get deep in the middle to help on that pass as well."
Daugherty noted that while every offer he receives stands out at this point, some raise eyebrows. Florida finds itself in that group, along with Louisiana State, Southern California, Tennessee, Georgia, and Texas.
He calls LSU his dream school, is fond of his connections to USC and Tennessee (including former Gators commit Kamar Wilcoxson), has a sense of pride in the home-team offer from UGA, believes no schools can imitate Texas, and loves the energy of Florida's stadium, The Swamp.
"At Florida, their atmosphere at The Swamp is just different," Daugherty said. "It's hard to go there and win a game, they went undefeated at home this year, so that says a lot about how their defense reacts to pride, and how they take note in everything that's been said, and how they respond to adversity."
While connections will carry Daugherty plenty of ways throughout his recruitment, his ties to Florida are as great as any. Two of his Grayson teammates, quarterback Carlos Del Rio and wide receiver Daejon Reynolds, are committed to the Gators' 2021 recruiting class. Both are also known for their recruiting efforts, so it's easy to expect them to turn up the heat on Daugherty down the line.
"I talked to Daejon at least once when it came to schools - of course, I've talked to him outside just the football aspect -, but non-biasedly, he never really made a comment about a school that I've been offered by," Daugherty said of his teammate and practice competitor at wide receiver. "But deep down, I know he wants me to go to UF. He'll do everything that he knows how to do to put on his recruiting hat, try to get us to come over there."