In 2020, the Florida Gators were led by a prolific passing attack offensively. Ranking atop the NCAA in passing yards per game, Florida benefitted from the plethora of weapons operating at Kyle Trask’s disposal.
Showcasing NFL-caliber talent at the wide receiver position, the Gators saw seven pass-catchers move on to football’s highest level during the past two offseasons. As a result, acquiring talent to fill voids on the roster sits paramount in the minds of the UF staff in the crucial 2021 summer period.
Last Tuesday, a group of visitors, including Bishop Moore Catholic’s wide receiver Chandler Smith, traveled to Gainesville for a brief introduction to what the Florida program provides. According to wide receivers coach Billy Gonzales, this member of pass-catchers the Gators have targeted in the 2022 class presents a unique similarity in skillset to a former X-receiver in the Florida offense.
The connection made? Trevon Grimes.
“I got to sit with coach Gonzales, look at some plays that I might be running,” Smith said. Gonzales likes “my speed, [how I’m] able to get the ball quick. Soon as the rock’s in my hands, I can go score, no matter the play, no matter the route.”
Once looking it over, the comparison makes a lot of sense.
As a home run hitter during his three years at the University of Florida, Grimes paired the desirable physical attributes of size and length with elite-level speed to take the top off opposing defenses whenever the ball touched his hands.
Showcasing similar speed that culminates in an impressive track resume — including a 10.28 100-meter dash — Smith looks to continue his multi-sport career at the college level, something he says head coach Dan Mullen and company are on board with if Florida is the place he ends up.
“Oh, yeah, they love it. So that’s one of the things that, when I come back for my official, they’re going to have me meet with coach [Mike Halloway] and go in-depth of like strength and conditioning. Just how I’ll be able to do both.”
While Grimes and Smith are far from being carbon copies, the fundamental comparisons are evident. Merely separated by Grimes’ bigger frame and Smith’s straight-line speed, the two would assume a similar role in the Florida offense.
With plans to make a commitment decision following his official visits that will span into the fall, Smith will have the opportunity to check out the Gators program in more depth the weekend of June 18.
In his return to Gainesville, Smith is looking to better understand Florida’s pitch in his official visit weekend, Gonzales will continue selling the Gators to Smith, with Grimes being the blueprint for his operation offensively.