Drastically needed positive news has returned to Gainesville.
After a forgettable Sunday sent negative shockwaves through the Florida program, the Gators rebounded on Monday by landing a big-time commitment from Bartram Trail defensive back prospect Sharif Denson.
Choosing Florida over the likes of Miami, Florida State, Texas A&M, Ohio State and others, Denson shut down his recruitment to play for a school just less than two hours down the road from where he currently resides in St. Johns County.
Seemingly aligning with Florida since the early days of his collegiate recruitment process, Denson has endured the changing of the guard from the last staff to the current one. While there have certainly been ups and downs through the relationship, his connection with defensive coordinator and safety coach Patrick Toney has quickly grown into a strong bond.
“It's always good to be around coach P.T. That's my guy, for real," Denson told AllGators after his latest visit. “He's trying to get me bad. He's doing everything above and beyond, like, for real. No D.C. is doing what he's doing for me."
He placed Florida in his top three following the unofficial stay as a result.
Tonight, those considerable efforts made by the head man of the defense paid off as his — and the rest of the staff’s — desire to obtain the talented defensive back came to fruition.
Not only does Florida get a talented defender to bolster the secondary as it attempts to return to a elite-level status, but Denson’s wish to continue his football career within the state of Florida — although recently growing more understanding that his decision may consist of him heading elsewhere — reached a boiling point with his commitment.
All parties are happy as a result.
Standing out at a prep program that has recently become a production hotbed for Division-I talent, Denson’s length, ball skills and multifaceted ability to make an impact in both pass coverage and run support slates him to take on a significant role in Patrick Toney’s defense in the coming years.
Denson’s versatility will be a plus as he presents the capability to occupy spots all throughout the secondary. However, his game and how he’s been recruited by Florida suggest that he will assume the STAR nickel back role in the defense when his time comes.
If that were he case, he would potentially serve as the successor to STAR starter from a season ago and former high school teammate Tre’Vez Johnson.
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