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Florida Gators DE Commit Nolton Jr: 'I Make Offensive Tackles Uncomfortable'

Get to know the latest recruit to team up with Florida, 2022 defensive end Francois Nolton Jr.

In what has been, undoubtedly, an unconventional year, high school recruits want to find not only a college football team to play for, but a home.

Edison (Miami, Fla.) defensive end Francois Nolton Jr. found his team and home on Friday, pledging to play ball for the Florida Gators at the next level.

The 6-foot-4 and a half, 233-pound edge rusher is the second prospect in the class of 2022 to commit go Florida, linking up with Edison teammate, wide receiver Syveion Ellis. Nolton opened up about his decision with AllGators on Friday.

"I've been to Florida twice when I was younger, like my ninth-grade year, Nolton shared. "I don't know what's going to happen with COVID and that's what one of my coaches is telling my family, 'You don't know what may go on with it, if they're going to shut it back down or not.' So, we were just thinking in our family, I'm going to commit just in case it does shut down. 

"I want to go somewhere that I'm familiar with."

That, he will. Florida originally offered Noltton last April as he made the transition from Miami Christian High School to Edison, recruiting him hard along the way and selling his family on playing in orange and blue as well. Nolton elected to play at Florida over Pittsburgh, Florida State, Mississippi and Arizona State.

"Just the connection that the coaches made me and my family feel comfortable," Nolton explained about his decision process. "Like, I talk to them almost every day, and they had me and my dad won over, but once they sold my mom on it, then that was it. That's all I was waiting for."

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Profiling as a defensive end, it will be curious to see if Nolton plays the strong-side or the BUCK rush end position. 

Nolton has been recruited by defensive line coach David Turner and head coach Dan Mullen, talking with Turner regularly throughout the process. Noltton shared that Turner will be eyeing his weight moving forward in order to make that determination, as Nolton has gained about 13 pounds when the two first met.

"Coach Turner, he talks to me like we family, like he's my uncle or something," Nolton claimed. "He said I can come in, because I'm going to graduate early, he said I can come in and earn a spot and get some playing time. He thinks he can develop me into one of the best D-linemen in the SEC, and he just told me to trust him."

Having played in the 2018 FBU Freshman All-American bowl, Bolton has had the eyes of recruiters on him for some time. He recorded four sacks during a shortened 2020 season, playing in four of Edison's six games and missing two due to injury.

Possessing great length, Nolton certainly has the frame to add weight without losing much athleticism. He packs a punch at the point of attack against offensive tackles and transitions to speed from there, often chasing down quarterbacks to get them off their spot and into the dirt on occasion.

Nolton understands his abilities as a pass rusher and hopes to only become more dominant in that department while continuing to progress against the rushing game when he enrolls at UF.

"I think I'm a good run defender, but I want to be a better one," said Nolton. "My strength is, I'm a good pass rusher, I'm quick off the ball, I got good technique. I feel like nobody can stop me all game, but there is a big line up in front of me. I just think I make offensive tackles uncomfortable when I fly off the ball."

You can check out Nolton's highlights from his 2020 junior season below.