Photo: UF running backs coach Greg Knox; Credit: University of Florida athletic association
A position of absolute need in the class of 2022 for the Florida Gators has another recruit in contention to fill it. Nansemond-Suffolk Academy (Va.) running back George Pettaway has included the Gators in his top ten schools, he announced on Friday evening.
Along with Florida, Petteway included Alabama, Auburn, Michigan, Penn State, North Carolina, Oregon, Virginia, Ole Miss, and Virginia Tech in his trimmed-down list of schools.
The 5-foot-11, 185-pound rising senior prospect was originally offered by Florida in May 2020 and has been recruited by running backs coach Greg Knox ever since. Pettaway has established two official visits thus far as he plans to visit Michigan and Penn State in June, but has yet to schedule a visit to UF.
Simply put, Pettaway is electric with the ball in his hands, often finding a way out of trouble and into open space. As a junior, Pettaway averaged a whopping 13.7 yards per rush across 52 carries, scoring 14 touchdowns on the ground. Pettaway runs with a lot of juice through gaps and has shown impressive balance through contact, often breaking tackles and quickly getting to his top speed when he finds daylight at the second level of the defense.
Although he hasn't caught a ton of passes, Pettaway's 16 yards per catch on 20 career receptions suggests that he can make big plays happen as a two-way threat. His impressive stop-and-start ability and breakaway speed makes Pettaway an ideal checkdown and screen target to create yards after the catch.
UF has not secured a high school commitment at the running back position in the past two recruiting classes, not since Nay'Quan Wright enrolled in the class of 2019. Knox has expressed to recruits in the 2022 cycle that Florida would entertain taking two running backs as a part of this year's class.
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