Leading by Example: National Recruit Gabe Dindy from Lakeland High School

One of the nation’s top overall recruits, Gabe Dindy does not need any true introduction. The talented defensive lineman makes plays. He also leads his teammates during preparation to play football on Friday nights.
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The state of Florida consistently pumps out big-time defensive linemen. Year after year, the Sunshine State will send defensive linemen to college programs across the country, with schools like Georgia, Alabama, LSU and Ohio State having come to Florida to sign top defensive linemen. For the class of 2022, there’s one player that’s a little different in regards to how he handles his business in addition to being very talented.

When watching Lakeland High School play in the Venice Spring Jamboree and watching Lakeland go through a summer workout, one particular defensive lineman set the tone, and he did so in a manner that’s not normal for a big-time prospect.

Gabe Dindy

Gabe Dindy and Keahnist Thompson, Lakeland (Fla.) High School

Gabe Dindy working out with UCF commitment and fellow Lakeland defensive lineman Keahnist Thompson

Vitals: 6’4”, 276-pounds

Position: Defensive Line

High School: Lakeland (Fla.) High School

Class: 2022

Recruitment: UCF, Ohio State, Texas A&M and Oklahoma look to be his final four. Dindy originally wanted to decide during the Under Armour All-American Game, but he could make a decision known to the public prior to the early January date of the game.

The Talent

If you want to witness a player that’s truly capable of playing multiple defensive line positions, plays the run and pass equally well, and changes how an opposing offensive coordinator must scheme and block a defensive lineman, Dindy would be an excellent example. Just a physical nightmare to deal with due to his natural strength alone, Dindy overmatches offensive linemen even when not utilizing proper technique.

During the spring jamboree, Dindy moved past a blocker with the use of one arm, and he played too high from a technique standpoint. The result was still a quarterback hurry that ended up as an incompletion. One cannot teach the physical talent bestowed upon Dindy. It’s how he trains all that talent and what he does despite that talent that earns him a place in this article, however.

The Weight Room

Time to work. Not much needs to be said about Dindy in the weight room. He gets after it, and the video will tell the tale. That’s not light weight, and that’s not an easy type of lift. Impressive.

Come to Practice Ready to Perform

Just how Dindy warms up makes a scout take notice. The little aspects of adhering to staying flexible in an effort to fend off soft tissue injuries and stay on the gridiron is something Dindy works on. His teammates notice. Remember, these are high school players. Many of them are just beginning to understand the nuances of how to train their bodies, so Dindy going through stretching and preparing for practice in a proper manner helps not just him, but the team overall.

His intensity, even during the most basic drills that are two-step and stop so a coach can watch the technique, proved to be consistently excellent. Many top-notch recruits go through the motions of basic drills. Dindy adhered to his craft and listened to his position coach. Again, he’s a leader. Even without saying a word, Dindy made a statement. The younger Lakeland players worked with Dindy and it will benefit them long term. He does make his voice heard as well.

Big Man Running Sprints, Sets the Tone

When Lakeland ran sprints, it was Dindy leading all the linemen. The following video displayed Dindy staying ahead of another future Division I recruit, class of 2024 defensive Lavaughn Brown, despite weighing 60 or more pounds than Brown. As one can see, Brown is a top-notch athlete that’s approaching 6’5” and he’s already 215-pounds.

Sprint after sprint, Dindy gave it his all. He also voiced his opinion about everyone providing maximum effort right along with him. Considering how physically talented and respected Dindy has become, that opinion carries a great deal of importance.

Mr. Respect

When talking football with a coach or with yours truly about anything, it was “Yes sir” and “No sir.” Dindy made eye contact and listened to what was being said. That’s yet another way this young man gains for himself, as well as providing extended leadership to his teammates. He’s also someone that’s hungry for future success.

While the Lakeland players competed with each other during conditioning and every player was gassed, Dindy made a comment that was truly worth applauding. Just making a random comment to him about conditioning how he goes about it, there was no need to write down his reply, ask Dindy to repeat it or anything else. This comment was ingrained into memory.

“I’m not where I need to be right now.”

Okay. This young man dominates during most plays, yet he goes about his business like a player just learning the game of football. Further, he’s a stalwart in the weight room and even makes his presence felt by the way he goes through stretching in preparation for football practice.

Then, he makes that statement? What rising high school football recruit with offers from across the country makes that type of comment while being absolutely winded from running and jumping during the July heat in Central Florida?

That’s Dindy. That’s awesome.

The Total Package

Those types of moments are why Dindy was a starting defensive end for Lakeland’s 2018 state championship team as a mere freshman. That’s 7A football in Florida. Starting along the defensive line for a team that is playing at that high level of competition is tremendous. Doing so as a freshman showed his maturity and skill. Fast forward to modern day, and Dindy continues to go hard regardless of the situation. It’s refreshing to watch and worth applauding.

After writing an article yesterday to congratulate Kayin Lee about his efforts thus far in high school career, Dindy is right there with him. A hard working young man with a plethora of talent and one that could likely get away with being laxed or taking the easier route.

That’s why Dindy and Lee are truly special prospects. They do not take plays off and go half-speed. They dedicate their time to their respective crafts, and do so while also leading their teammates during the dog days of summer. Hats off to both of these young men, as they represent the two hardest working individuals scouted this spring and summer.

Special note: To hear more about elite players, SI All-American publisher and Sports Illustrated's Director of Recruiting John Garcia, Jr. joined The "Who's Next?" Football Recruiting Podcast last night to discuss over 20 prospects going to Friday Night Lights in Gainesville. UCF and every major program in the land is recruiting players that will be at that event. Here's the link to the episode detailing the talented prospects.

For UCF insights, college football news, and recruiting information go to my YouTube Channel and Podcast

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