There is no doubt that the Florida Gators are looking for some size at the running back position. They found it a week ago with junior college back Mark Thomson and his 230 pounds. Now they went into the high school ranks to land 215 pounder Lamical Perine.
Florida running back coach Tim Skipper has fostered a nice relationship with Perine since he’s been at Florida and he got the call from the young man that changed things on Thursday night.
“I’m excited,” Perine told FightinGators.com. “I’ve been thinking it over for a long time. I talked to Coach Skipper last night on the phone. We built a good relationship and that helped it out. I just really felt Florida was the place I Need to be. They are my dream school and when I went to junior day I felt at home. I sat down with my family and we all thought that was the best choice for me.
Skipper and Director of Player Personnel Drew Hughes played a big part in the recruitment.
“Coach Skipper and Coach Hughes had a big part in it,” Perine said. “They are amazing. Coach Skipper is very down to earth. He is going to keep it 100% real and I like that. I told him I am 100% committed to Florida.
“They like that I am a downhill runner. I keep my pads low, I am built to go there, and I am what they like. They want me to run the ball.”
Perine has some words for Gator fans that might now know what he is about.
“I’m a competitive guy,” he started. “I’m very down to earth. I am going to try and do whatever I can for my team to win. I promise the whole Gator Nation you will get a good running back.”
He also says that 4-star defensive end Darius Whitfield is high on his list of targets to bring with him to Florida from Alabama.
“I am all over him,” he said. “I’m trying to get him up there with me.”
Scout recruiting analyst John Garcia covers the state of Alabama like no one else and talked a little bit about the Gators newest commitment.
Lamical Perine is a big, strong blended RB," Garcia told our members on FightinGators.com. "What I mean by blended is his combination of size, speed and ball skill, which fits plenty of offenses in 2015. I've long thought he could be Alabama's best running back in 2016, contending with Ole Miss commitment Devin Mitchell (current No. 1) and emerging star Jarrion Street. Each is over 6-foot, and Perine may be the toughest to tackle of the three...This is an excellent get both on the field and for perception in the state with Mac and Nuss on staff at UF. The Gators tried to snag some late Bama gems in 2015 but ran out of time, which made it clear it would have a big haul in 2016. This is a near-ideal start.
Florida now stands at 13 commitments and should be done at the running back position having landed Perine and the aforementioned Thompson. The class looks to be at least 25 in size and likely larger. Stay tuned as we continue to cover your Florida Gators.