The Florida Gators have made the tight end position a focus of the offense under head coach Jim McElwain, so much so that in recruiting circles, the top players at the position are looking this way. One of the biggest and best is Darel Middleton who says the staff really is making him a priority.
“I love it,” he said about Florida. “They treat me like I'm already there and I'm hundreds of miles away. Coach Nord visits me at school all the time. He can't talk to me but I see him and say hi. He stays on top of me about grades and letting me know early it's serious.”
“My family loves the Gators this is a dream school for me other than Tennessee. But I love the Gators.”
Middleton will make the trip down from Tennessee for the Florida-Florida State game in a couple of weeks and told us what he wants to see on the trip.
“Everyone ... Including my future best friend Jake McGee,” he said of the Gators senior Mackey Award finalist.
There are other schools in the mix like the home state Volunteers.
“Tennessee is a family,” Middleton said. “But the coaches they make you feel like you’re already in that orange. They love their kids and they’re big on grades.”
The number one ranked Clemson Tigers is another program that has his attention as well.
“Clemson is a different in many ways,” he said. “It's like most of their coaches know when they got a baller in their hands and they’re not letting go. They love to win and they thrive on defense not as much as Florida but just enough to make it to my top 4.”
When asked about Alabama, well we will just have to let him say it the way he said it.
“Words couldn't explain,” he said. “Just know it was unforgettable.”
Middleton is at the upper end in terms of size on the tight end board. He’s a prospect that can move someone on the line of scrimmage and also get down the field and make plays. We look forward to following up with him on his trip to Gainesville in a couple of weeks.