Gators Keeping a Close Eye on In-State DE/OLB DeMarco Artis

Plenty are after No. 10 DE in Florida, DeMarco Artis. The Seminole High School standout has plenty of suitors, however, could the Gators be the next school to offer?

DeMarco Artis was very grateful on Sunday, when he was able to complete in front of college coaches at the Sound Mind Sound Body Camp in Tampa. 

"It was a great camp," said Artis. "I'm glad that the NCAA lifted the ban on satellite camps because without them this wouldn't have been possible. It's a great camp and a bunch of coaches came. 

"It's amazing [to have camps like these]," he added. "It gives some people the chance, that have not been recruited as much as others, to show their stuff. It gives them a chance to prove something. At the end of the day everybody is just trying to show a college coach that they deserve a chance." 

Florida, Penn State, Alabama, Tennessee, Rutgers, Maryland, Kentucky, Ohio State, Michigan State, USF, UCF, Mississippi State and USC are just some of the schools that attended the camp. One school in particular was keeping a close eye on Artis, UF. 

Gators defensive coordinator Geoff Collins, "put me through a lot of drills," he said. "He likes what I was doing and he even saw me do some more individual drills...It shows me that they are interested and they really want me in their team." 

This was not Artis' first interaction with the Gators staff, however. Not only did the defensive end/outside linebacker attend Florida's 7-on-7 camp recently, he has also been in contact with the staff for a while now. 

"They talk to me all the time. I'm just waiting to see when they pull the trigger," he said. ." It's a great team; it's a great coaching staff. Once again it's another team that is on the up and up. Coach [Jim] McElwain has come in to turn the program around..."They just tell me to keep grinding and be patient and an offer could come soon."

Artis already holds over 30 offers, but an offer from the in-state school could change things for former Kentucky pledge.  

"It would mean a lot," he admitted. "Growing up watching college football they have always be one of the teams that I watched. I've never had any favorites or played favorites, but at the end of the day it would mean a lot. Watching them as a kid, It would be a dream come true." 

However, Artis is now focused on the schools that have offered him, and there are many. Hawaii, Iowa State, Maryland, Ole miss, North Crolina, Temple, UCF, Virginia Tech, Louisville, Michigan State, NC State and Pitt are just some of the schools that have offered the standout. But Florida's No. 10 defensive end says three schools are making him feel like the top priority. 

"Temple, Ole Miss and UCF are recruiting me the hardest," he said. "They all tell me they would love to get me up there. They not only want me, they need me to come play for their team. They show me a lot of love.

"They are all great schools," he said.  "Ole miss, the whole Landshark thing, it definitely attracts me. It's live out there. UCF, its on the up and up with Coach Scott Frost. The fact they might be going to the Big 12 definitely entices me. Temple, they hit me up every day and the fact they went 10-4 and won the American Eastern Conference thats a big thing. They had some really big wins, and they hung on with teams like Notre Dame, which shows they just need a few pieces, and I believe I can be one of those pieces that fit the puzzle." 

The Cardinals is another school showing much more interest after they offered. 

"Louisville is another team that I actually have to say have been on me," he said. "Once again they don't just tell me that they want me, they tell me that the need me. The fact that a school with that prestige is telling me that, I can come there and make an impact. It means a lot. 

"I know the quarterback [Lamar Jackson] for a while," he added.  "I watched him when he was at Boynton Beach. He is a monster. I watched him when he played Kentucky this year, and I watched a lot of their games. They seem like they are in the up and up. They are getting some renovations to their stadium. It seems like it is a really good program."

Artis is headed on a couple of visits with his prep team this summer. 

"We are headed to South Carolina, North Carolina, NC State, Duke, Wake Forest, Clemson, Georgia, and FSU."

As he is trying to make his decision, there is one thing he needs to make sure he sees. 

"Just love from the coaching staff. That really means everything. If coaches show you a bunch of love, it is probably not going to change when you get there. Or if you does it wont change drastically. They will still show you that your an asset to the team... I just want to feel comfortable with the team." 

Artis does not have a set timeline for a decision, but he knows what will happen if he doesn't make one soon. 

"If I don't feel comfortable making a decision before the season starts or midseason, once we get to playoffs, I'm just going to push all the recruiting aside until whenever the state championship, hopefully, is." he said.  "At the end of the day after that in late December is when I will settle down and in early January I will make my decision."

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