Jachai Polite was part of the 2016 recruiting class and one of the more underrated defensive linemen in the class. Out of nearby Daytona Beach, Polite played both defensive line and tight end in high school.
At a Nike combine/ camp in the summer before his senior year of high school, Polite showed up big time making life miserable for opposing offensive tackles more often than not.
By the time he arrived at Florida he was much bigger and already prepared physically to compete in the SEC. He played 12 games as a true freshman and at 6-foot-2 and around 270 pounds he was versatile enough to play inside or outside, and he did both.
In his 12 games as a reserve, he notched 11 tackles, 3.5 tackles-for-loss, 2.0 sacks, one quarterback hurry, and one forced fumble.
His versatility will go a long way in 2017 as well. Likely listed as a strong side defensive end, expect Polite to play defensive tackle in some passing situations and look for him to get a great deal more playing time in his second year on campus.
"We're going to see what happens with him,” defensive line coach and co-defensive coordinator Chris Rumph said in the spring. “Weight's going to be the biggest thing. How big can he get? Maybe we get in some game plan stuff, we may be able to switch him inside, but he's one of those versatile guys that can go inside or outside."
"For a young guy, he's really smart."