RECRUITING: Family atmosphere impresses Doe

Dustin "Duke" Doe was already sold on the University of Florida long before he made his official visit to Gainesville this weekend. A couple of days spent on campus only confirmed that he made the right choice back in the summer when he made his commitment to Coach Urban Meyer. By the time he headed home, he was even more fired up than ever before about being a Gator.

(Dustin Doe profile)

Doe is a 6-0, 207-pound linebacker from Live Oak Suwannee who is rated four stars by He is a tackling machine who uses his extraordinary speed to make plays. He came away from Gainesville impressed with the closeness of the Florida players and how well received the Gators are everywhere he went in the city of Gainesville.

He paid a visit to Gainesville this weekend for his official visit to the Florida Gators. The Live Oak, Suwannee linebacker having committed in the summer, to be a Gator, came away impressed with the bonds that the players and the entire city of Gainesville have with each other.

"The players stood out," Doe said. "I didn't know the players were as close like a family. They were like a bunch of brothers. I knew the coaches were close to the players, I just didn't know the players were that close.

"The people love Gator football … they love all their athletes. They were all talking about the basketball team while we were there. The overall atmosphere of Gainesville stood out. It's not all that big. There isn't too much to do and not too little to bore you the death. Classes are in so it was nice seeing people idling around the campus. It was nice to see the environment and everyone was real cool."

Doe's host for the weekend was rising senior linebacker Brian Crum. A.J. Jones, who committed to the Gators Wednesday night on Countdown to Signing Day, hung around with Crum and Doe most of the weekend. Doe and Jones were a ferocious pair of linebackers for the winning Florida team at the CaliFlorida Bowl back in December.

"Brian Crum, Brandon Siler, A.J. Jones and I all hung out," Doe said. "A.J. and I told Coach (Urban) Meyer we wanted to room together. We went out there to California and seemed like we were on the same page. He is pretty cool to hang with. It will be good to play with him. We play the same position but I think that will make us better. Out in California we got each other's back and I think that will happen at Florida."

"Siler and Crum … they have a great relationship and both play linebacker. They show they have each other's back and that kind of chemistry off the field is pretty cool."

He appreciated the effort Crum put into hosting him for the weekend. Doe felt he and Jones learned a lot about what to expect when they arrive in late June for their first semester at Florida.

"Siler and Crum were great," he said. "They were like big brothers and took care of us. They told us about what to expect when we come in and how to carry ourselves. They taught us things about getting in the doghouse early with certain coaches.

"They explained to us that when we get there in June it will be like we are on an island and they told us what to expect out of our position in the defense."

Doe was at The Swamp when the Gators smashed Florida State, 34-7, back on Thanksgiving weekend. He was one of the most fired up recruits at the game. What he saw from the Florida defense that night is what he expects to be a part of in the future.

"My view of the Gator defense is all about quickness and speed," he said. "It is exciting. They fly to the ball and they swarm. They make team tackles. One person could bring (the ball carrier) down but 11 are more likely to bring them down. I watched them last year and everyone getting to the ball is why they were successful."

Doe is also all about being a part of a very special recruiting class that will bring speed and excitement to Florida football. He believes that Florida's returning players when matched with this recruiting class will take Florida football to a whole new level.

"I think the class we have coming in with the players already there will prosper," he stated. "In a couple of years we will be faster than it is now. We are looking forward to making a name for ourselves. They are getting it established but we want to get in there and keep it going."

Specifically, he will start out at the weak side or WILL linebacker position. That's a position that requires a very fast player. Doe sees it as an opportunity to make plays all over the field.

"In the package they ran last year, the WILL man is the free guy, so he was able to run around and make plays," Doe said. "I feel that the WILL is there to make plays. He can disrupt a lot. He is there to blitz or make something happen."

Even before he gets to Gainesville, he will have one specific duty that will stand out above everything else. At his present size --- 6-0, 207 --- he's not the physical presence that he will need to be to survive in the tough Southeastern Conference. Doe knows that he and A.J. (6-2, 193) both have a lot of work to do in the weight room. They got a friendly reminder that they need to become weight room warriors from Florida's strength coach Mickey Marotti.

"We talked to Coach Marotti," Doe said. "He told us we were kind of puny. It looked bad because when we showed up at the weight room A.J. and I were next to big Siler and big Crum."

He's staying active by playing power forward on the Suwannee basketball team. In the spring he will participate in track on the 4X100 relay team and in the triple jump.

Dustin Doe stays active as a power forward on the Live Oak basketball team, will start weightlifting soon, and participates in track in the 4x100 and the triple jump. He is fully qualified in the classroom.

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