RECRUITING: Chris Lett Grew Up A Gator Fan

The name Lett is one familiar to all Gator fans who cherish that first and only regular season SEC basketball championship in University of Florida history. If you remember that 1988-89 Florida team, then surely you remember Clifford, who was a ball hawking combo guard. Maybe it's the family gene pool, but Clifford's nephew Chris Lett is making a name for himself at Pensacola High School in football and he's a lifelong Gator fan.

(Chris Lett profile)

Chris is an outstanding cornerback prospect who has some of the nation's top football programs recruiting him. He knows his future lies on the football field but that doesn't stop him from wanting a piece of his uncle on the basketball court. Chris is considering the possibility of a public challenge.

"I can't get him to come out on the court and play," said Chris. "He says he is too old. We need to get him out there on the court.

When it comes to his football future, Chris Lett's family makes no bones about where they want him to go to school.

"On that side of my family, everyone is a Gator fan," Lett said. "Even on my mom's side they don't have any ties, but they want me to go to Florida too."

Growing up with a family that was decidedly orange and blue, it's not the least bit surprising that Chris Lett's team of choice was the University of Florida.

"I grew up a Gator fan," he said. "My favorite player was Travis McGriff. I used to love watching him play, he made some good plays."

Florida is recruiting him and the coach that recruits the Pensacola area just happens to be Florida's cornerback coach, Chuck Heater.

"I have been talking to Coach Heater," he said. "We chit chat off and on but haven't had a lot of time with him. He's a pretty good man."

He has a growing list of big time programs that have begun recruiting him. That's a list that's sure to grow once he's measured, weighed and timed at spring combines and summer camps.

"South Florida, Florida, Miami, Florida State, North Carolina, Alabama, LSU, Auburn, and Notre Dame are all contacting me," he said. "I have an offer from Auburn.

"I don't have any favorites just yet. I guess Auburn is up there unless I get a better offer. They are a pretty good team. I watched them last year and like their defense. I haven't had a chance to go see them but I might this summer."

Pensacola Coach Mike Bennett considers Lett to be one of the best players he has ever coached. He's not the least bit surprised that so many big time college football programs are starting to recruit his big time playmaker.

"He's a 6-2, 210-pound corner and he has a great vertical jump," Bennett said. "I think he jumped 40 inches the other day. I guess his claim to fame is that in two games Fred Rouse only caught one pass on him. He's a great athlete, plays basketball, and runs track.

"UF, FSU, Auburn, and Alabama are all after him hard. I coached in the Florida- California All-Star game and he's as good as anyone I've had out there. He is that corner that everyone is looking for with his ability and his height to match up against the tall receivers. He is going to get a lot of attention from a lot of people."

Last season Pensacola was eliminated in the playoffs by eventual state champion St. Augustine. In that run that lasted deep into the state playoffs, Lett had 29 tackles and four interceptions, s highlighted by the game against cross town rival Escambia.

"I had two interceptions," he said about the game. "We were just out there having fun and playing around. It was senior night and I came out with two interceptions and a big hit on the sidelines."

He will do a little of everything for Pensacola this year. He will play cornerback, a little tailback, wide receiver and even quarterback on offense. In the classroom he is holding his own and still trying to get better. He has a 2.8 GPA and already took his first ACT exam.

Chris Lett will have a busy summer and will be attending camps in Gainesville, South Florida, Troy, and possibly LSU. By the time the summer is over, it's a safe bet that he will have a pocket full of scholarship offers.

Fightin Gators Top Stories