Aghayere Looking for a Home

Chancey Aghayere is spending most of his free time rehabbing his knee after having it scoped about three weeks ago. But when it comes to recruiting, the Gators are hoping a former teammate of his can help bring him to Gainesville.

The 6-3, 220-pound defensive end is a five-star prospect from the Lone Star State and ranks No. 39 on the Top 100. From Garland (Texas) High School, Chancey Aghayere already has a strong connection to the Florida Gators. His former teammate Brandon Antwine lines up on Coach Greg Mattison's defensive line, and both Antwine and Mattison are trying to lure one of the nation's best defensive lineman to Gainesville.

"Brandon and I have a real close relationship," Aghayere said. "I talk to him at least every other day. He talks about how it is down at Florida. He said when he first got there he was homesick, but after a while he got used to it because it's like a small town."

It wasn't Antwine who introduced Aghayere to the Gators. He's known about Florida football for quite a while.

"I grew up watching them," he said. "They play in the SEC, which is the toughest conference. Most of the top defensive players in the NFL get drafted from that conference. Florida's defense likes to play fast, and I like their rivalries, like with Florida State."

One of the first things that came to Aghayere's mind when talking about the Gators was their success in the NFL Draft, especially at his position. Mattison and Florida produced a first round draft pick back in April with Jarvis Moss, but Aghayere said that's not a factor in his decision.

"It would be a good thing if I did get drafted," he said. "But I'm more concerned with team unity and what I want to major in because I don't know what I want to major in yet - things like that."

Aghayere hasn't been to Gainesville and won't make the trip until his official visit on September 7. He's looking forward to seeing a game in The Swamp during the trip.

"I know when they do play their home games, it's like an earthquake around there," he said. "It's one of the toughest stadiums to play in."

But what he'll really be looking for is whether or not Gainesville feels like the right place.

"I hope it's like everything that I've heard," he said. "I hope it's like that. If it feels like it's home when I get down there then I'll go."

According to Aghayere, Coach Mattison is trying to make Florida as comfortable as possible. The two talk often, but instead of Mattison pressuring Aghayere, he's keeping the relationship easy going.

"We don't talk everyday, but when we do talk it's usually just joking around," he said. "It's not like a serious conversation. He wants to just find out how I'm doing and checks up on me."

Antwine, on the other hand, is pouring on the pressure.

"He keeps telling me that they won the national championship," Aghayere said. "He finds a way to sneak that into the conversation. It will be fun to play side-by-side like we did in high school."

Aghayere is already back on his feet after the surgery from three weeks ago. He just started some light jogging and has been hitting the weights. He plans on making his decision in mid-September, and with a week-two visit to Gainesville, the Gators will have a chance to leave a last-minute impression.

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