The Big "O" Makes Decision

After landing two of the top defensive tackles in the nation last year in Torrey Davis and John Brown, the Gators are back at it again with another five-star defensive tackle in Omar Hunter.

Hunter, 6-2, 297-pounds from Buford (Ga.) Buford High School is ranked as the second best defensive tackle in the nation. Scout.com's No. 27 ranked and one time Notre Dame commitment held offers from Florida, Auburn, Southern Cal, Clemson, LSU and Georgia. This past weekend Hunter found a new home.

"The decision that I made was to attend the University of Florida and be a Gator," Hunter said. "This was a big decision for me and my family and they are very excited especially since the decision was made to attend the University of Florida. Both my parents actually loved the trip and everything that Florida has to offer me academically and athletically. Florida just felt right for me and for both my parents it's a little closer to home and just overall a better place for me to be and I am looking forward to it and can't wait to join the rest of my teammates. Florida was the best decision that my family and I could have made."

Omar is one of the best players in the nation and the Gators are glad to have him. He talked about how he told the staff that he was going to be a Gator.

"We were all with coach Urban Meyer and all the other recruits eating dinner and everything when I told them that I was going to be a Gator," Hunter said. "Everyone in the room went crazy. As soon as I told them I was going to be a Gator everyone started yelling and screaming and they were all fired up to have me. Everybody was excited when I told them and all the recruits were excited, it was like a big party when I made the announcement it was like a big celebration."

Hunter spoke about his time in Gainesville.

"One night my hosts were the Pouncey Twins and that was great and then the next night Tim Tebow was my host," he said. "I was able to hang out with Dee Finley the whole time and Janoris Jenkins and Cookie Buchanan and William Green. We all got together and spent a lot of time with each other. This is going to be a great recruiting class for the University of Florida."

Hunter has great size and even better quickness. His strengths are getting into the backfield and his ability to disrupt plays before the get started.

"I am a real physical quick type of nose tackle that can get in the backfield and cause trouble for opposing offenses," Hunter said. "I have things that I need to do to get ready but if I can do the things that the staff expects out of me I will have a great shot to play next year. When I report coach Meyer told me to be ready and I will be ready."

What the Experts Say:

Jamie Newberg:

"Hunter has good size and excellent speed and quickness for a big man. Hunter can move exceptional well both north-south and down the line. He is quick off the ball, athletic and strong, usually getting a good push up field and being a disruption to an offense. Hunter is physically ready to play big time college football simply because he is so strong (420 bench press, 460 squat and 345 power clean) and athletic. The big question next season will be how quickly he adapts to the speed of the college game"

Allen Wallace:
"Omar Hunter is a devastating interior pass rusher. Very quick off the ball, Hunter's the relentless, aggressive, strong big man who can control the middle of the line of scrimmage. He's just a load who also runs pretty well and shows a good change of direction and lateral mobility as well."

Bob Lichtenfels"
"Omar is a brute force in the middle of the defense. His body shape looks like a typical nose tackle until you see how athletic the kid is and you can clearly see he can play just about anywhere. He plays with passion, intensity and is as good a leverage guy as you will find. His superior speed, quickness and strength make him better than just about any other defensive tackle in the nation."

Mike Bakas:
"I had a chance to watch him live all week at the Under Armour All-America game and behind Daquan Bowers, he was the best defensive lineman there. He's the ideal tackle in a 4-3 defense. He's huge, powerful, quick, and plays with tremendous leverage that enables him to penetrate into the opposing backfield a lot. Whenever you watch him play, the opposing O-Line is generally getting pushed back and for a running back, there's nothing more frustrating when taking that first step to see your own guy already being pushed back into the backfield. Those are the reasons I think Hunter's a big time tackle prospect. Good ones are very hard to find and he certainly has everything you look for in an impact player."

Larry Vettel:
"It's extremely difficult for a freshman defensive tackle to play immediately, but if anyone can this kid might be the one. Hunter has a tremendous motor when he revs it up and has a Warren Sapp feel to his game. Hunter's combination of size and quickness is pretty rare and with the Gators wanting to return Michael Pouncey to offense there is an opportunity for him to get into the rotation quickly."

Questions or comments? Contact FightinGators.com's Jason Higdon


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