Dee Finley: "I just wanted to hit him"

With the big matchup between Florida and Alabama for what looks like a winner-take-all clash for the SEC title and a chance at a national championship, it seemed only appropriate to talk to a Florida commitment from the great state of Alabama. This one happens to have a great memory captured in a photo on a hit on Alabama's best offensive threat. Dee Finley talks Florida, Alabama, and more.

Dee Finley was a member of the 2008 recruiting class at Florida and was the closest of margins short when not qualifying a year ago. He has spent the summer and fall in New York at the Milford Academy and is now prepared and qualified to come to the University in January. Finley is chomping at the bit to get back to Gainesville.

"I can't wait," Finley said by phone. "I just got back to New York today. They told me I had to come back to finish something for a couple of weeks, I don't even know what I have to do. I already finished an English class I needed and I already have the qualifying test score, but they wanted me to come back for these two weeks."

Finley will be visiting on December 12 with a host of other prospects but in the meantime he knows what he will be doing this Saturday. He will be glued in front of the television screen rooting on his Gator teammates. This game will be especially exciting for Finley who grew up an Auburn fan and really despised anything that has to do with Crimson and the University of Alabama.

"I was an Auburn fan growing up and I still hate Alabama," Finley said.

One of the many assumptions about the game he will watch this weekend is that Alabama is a big and physical team and Florida is all speed and finesse. While it is certainly true, that the Crimson Tide is a powerful opponent, Finley believes Florida is getting the short end of the stick when it comes to this perception.

"I read that too," Finley said about Florida being a somewhat soft team. "I think Florida is just as physical as they come, they beat on most people pretty bad. I guess they get it because Alabama's not as fast as Florida and I guess they have that big offensive line. I don't think they are more physical than Florida."

Finley is a physical player himself and that is one reason he chose Florida and Florida loved his style of play. The four-star safety actually played linebacker at Milford this year and has learned to play in traffic and with the big boys, but he showed what he can do at safety as a senior and last year in the Under-Armour All-American game practices.

One particular memory that stands out for Gator fans is a hit he laid on current Alabama All-American freshman Julio Jones. Finley remembers that hit well himself.

"I remember the hit," he said before describing the play. "They were on the 30 and about to score. We were playing man free coverage. I kind of new they were going to throw to Julio because they were going there the whole time. I baited the quarterback and laid off a little bit and when the ball was up, I just had a clean shot on him. I just wanted to hit him, I didn't worry about the ball. I just didn't want him to catch it."

Jones did drop the ball on the play and the hit was captured by photo for all to remember.

Finley expects the Gators to triumph Saturday much like he did on that play. He also has great respect for one his future teammates and another Under-Armour All-American from last season.

"I will go with 41-15, Gators," he said. "I think it is going to be a big game for Janoris Jenkins. I am a fan of his now. He was killing the Florida State, but my favorite game was the Tennessee game when he lit Arian Foster up. He had a lot of big hits in that game. I text him every now and again and we talk sometimes."

With his teammates is where he wants to be and he isn't even going to waste his time going back to Auburn, he wants to get down to the University of Florida and start preparing for next season.

"When I leave here finally I am going straight to Gainesville," Finley said. "I just want to get down there and get better. I plan on being in the 4.4's (in the 40) when I start the season. I weight 210 right now and I am lifting weights pretty hard."

Dee Finley is a big time physical player to add to the Gator roster and one that is just dying to get his Gator career started.

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