Commitment Number 9: A Gator Story

Urban Meyer wants to have the fastest team in America and his Florida Gator football team took a strep in maintaining that with the commitment of Brooksville (FL) Nature Coast receiver Ja'Juan Story. Story called assistant coach Dan McCarney on Monday and let him know that he wanted to be a Gator. Story is the ninth commitment for the Gators for the class of 2011.

Ja'Juan Story is a bit of an unheralded, but very athletic receiver. Never shy to take a quality athlete, the University of Florida took his verbal commitment on Monday when Story called the coaching staff and gave his pledge.

"It went down today," Story told Fightin' Gators Monday evening. "I told my uncle I was ready to commit to them, he told me to call Coach McCarney. I told Coach McCarney how I felt about Florida and how they could help me. He told me he was glad to have me as part of the Gator family and congratulated me."

Story has one more call to make, but that one will be on hold for a week or so as Urban Meyer is in the land of no phones.

"I haven't talked to Coach Meyer yet, he is down in Key West with his family," Story said.

Story had several reasons for choosing Florida and led off with academics.

"I like how the school is set up and I think I can get my Master's degree there," he said. "I love how good the facilities are and how everything is set up is amazing. Florida can help me attain my goal to get to the NFL as well. I think Florida is the place to do all of that."

When it came down to it, the coaching staff was the biggest factor in ending his recruitment.

"The coaches are the biggest reason I chose Florida," he said. "They are real honest. They joke around sometimes, and can be real serious. They just made me feel real welcome."

The staff has been sharing their thoughts on Story as a player.

"They said I play like Dallas Baker and want to use me like they used him," Story said. "I am a lot faster than him, I run a 4.3. They can get me in single coverage and get me some quick passes."

Receiver coach Zach Azzanni has been on Story as well and knows he has a raw, but very versatile talent that has a chance to be a great one.

"I just started playing receiver in my junior year, before that I played cornerback and quarterback," Story said. "They are actually thinking about using me (this year in high school) as a quick defensive end, and outside linebacker and some safety.

"Coach Azzanni says I am already good, but I have a lot higher ceiling to reach ...I can get a lot better. He said he can coach me up to get to that ceiling and that sounded good to me."

Listing his strengths, Story came up with suite a few. Still, he knows he has plenty of room for improvement as well.

"Speed, awareness, going up for the ball, and good route running are my strengths," he said. "I can improve on a lot of things. I need to do some more of the real basic stuff like watching the ball into my hands and taking off and not stutter stepping."

Story had over 30 offers including all of the Florida programs that would have loved top sign him. He plans on being at Florida's Friday Night Lights in late July to showcase his skills. Those skills could one day lead him to attaining one of his other goals.

"One other thing I want to do is get one of them big ole' rings," he said with a smile you could see through the phone. "I saw them sitting in the case there, they are very nice."

Fightin Gators Top Stories