Standout DT Has Co-Favorites

At 6-foot-2 and 293 pounds, this talented defensive tackle prospect is quickly emerging as one of the state's best. He has the recruiting action to prove it, and he talks about his co-favorites in this interview.

One year ago, the University of Miami received a summer commitment from Sarasota (Booker) defensive end Baraka Atkins. The UM coaches were back in Sarasota this spring checking in on another tremendously talented defensive lineman – Sarasota High's Donnell Livingston.

At 6-foot-2 and 293 pounds, Livingston ran a 5.06 shuttle time at this year's NIKE Camp, where he was one of the top defensive tackles in attendance. As a junior last season, he finished with 56 tackles, 24 for loss, 12 quarterback sacks, and four caused fumbles. Inside the classroom, he carries a 2.6 GPA and is re-taking the SAT, which he scored a 770 on the first try.

Football's always been in his background.

"I started football when I was about 6 years old," Livingston told me. "I've always been a defensive tackle and an offensive guard," he said. "When I was a freshman, I was already 5-11 and 275 pounds and now I've been able to add a few inches. I'm being recruited as a defensive tackle."

Livingston also competes in basketball (center), weight-lifting (340-pound bench press), and track & field (43-foot shot put thrower). In addition, Livingston found himself busy talking to various college coaches this spring, as a result of being one of the state's premier defensive tackle prospects.

"I had lots of calls in May," he said. "Miami called, Nebraska called, Florida State, Tennessee, North Carolina, and Michigan State. I haven't received any offers in the mail yet because a lot of coaches said they're going to wait but I heard it might be within the next few weeks. I'm re-taking my SAT's in September, so that probably has a lot to do with it as well."

Livingston did talk about his early favorites.

"I have two favorites," he said. "They are Miami and North Carolina. I like North Carolina because it's a good school, the campus is nice, and the coaches are cool. Plus I saw them beat up on Florida State last year on TV. Miami's just good all-around. I have family (uncles) that lives about five minutes from the Miami campus so if I went there, I could spend time with them. It's a private school and they offer up lots of competition. There's always competition at every position, especially on the defensive line. That's what I like because it brings out the best in everyone that is willing to compete."

The talented defensive tackle said he spoke to UM offensive line coach Art Kehoe.

"Coach Kehoe was great," he said. "He said they were real excited about recruiting me and that I should keep working hard. We talked about my interest in Miami and everything like that."

Livingston, who plans on attending camps at Florida State and North Carolina later this summer, talked about what would happen if his two favorites were both offer him a scholarship.

"North Carolina offered me verbally and we already have a visit scheduled for sometime in December," he said. "I'm hoping that Miami offers. If they did, I probably won't commit because I want to take my visits and check out all the different schools. After Miami and North Carolina, I also like Florida State, Tennessee, and Nebraska."

Livingston is currently working hard this summer gearing up for what he hopes will be a huge senior season.

"The biggest goal to me is getting to states," he said. "It's very important to me and I'm a senior now. We lost in double overtime in the first round of the playoffs last year, so I want to be able to go further than that this year. We understand the harder we work this summer, the better chance we'll have of going deeper into the playoffs."

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