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June 21, 2010Before they report to campus, InsidetheGators.net is contacting the remaining 16 signees from the 2010 signing class to get the latest on what's going on with them by going over 10 questions with each about the recruiting process and what they are currently doing to prepare themselves for their future at the University of Florida.
Up today is Homestead (Fla.) three-star linebacker Darrin Kitchens.
InsidetheGators.net: Looking back, would you change anything about the recruiting process?
Kitchens: I would not have done anything differently. Everything turned out the way I wanted because I got to go to my dream school. I wouldn't want to do anything different to change that outcome.
InsidetheGators.net: What was your favorite part about the process and what was your least favorite?
Kitchens: Well, the food was great. But I'd say going to different places, seeing different people and seeing how people in different places live (he also visited Florida State, Kansas, Syracuse and Texas Tech). My least favorite has to be riding in the small airplanes. When I went up to see Syracuse, it was the first time I had flown and I was in a small airplane. There was turbulence. When you're on a small plane, you can feel all the turbulence. I was just looking out the window, breathing and praying.
InsidetheGators.net: You're 6-foot-3, 210 pounds. Could you grow into a defensive end or are you a linebacker all the way?
Kitchens: Right now, they have me at outside linebacker. But all my life I've been switching around positions so it really doesn't matter what the coaches want me to play. I'll play anything.
InsidetheGators.net: How excited are you right now and what have you been doing in recent weeks?
Kitchens: I'm real excited. It's a real big deal. I've just been working out at the school getting ready. And I've been running around the neighborhood.
InsidetheGators.net: Does anything scare you about starting a new life in Gainesville?
Kitchens: I don't know. I think it would probably be the classes. Yeah, that's the only thing I can think of. With all the free time they give you, you're not used to doing that in high school. In high school, you do your work in the class. In college, they give you all the free time in the world and you have to manage that.
InsidetheGators.net: For you, what really stood out with Florida?
Kitchens: I wanted to go to Florida since my ninth-grade year. I just liked the support for all the different athletics, the fan support from the regular students and the alumni. Everyone that lives in Gainesville supports the school.
InsidetheGators.net: What are your first-year goals?
Kitchens: I want to get on the field. I want to get bigger, faster and stronger and get a lot of playing time.
InsidetheGators.net: What do you think it will be like on the first day of practice?
Kitchens: I think it will probably be like going to high school for the first time and going to my first practice there. This is going to be an eye opener.
InsidetheGators.net: If you could do it again, would you have graduated in December and enrolled in college early?
Kitchens: I would have graduated in December if I had to do it over again. Because, God bless her soul, my great-grandma passed away and I wasn't able to go to Grad Bash. And then, on prom night my tire blew out so I missed that, too.
InsidetheGators.net: What's something about you that would surprise the Gator Nation?
Trail: I'm multi-talented so there's not really one thing that stands out. But I can do lots of great things, like rapping. I used to be able to do backflips but I haven't done that in a couple years.
THE KITCHENS FILE
-In the end, Kitchens picked Florida over Texas Tech.
-As of Sunday afternoon, Kitchens still didn't know whom he'd be rooming with.
-Kitchens isn't sure what number he will wear for the Gators. He'd like to have No. 2, which is what he had in high school.
-Kitchens is expected to arrive in Gainesville on Monday. Much of his family will be joining him on the trip.