Multiple UF signees close as five-star prospects, including Gervon Dexter
Not only did a pair of Florida signees close out the 2020 cycle as Rivals100 prospects, but they are also two of 34 seniors to be tabbed with five stars, with one being Gervon Dexter.
A product of Lake Wales (Fla.) High, Dexter was already a member of the Rivals100, but catapulted into five-star territory following a stellar and consistent showing during Under Armour All-America week.
Dexter was nearly unstoppable during the one-on-one portion of practices, and is now labeled as the 23rd-ranked player overall after climbing a total of 45 spots. He also received a slight bump in the positional rankings, checking in as the nation's third-ranked defensive tackle.
The 6-foot-6, 276-pound senior has been a hot topic of discussion in recent months, and did nothing but shine under the brightest lights and let his play speak for itself.
"There is no question the Florida signee from Lake Wales, Fla., is one of the most athletic defensive linemen in this class and Dexter’s performance at the Under Armour All-America Game proved that even more," said Mike Farrell, Rivals' National Recruiting Director.
"There have been strong performances on both sides of the ball, but Gervon Dexter has been very impressive," Rivals' Chad Simmons said during UA week. "He is so athletic for a player his size and he has been tough to stop. He stood out most to me on day two, where he dominated all day, but he has been very good all three days. Dexter is a player who can make a very early impact for the Gators."
In addition to the festivities in Orlando, Dexter manufactured an eye-popping senior campaign back in Polk County as well.
Through 13 games for the 12-1 Highlanders, Dexter racked up 114 tackles (93 solo), 18 sacks, 35 tackles for loss, seven forced fumbles, a fumble recovery, blocked punt and field goal, and three pass deflections.
The versatile defender oozes with long-term potential, possessing the skill set and physical makeup to wreak havoc at multiple positions. He will be used primarily in the interior, but possesses the get-off to slide out to strong-side defensive end from time to time as well.
Dexter is at his best when pushing up-field and relying on his strength, but has improved in terms of flashing some finesse as well. I also watched him live earlier in the season and was impressed by his pursuit and overall effort level.
Whether it's fighting through consistent double teams or tracking down the ball carrier in space, Dexter gets after it for four quarters. He is a perfect fit for what Todd Grantham covets in the trenches, but also possesses the physical build to get his feet wet as a true freshman.
As expected, St. Thomas Aquinas star Derek Wingo closed out the recruiting cycle as a five-star and Rivals100 prospect as well.
The 6-foot-1, 215-pound senior checks in as the 31st-ranked player overall, as well as the third-ranked inside linebacker. He was initially awarded his fifth star in early December, and then backed up his reputation during the week of the All-American Bowl.
"There's something I like about staying home to represent your state in the nice weather and having a chance for your family to make it to every home game," Wingo previously told GatorsTerritory. "Coach Robinson and coach Grantham have a plan for me and where I'll fit. I'm confident that they can develop me in the best way I can be."
A former Penn State commit, Wingo piled up 62 tackles (48 solo), 18 sacks, 16 tackles for loss, two forced fumbles and a pair of pass deflections. He chipped in with a rushing touchdown against South Plantation as well. The Gators have mentioned the possibility of playing a variety of roles, but Wingo is likely best suited in the middle of the defense.
"Linebackers don't come more athletic than the hyper-nimble Wingo, a middle linebacker with a gymnast's agility. He's as versatile a defender as there is in this class and can seemingly do it all.
"The Florida commit is the leader of one of the best high school defenses in the country and has long proven his game holds up against top-flight competition. His combination of size and quickness is extremely rare.
"Wingo could step right in at the Swamp and make a big impact. Wingo plays at St. Thomas Aquinas, one of the top high school football programs in America." -- Rob Cassidy, Florida Recruiting Analyst
"Wingo is an exceptional athlete. He’s not that long but he reminds me of Devin Bush or Roquan Smith at the same stage – guys we ranked lower because they weren’t that long. We’re not making that mistake with Wingo." -- Mike Farrell, National Recruiting Director