DE Justus Boone of Sumter, who is ranked as the #2 prospect in the state for 2021 in the 247Sports composite, Wednesday night announced on Twitter a commitment to the Florida Gators. He picked the Gators’ offer over ones from USC, Virginia, Virginia Tech, North Carolina, Louisville, Wake Forest, Georgia Tech, Ole Miss, Oklahoma, Penn State, Tennessee, Arkansas Georgia, NC State and others.
Boone visited Florida in November and the relationship with the Gators continued to build from there. And the strong effort the Gators put into recruiting him led Boone to make the call.
“Just talking to the coaching staff throughout the week, feeling out everything, understanding everything that they would have me at and stuff like that,” Boone said. “It just felt right. It wasn’t necessarily material stuff. I loved how they recruited me. The edits, the talking and the keeping up with me. I just really appreciated that. I remember how I felt when I was down there for the environment. It just felt right for me.”
Boone has come a long way quickly as a football player. After starting out at Laurence Manning, he transferred to Sumter last season and emerged as one of the top pass rushers in the state. His emergence as a major prospect has led him to believe he can help the Gators early.
“I feel like I can go out there as a freshman and do some pretty big things,” Boone said. “As a freshman or sophomore, just whenever I get the opportunity to get on the field. Whenever I get the opportunity to showcase and do what I know I can do, I want to take advantage of that.”
USC, in particular, also has recruited Boone with a lot of effort. He said he talks with a Gamecock coach every other day or every two days. So, despite the commitment, he’s not ready to completely shut things down.
“I’m not closing my recruitment and stuff, I just know how I feel right now,” Boone said. “That’s where I’m going as of right now. That’s where I want to go but I’m not closing my recruitment or anything like that. I’m still open, not necessarily for myself but for my mom. You know how sometimes kids get a change a heart, which we don’t feel that’s going to happen, but you don’t want to burn any bridges.”
Boone said he will visit Florida for a junior day March 7th, and he’ll take other visits this spring. He’s also a basketball player and his team reached the second round of the playoffs, so he has a desire to play with them again next season and not graduate early.