‘Florida just got better'

They say that speed kills and if so, the Florida Gators just got a lot more dangerous. Florida head coach Will Muschamp just accepted a commitment from 2015 athlete Jalen Julius from winter Garden (Fla.) West Orange HS who can really fly. An offensive star in high school, the Gators want Julius on defense and at cornerback. He talked about his commitment to Muschamp made Wednesday by phone.

It was kind of simple really, Will Muschamp called West Orange High School to talk to Julius a bit and before he could get off the phone, the young man wanted to go ahead and end the recruiting process.

"He called the school and then I talked to him, but I made up my mind last week," Julius said.

Julius and his family came from the Miami area and his father James, mother Yashica, and older brother James Jr. all have been big supporters of the Hurricanes. The staff at Florida, especially defensive backs coach Travaris Robinson, seemed to win over the whole family according to Julius.

"The big thing is that Florida fits well with my family," he said. "Coach T-Rob knows all of them, my cousins and my mom. I just have a good vibe with Florida. My dad loves Miami, a die-hard fan. But, he's okay with it.

"I told my brother and a teammate first," he said about the commitment. "He said congratulations, really he likes Miami too. Everyone in my family likes Miami, but my mom really likes the school at Florida."

Muschamp was quite happy to hear the news from Julius who talked about what he brings to the table.

"He got really excited and said ‘Florida just got better'," Julius said of Muschamp. "I bring excitement and bring explosiveness. I have a good skill set and I never stop and play hard."

Julius plays 7on7 ball and his coach happens to be Gator Great Keiwan Ratliff. Ratliff was instrumental in getting Julius to look at the defensive side of the ball, somewhere he never played before. The Gators also like him returning or blocking kicks.

"I really never imagined playing defense just a couple of months ago," he said giving credit there to Ratliff. "They also want me on special teams. I think I am a Vernon Hargreaves /Keiwan Ratliff type of player. Keiwan was key in making me think about defense."

Back in February Ratliff talked to me about the fleet footed Julius.

"In a flat out foot race, I am not betting against Jalen Julius," the Gator Great and NFL veteran said. "He plays running back for his high school team, but the first day he came out I put him at cornerback. He gave me a look like I was crazy. But, his money is at cornerback. His hips and everything, he is a natural athlete. Last week he had three receivers that couldn't get off the ball and that is after playing the position only a few weeks. If he learns a little more technique with that speed and athleticism, he will be special. He has tremendous up-side.

The electric Julius scored eight touchdowns in just seven games as a junior, he missed part of the season due to injury or could have had much more. He has a message for Gator fans that want to know what he is all about.

"When I get to Florida, I am going to put on my hard hat and go to work," he said.

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