As the month of June was coming to an end, the Gators 2019 recruitment certainly was not. On June 20, Florida landed Riley Simonds, a three-star offensive lineman out of Buford, GA. Simonds stands at nearly 6-foot,4-inches and weighs in at 300+ pounds. The Gators were among three schools that Simonds had been really considering; the other two being Virginia Tech and Missouri.
Simonds is ranked by 247Sports composite rankings as the #16 OG in the 2019 recruiting cycle.
“I picked Florida because of the education, the football, and I knew it was best for my future,” Simonds said.
When he gets to the University next year his plan is to study broadcasting and journalism. He knew that Florida was not only the best place to continue his football career but his education as well. He said he was really looking for the best school and education, but also the best fan support.
Simonds has been playing football since he was five years old. However, before he was allowed to even play his parents made him learn how to read and write. The desire to succeed in his education likely comes from them and the installment of the importance of education at such a young age.
Being born and raised in Georgia it is to be expected that he was a fan of the Georgia Bulldogs, along with most of his family. Be that as it may, he is more than dedicated to the Florida Gators now.
“I’m excited to beat the heck out of Georgia,” Simonds said. “I’m always gonna be ready for game day but when we play them, I don’t even know if I’ll be able to sleep, I’ll be so excited.
Despite receiving an offer from Jim McElwain‘s staff at Florida, the Gators weren’t really on Simonds’ radar until Dan Mullen took over.
Mullen offered Simonds in May of 2017 while at Mississippi State, and according to Simonds, “Mullen was talking to me the whole time (while transitioning to Florida).” The two have a pretty good relationship, which was impactful when it came to committing to UF.
We won’t be seeing Simonds until next year after he graduates high school, however, this is a young man that is worth the wait and will add a toughness to the offensive line and help usher in this new era of Gators Football.
He is passionate about Florida and is dedicated to the decision he made and we should all be excited that he chose the Orange and Blue.
“I’d like to let Gator Nation know that I’m 100 percent committed to Florida,” Simonds said. “I am going to do whatever it takes to bring them a ring.”
*Caitlin Todd is a contributor for Chomp Talk. Caitlin is a student at the University of Florida studying journalism in sports / media.