Jonathan Odom’s name may sound familiar to Florida football fans. If so, it’s likely they are remembering Jason Odom, an offensive lineman in the 90’s who earned All-SEC and All-American honors while donning the orange and blue. Jason Odom is Jonathan’s father.
While the elder Odom created quite the legacy at UF (including a UF Hall of Fame induction in 2010 as a Gator Great), Jonathan intends to build his own legacy.
Jonathan Odom committed to the University of Florida on May 18 while on an unofficial visit to the school. This took place just two weeks after visiting Ohio State, and barely more than a month after his official to UF.
A tight end who has a three-star ranking according the 24/7 composite, Odom is the No. 29 ranked player at his position in the 2020 recruiting class. Despite the rankings, Odom was a major target for many of the top programs in the country. He held offers from more than thirty schools including blue blood programs such as Alabama, LSU, Ohio State, and Florida State.
Odom described what made him choose to commit as, “just the atmosphere, they treated me like family since day one.” The 6’6, 240 lb prospect also liked the way the staff intends to use him in the offensive scheme.
Since Dan Mullen took over the Florida program in 2018, there has been a much larger emphasis on the tight end position. In 2019, sophomore Kyle Pitts led the Gators in receptions and yards, and scored five touchdowns. Just this week, Pitts was named First Team All-SEC.
“I’ve loved watching Pitts this season. I’ve learned a lot just by watching him.”
When asked to compare his game to what we’ve seen from Pitts he stated, “I feel like we have a lot in common in our game. We’ve [already] begun to develop a relationship and talk and I can’t wait to work with and learn from a guy like him. I can’t wait to soak up all the things he can show me to make me even more versatile as a tight end.”
Odom endured a shoulder injury this season that limited him to action in just four games. In those games, he recorded seven catches for 64 yards with one score. The Tampa native explains that the shoulder is completely healed but he’s still doing rehab to strengthen and regain its full range of motion.
As a junior, Odom averaged 13.1 yards per reception and found the end zone eight times in helping lead Jesuit High School to a state semifinal berth.
Odom is a versatile player with solid inline blocking abilities but also has the capability to be flexed out as a receiver. “It’s all about mismatches and Mullen exposes mismatches [well], which is why I ultimately chose Florida.”
Jonathan made it clear how much impact his father had on his selection of Florida, “My dad playing at UF had zero influence on my decision. This is my decision and [I] chose to go to the best school for me.
“My dad made sure that my attraction to UF had nothing to do with him and told me that ‘this is my journey.'”
Jonathan Odom’s journey will continue on Wednesday, December 18 when he officially signs to attend and play football at the University of Florida. He will enroll in early May and begin bonding with his new teammates.
In the fall of 2020, Odom will be standing on the field named for his father’s coach (Steve Spurrier), wearing the Orange and Blue uniform and looking up to the seats he’s sat in numerous times throughout his childhood.
“It hasn’t quite set in, but I’m sure it will next Wednesday.”