Nestled between the University of Georgia’s campus in Athens and Georgia Tech’s campus in Atlanta sits Loganville, Georgia. Loganville is the home to Grayson High School, where Florida Gators 2021 quarterback commit, Carlos Del Rio, will be slinging a football this fall.
Del Rio, a 247Sports and composite 4-star prospect, transferred to Grayson High School in Loganville, a two-time 7A state championship program (2011, 2016), from McEachern High in Powder Springs after two very successful seasons guiding the Indians.
Carlos Del Rio has been on Florida’s radar for a while. The Gators extended an offer to the signal caller in June of 2018. Del Rio said that both head coach Dan Mullen and QB coach Brian Johnson made the initial offer.
Del Rio had just led his school to the state semifinals as a freshman, despite not taking over the starting job until post-season began. The playoff run included a win over Georgia’s No. 1 ranked team, Lowndes, and featured the freshman emulating Gators great, Tim Tebow, on a two-yard, jump-pass touchdown.
In an interview with ChompTalk.com, Del Rio stated, “I just really wanted to win McEachern a championship. We were never supposed to go that far with a freshman quarterback.”
As a sophomore at McEachern, Del Rio led the Indians to an 8-4 record while completing 57% of his 273 passing attempts. His 156 completions went for 2,138 yards and 20 touchdowns.
Due to his rushing stats of just 21 yards on 24 carries, 247 had Del Rio listed as a three-star, pro-style QB (his ranking has since gone up to its current 4-star status).
Del Rio committed to Florida at the Friday Night Lights camp in July of 2019 and returned to McEachern primed for a big year. The Peach State prospect praised the UF coaches, “I really liked interacting with Coach Mullen and Coach Johnson…because we already had a relationship, I felt like they were watching me closer than some of the others.”
The arrival of head coach Franklin Stephens for 2019 signaled a change in offensive schemes for the Indians. Stephens implemented a run heavy offense, (similar to what Mullen runs at UF), which also showcased Del Rio’s talents with the ball in his hand.
Under Stephens’ guidance, Del Rio ran for 572 yards and 8 scores on better than 4.8 yards per carry as a junior. Despite fewer passing attempts, his completion percentage rose to 64% and his TD-INT ratio went from 20-11 to 16-5.
More importantly, the Indians completed an undefeated regular season and advanced to the third round of the playoffs before dropping a 32-13 contest to North Gwinnett. Del Rio states that he was “devastated” by the loss. “We had everything we needed [to win].”
Because Del Rio’s father had been commuting two hours each way from the family’s home to his place of employment, it became clear that a move was necessary, so the quarterback enrolled into Grayson High School for classes beginning Spring 2020.
Interestingly enough, the Grayson Rams are scheduled to face the McEachern Indians in the opening weeks of the 2020 campaign in August. Del Rio stated that it will be “hard” to face his former teammates, but he wants to “crush them,” regardless. When talking about the upcoming season, Del Rio was clear, “there is only one goal: state championship!”
Del Rio spoke of his relationship with the Florida coaching staff as “a personal connection” and that they talk to him daily and “about everything.”
The 6’3, 204 lb prospect was candid when asked about Mullen’s propensity to allow younger quarterbacks to learn and develop before seeing significant action. “That’s not a problem. I like both [Emory Jones and Anthony Richardson], I don’t mind sitting out my first year. After that, they better watch out, I’m coming!”
“But if my number is called in my first year, I’m going in!”
Del Rio says he is 100% committed to Florida. “I think this is where I need to be. I have the best QB coaches in college [at UF].”
When asked about the expectations of the Gators’ 2021 class, Del Rio was direct, “We’re coming to win.”