TAMPA – After Jefferson ATH Deiondre Porter changed his mind once, he never wavered again.
The Times’ all-Suncoast offensive player of the year made his flip from USF to Florida official Wednesday morning by signing with the Gators.
“As soon as I gave my word, I cut off all my visits,” Porter said. “There was nothing more. I found the place I want to be.”
The three-star talent and 247Sports’ No. 53 overall athlete put up one of the most prolific seasons in Tampa Bay history as a senior quarterback. The 6-foot, 180-pound athlete rushed for almost 1,500 yards and threw for more than 3,000 to help the Dragons finish 10-2 last fall but will likely switch to defensive back in college.
Porter initially committed to USF, but Florida and others made a late push after his stellar senior season. He changed his commitment late last month because the camaraderie among the Gators felt no different than the bond he felt with his fellow Dragons.
“They were mad at first,” Porter said of USF coach Willie Taggart and the Bulls. “At the end of the day, Coach understood.”
Porter said he viewed UF’s 4-8 season as a rare hiccup and that he expects to compete for national championships in Gainesville, where he’ll join former Wharton star Vernon Hargreaves III in the secondary.
As for his recruitment and late boom, Porter said he doesn’t have any regrets.
“It was a long time coming,” Porter said. “As a young adult, stuff happened late for a reason. It just happened right on time.”
Four other Dragon football players signed alongside Porter: DB Chavez Pownell (Wyoming), LB Juwuan Brown (USF) and receivers Derrick Ingram and Ventell Bryant (Temple).