DADE CITY – Although Pasco DL Joey Ivie has been a Florida Gator for a month, he wanted to spend one final day with his former Pirate teammates before they go their separate ways.
That’s why he came down from Gainesville for today’s noon signing ceremony at Pasco, joining teammates Janarion Grant (Rutgers), Damien Wilson (Nebraska-Kearney) and Jajuan Henry (Black Hills State).
“I’d rather sign with someone I spent most of my time with – pretty much my family,” Ivie said. “I wanted to come back and show that respect.”
Ivie enrolled early at UF at the start of the second semester. The four-star lineman is already beginning to fill out with the Gators’ strength training. The 6-foot-4 Ivie said he weighed 254 pounds when he started there in early January. He’s already up to 270 pounds.
He said the biggest adjustment to college has been the responsibility of handling all of your academic and athletic responsibilities personally.
“You’ve got nobody but yourself,” Ivie said.
Ivie became the North Suncoast’s top recruit after his junior season. He grew from a prospect with only a UMass offer to Rivals’ No. 198 overall recruit. He landed offers from FSU, Miami, USF, Ole Miss, Tennessee and others before committing to UF in June.
Ivie said he considered decommitting briefly during the recruiting process, but a conversation with Gators coach Will Muschamp changed his mind.
“He really convinced me that Florida was the school for me,” Ivie said. “Still today, I feel that it is.”