It didn’t take long for Jefferson athlete Deiondre Porter to make up his mind.
Less than a week after officially decommitting from USF, the Tampa Bay Times’ all-Suncoast offensive player of the year orally pledged to Florida. The three-star recruit announced his college choice Monday evening on the Bright House Sports Network and chose the Gators over USF, Miami and UCF, among others.
"Everybody knows (Florida's) a high-powered dynasty. ...For the next three to four years, I'll be playing for a national championship ...at Florida," he said on BHSN.
The 6-foot-1, 190-pound Porter was one of the state’s most prolific players this fall. The Dragons’ senior quarterback led his team in passing (3,199 yards, 33 touchdowns) and rushing (1,499 yards, 20 touchdowns) to take Jefferson to the Class 6A region semifinals. He threw for five touchdowns and rushed for another in a season-ending 52-48 loss to Armwood.
That success earned Porter first-team all-state honors in 6A and helped his recruitment take off. He earned offers from Cincinnati, UCF, Michigan State and Rutgers during the season, and UF and Miami extended him offers last week.
Porter made his official visit to Gainesville over the weekend. He canceled a scheduled visit to Wisconsin soon after. Porter said one turning point came during a conversation with Vernon Hargreaves III - a Wharton alum and Gators defensive back who wanted Porter to join him at UF.
"I said, you know what, I'm going to take you up on that offer," Porter said.
Although Porter was a dual-threat quarterback in high school, many colleges saw his athleticism and ability to backpedal and evaluated him as a defensive back – a position he hasn’t played since middle school.
"I feel I can play anywhere, whatever the team needs," Porter said.
Oral commitments are non-binding until recruits sign letters of intent during their senior years. National signing day is Feb. 5.