Roughly 2 1/2 years after graduating from Plant City as one of the most coveted football recruits in Raiders history, Jordan Prestwood finally appears set to play his first collegiate game.
At the junior college level.
On Friday, Prestwood told the Tampa Bay Times he leaves Saturday for Yuma, Ariz., where he'll play this fall for Arizona Western College. Prestwood was set to play for UCF this season but failed to meet his academic requirements, Knights coach George O'Leary announced last week.
AWC coach Tom Minnick, whose team finished seventh in the final NJCAA regular season poll last year, confirmed Prestwood's arrival.
"We just kind of got lucky," Minnick said. "I knew someone there at Florida that knew him and knew he wouldn't be able to get into UCF. I just said, 'Hey, I hear you've got to go juco, you might as well go to one of the best.'"
The juco stop is the fourth in Prestwood's bizarre collegiate odyssey.
A 6-foot-7, 317-pound offensive tackle, he committed to Notre Dame before his senior year at Plant City, but changed his mind and enrolled at FSU in January 2011. He left after one semester, went to Notre Dame, appeared poised for a spot in the Irish's 2012 playing rotation, but left the team during preseason camp for personal reasons.
He chose to resume his career at UCF and reportedly had been taking community college courses to meet enrollment requirements before O'Leary announced he wouldn't be joining the program.
In a text message to the Times on Friday, Prestwood said he hopes to play for AWC this fall and sign with a Division I program in December. If that happens, he would have two years of major college eligibility remaining.