The Florida Gators picked up their seventh commitment to the recruiting class of 2012 on Friday in JaFar Mann from Stone Mountain, Ga., Stephenson High.
The two-way lineman (DT-OG) said he made his decision Friday partly because it was his father’s 53rd birthday, making a nice present for Amotea Mann.
“I kinda knew it was going to come down to Florida,” said Mann, who picked UF over Miami, Auburn and Tennessee. “I feel like I made the right decision and decided to do it on my dad’s birthday. He’s very excited and happy about the situation.”
He is the second 2012 Gators' commitment from Stephenson High. The other was running back Mike Davis.
The 6-foot-4, 290-pounder grew up a Georgia fan, but he’s not likely bringing ’Dawgs gear to Gainesville.
It was suggested that he may need to burn some of it.
“I don’t know about that,” he said, laughing. “I grew up a Georgia fan, but it just wasn’t the right place for me.”
He’ll play defensive tackle for UF.
“I like defense,” he said. “I’m a run stopper and a QB crusher.”
Mann had 45 tackles and six assists last year and coach Corey Johnson had nothing but good things to say about his beast of a lineman.
"He’s one of our best recent two-way players that we've had," Johnson said. "He's already a heck of a player and he handles himself in a fashion that he can go both ways. He is a blessing for us."
Johnson said Mann has played varsity since he was a freshman and he's very quick for his size at 4.9 seconds in the 40-yard dash.
"Florida is getting one heck of a football player," Johnson said."
Mann was not going to say he thought he could break into the starting lineup as a freshman, but he does think he can get on the field.
"I think I can probably work myself into the line-up," Mann said. "I don’t know, I'm gonna try to play early. "I just want to be a part of it. I just like to play."
As for teams who might continue to pursue the big lineman?
"I’m going to shut down the recruiting process, so I’m done," he said. "If they want to continue recruit me they can, but my mind is pretty much made up."
As a defensive lineman, Mann says he a better bull-rushing sort, but that he's talented at all rushing techniques.
"I'm a great bull rusher, but I’m good with the rip and the swim too," Mann said. "The bull rush is my best. I can do everything, bull rushing is my last move, I come hard the whole game. I’m gonna catch them sometime with the swim move. I’m quick so they don’t get time to hit me in the ribs."
Mann said he will likely try to make the spring game in Gainesville.
Chris Hays is the Sentinel's recruiting coverage coordinator and can be reached at <a href="mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org">email@example.com</a>.