Florida Team News

Gators add offensive lineman Riley Simonds to 2019 recruiting class

Riley Simonds

Dan Mullen and the Florida Gators added a commitment to their 2019 class on Wednesday when three-star offensive lineman Riley Simonds announced his plans to play in Gainesville.

“I had a top-three of Virginia Tech, Florida and Missouri and most people thought I was going to go to Virginia Tech,” Simonds told GN. “But the educational plan I wanted for my future, my career and my family was at Florida.

“Not to mention, Florida is one of the top powerhouses in power-five football. I just want to bring ‘The Swamp’ back to what it is and bring the fans a championship. I think I can do that at Florida.”

When did Simonds begin thinking and looking at Florida?

“It was when Coach (Dan) Mullen got there because I had a great relationship with him from his time at Mississippi State,” Simonds said. “I talked to him a lot there and when he got the job at Florida, that’s when I really started talking to Florida.

“I like the way Coach Mullen gets it done on the field and then off the field he treats you like one of his own. I just like that about him. He knows how to get after you on the field, but then when you get off of it, he knows we do have some issues to deal with and he helps takes care of them.”

Simonds, (6-feet-3, 324 pounds) from Buford (GA) High, is among the top 20 offensive guard prospects in the nation for the 2019 class.

Will Simonds play guard at Florida?

“I can play anywhere in the interior offensive line,” he said. “I used to play tackle in high school as well. That’s where I started my first game, so I can really play anywhere, but mostly it’s been interior offensive line.”

RELATED: Florida adds one more playmaker to 2018 recruiting class.

As for the type of offensive lineman the Gators are getting in Simonds.

“I like to do whatever it takes to get it done and beat my defender,” he said. “I like to do whatever I can to get the hole open for the running back.”

Simonds is very thankful for this opportunity to play college football at a program like Florida.

“It’s a great feeling because I’ve worked my whole life to get this far and to have this opportunity in life,” Simonds said. “I was very fortunate to have a good amount of opportunities to play college football and it’s just a blessing from God and I thank God every day for it.”

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