4-star DE Nik Bonitto grew up a Gators fan but most of SEC is in pursuit

Nik Bonitto

Playing at a powerhouse football program like Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas, four-star defensive end Nik Bonitto has seen many of his former teammates go through the recruiting process.

“They talk to me about it a little bit, but mostly what they tell me is take my time and make sure that whatever I do is the right decision because that’s where you’re going to be for the next four years of your life,” he told GN.

With more than 25 offers nationally, Bonitto has some decisions to make.

“A lot of schools are talking to me now,” Bonitto said. “I’d probably say the schools that are recruiting me the hardest would be Kentucky, Louisville, LSU, Mississippi State, Michigan, Michigan State and Virginia Tech. Alabama is starting to hit me up a lot, and Florida is on me pretty hard right now as well.”

Bonitto (6 feet 2, 204 pounds) is considered one of the top five weakside ends in the country as well as a top-110 player overall.

“It’s obviously a nice honor, seeing my name as one of the top guys up there,” Bonitto said. “It’s also a lot of motivation because as I’m up there, a lot of people are behind me trying to get up to where I’m at. It’s just motivation to keep on working.”

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Bonitto considers himself an all-around defensive end.

“I’d say I’m versatile and I can do a lot on the field,” Bonitto said. “I can cover, I can rush the passer and I can take part against the run if I need to.”

Bonitto says coaching will play a big role in his final decision.

“Relationship with the coaches — that’s going to be a big part of what I want to do with college,” he said. “At the end of the day, I’m going to need the coaches to have my back for four years.”

Of the three big in-state programs in Florida, Bonitto says he has certainly been a fan of one of them. “I’ve grown up as a big Florida fan, but all three schools are all great programs,” he said.

Bonitto is enjoying his recruitment and will take his time with his decision.

“I’m enjoying it a lot,” said Bonitto, who is scheduled to visit Kentucky and Louisville this weekend. “It’s an honor to get to talk to some of these coaches. It’s very humbling.

“I want to play it out and make sure I’m taking my time with everything. I want to make sure and visit every school that’s putting their interest in me.”

(You can follow Ryan Green on Twitter @RyanGreenGN)

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