It has been a jam-packed past couple of weeks for Marquise Lightfoot, as the four-star EDGE is fresh off taking visits to several Power Five contenders.
After stopping by Ohio State to start the month, the 2024 prospect then visited Miami, Georgia, and most recently the University of Florida. Alabama, Georgia, Michigan, Notre Dame, Oregon and Tennessee are some schools that have offered the Chicago native as well.
Lightfoot, who arrived in Gainesville on Friday and spent all of Saturday on campus as well, spoke with Gators Online about his first experience at the Swamp.
“I was there for the scrimmage and watched practice, and it was intense,” Lightfoot told Gators Online. “They are working and grinding and working each other. The whole squad is going to be good; both offense and defense.”
Being a native of the Midwest, Lightfoot relished his time touring UF’s campus and spending time in the Sunshine State altogether; in fact, being able to spend time in that climate was the highlight of his visit.
“It was bigger and greater than I expected,” Lightfoot said. “I never knew anything about the University of Florida, but I was definitely surprised around the campus.”
Several Gators coaches are linked to Lightfoot’s recruitment
According to the On300 rankings, Lightfoot is the No. 6 EDGE and No. 52 prospect overall. That goes hand in hand with his projection at UF, which is recruiting him to play the JACK position.
That means outside linebackers coach Mike Peterson would be Lightfoot’s positional coach; however, Sean Spencer is the area recruiter and who Lightfoot spent the most time with on campus.
“It was cool,” Lightfoot said of his time with Spencer. “He was telling me how he would develop me and put up some film to show me what I do and how it relates to the game and what he teaches. He would pull up my film and then pull up today’s practice to show how it relates to what they are doing.”
By spending multiple days in Gainesville, Lightfoot was able to get a better understanding for Billy Napier’s vision as well.
“He is cool and pushes his players to their limit. He makes sure they are all working,” Lightfoot said. “Also, he is really respected because when he’s talking, no one else is talking. They are all taking in what he is saying.”
Florida is now on the radar for an official visit
As of now, the 6-foot-4, 220-pound junior has no official visits scheduled. The plan is to start scheduling them sometime around June.
Florida is on the radar for one of them, but Lightfoot says there is still a lot of sorting out to do. Additional unofficial visits will likely take place as well, so his recruitment is still fairly fluid.
Notre Dame, according to On3’s Recruiting Prediction Machine, is trending with odds of 26.4 percent.
“They definitely moved up their ranking. At first, they were unranked, but it’s definitely in the top 10 now,” Lightfoot said of UF’s standing in his recruitment.
During the 2022 season, Lightfoot accumulated 122 tackles (56 solo), 15 tackles for loss, nine sacks, three fumble recoveries and a forced fumble.
Stay tuned to Gators Online.
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