DERBY — Derby senior DeAndre Goolsby, one of the top-rated tight ends in the country, announced Friday that he has made an oral commitment to play at Florida.
Goolsby, who is rated the third-best tight end by Rivals.com, also considered Arkansas, Kansas State, Ohio State and Oklahoma.
Sitting next to his father, Brian and mother, Heather, in a lecture hall packed with teammates and classmates, Goolsby walked to a lectern with the five hats of the schools he was considering, and first picked up the Ohio State hat.
Gooslby put the hat back down with a little laugh and crammed the white Florida hat on his head. He then did the Gator chomp and smiled.
“I just felt a different vibe at Florida,” he said after taking two visits to Gainesville, including a visit during the season. “… I fit in with the players real well and I liked the coaches a lot.”
Derby coach Brandon Clark introduced Goolsby, and said “he came in as a tiny little pudgy boy, and he’s going out a 6-4, 6-5, 225-, 230-pound great athlete. It’s been fun to see him blossom on the football field.”
The recruiting process was hectic with phone calls, mail and e-mail. Goolsby said his mom turned his phone off at night so he could get a break.
K-State fans were hopeful he’d choose the Wildcats because his father, and Clark, played there.
But Goolsby’s dad insisted it was his son’s decision.
“He’s supportive of me,” DeAndre Goolsby said. “He told me to follow my dreams.”