football Edit

UA Game: DJ Lagway followed his heart to Florida

ORLANDO - In the days leading up to National Signing Day and in the wee hours before he signed, DJ Lagway was still courting coaches who wanted to flip him from Florida.

New Texas A&M coach Mike Elko and offensive coordinator Collin Klein made the hardest pitch down the stretch. USC coach Lincoln Riley came in late and tried to get him. Even Clemson’s Dabo Swinney got in contact.


MORE UA GAME WEEK: Media day video interviews | Storylines to follow | Cam Coleman on his Auburn flip



“It was crazy,” Lagway said at Under Armour Game media day. “I had schools hitting me up all day and all night. Coach Riley, coach Swinney, even coach Elko, they definitely put their last thing in and it definitely had me thinking to the last second but overall I chose the Florida Gators.

“It definitely would have taken a lot especially with Texas A&M because of the new coaching staff and all that but I’m 100 percent locked in with the Florida Gators. It had me thinking a little bit but I prayed and talked to God and it led me overall to sticking with the Gators.”

The message from those other coaches was what Lagway was thinking in the first place - and it helped solidify his commitment with Florida.

“They tried to tell me to go where my heart was,” Lagway said. “I feel like I did. I definitely built great relationships with coach Elko and coach Klein even and we ended up on good terms so I feel like it was good.”

The Aggies gave the hardest pitch.

“I’d say Texas A&M,” Lagway said. “USC came at the end, they were kind of late on the back end of it. When coach Elko got in I was the first guy they hit up but it was those two.”

The pressure was on Lagway down the stretch. The Willis, Texas standout was trying to get flipped by other coaches - and even administrators at his own school.

“Especially with A&M,” Lagway said. “My school is like 30 minutes from A&M so all the teachers, the coaches, the principals, they’re all A&M die-hard. There were people all over the school telling me to go to A&M, A&M, A&M. I had to make the right decision for me, not for anybody else, for me.”

And that was Florida. That’s where his heart is - and where he will be in only a few days. But Lagway didn’t let Billy Napier know until the final few hours that he was absolutely sticking with the Gators.

Through it all, Florida was where Lagway wanted to be.

“I let (Napier) know that night around 11 o’clock that night,” Lagway said. “I’m excited. I can’t wait to learn from him.

“They didn’t really have to sell their pitch. It was building that relationship and that I’m the guy they see their future with. I want to go somewhere I’m wanted so that’s the big thing.

“I’m ready to get to work. I still have a lot of development left. I can’t wait to start this journey. I’m excited.”



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