ATH Eugene Wilson III commits to Florida

Eugene Wilson
Photo: Eric Horchy, Tampa Beacon

Billy Napier and the Florida Gators continue to absolutely clean up on the recruiting trail, with Eugene Wilson III becoming the latest piece of data to back that statement up.

Eugene Wilson III , a consensus four-star ATH from Tampa’s Gaither High School, committed to Florida on Friday afternoon. He becomes the Gators’ third commitment in 20 hours after running back Treyaun Webb and quarterback Marcus Stokes pulled the trigger yesterday evening.

Wilson also marks the fourth commitment in the last five days, and the seventh in the last seventeen days. All seven are of consensus four-star caliber. Not a bad haul, right?

The first thing to know about Eugene Wilson III is that football runs in his family. His father, also named Eugene Wilson, won two Super Bowls as a defensive back with the New England Patriots.

Wilson chose Florida over Texas A&M, although that statement shouldn’t take away from the plethora of offers he had from big-name programs. You name a big-time football program, and they offered Eugene Wilson a scholarship. Among his other offers: Alabama, Georgia, Oklahoma, Oregon, Penn State, FSU, and Ole Miss.

His high school tape might at least partially explain that offer list.

Although he’s technically classified as an “ATH,” Wilson best projects as a wide receiver at the next level. However, it’s worth noting that he’s versatile, intelligent, and fleet-footed enough to play defensive back for Gaither, meaning in an emergency situation Florida could at least attempt to work with him as a DB in a pinch. ¬†After all, defense is the side of the ball he’s actually seen more time at.

But onto his wide receiver skills. Let’s start with the pure speed. He’s a blazer both in the 40 and 100 yard dash, and he combines that raw straight-line speed with rare footwork that allows him to start and stop on a dime. He’s a little small, perhaps, but size doesn’t matter if you can’t catch him. And that, as his high school opponents in Florida 7A ball will attest, is nearly impossible.

Those quick feet also make him adept in the art of route-running. He’s got a bit of a jab step that can make defenders fall over themselves and look stupid, while he takes that step back and then bursts through the greenery that he’s created for himself. That’s on display in his highlight tape multiple times. And better yet, he’s got lateral juke and spin moves to complement that jab step.

The only concern with Eugene Wilson is that he isn’t really that big. He’s officially listed at 5’11, 165 lbs. But he’s also not finished growing yet, and with a few months in Mark Hocke’s strength program, he should be just fine there.

I’m generally not a fan of comparing recruits to past Gator players, but the raw explosiveness- and to a lesser extent, the need for Wilson to work on becoming a more-rounded wide receiver- is somewhat reminiscent of Kadarius Toney. He’ll have a package in the Florida offense early on in his career assuming he keeps filling out his frame, and with an offseason or two of work refining his wide receiver skills, Eugene Wilson III could find his way onto some All-SEC lists before his career is done.