Photo via DJ Lagway (Twitter)
Every recruiting cycle or two, there comes a transcendant QB who can change the impact of an entire class. The kind of QB who not only possesses tremendous physical talent, but high intelligence, a general likability, and because of that likability, the gift of being a top-tier recruiter for his school that isn’t even a paid staffer for that school.
In the class of 2024, that QB is DJ Lagway. And he is now a Florida Gator.
Boasting offers from Alabama, Oklahoma, Texas, Oregon, Georgia, Clemson, LSU, Miami, USC, Texas A&M, and many others, DJ Lagway announced today that he is choosing Florida over all of them. Lagway’s other finalists were USC and Clemson.
You can watch his high school highlight tape here.
The athleticism and playmaking abilities DJ Lagway demonstrates are extremely impressive. He has this uncanny ability to dance around behind the line of scrimmage and out of nowhere- because he doesn’t really stop to set his feet, square his shoulders or do anything else that signals he’s about to throw the ball- and then deliver a perfect ball. Obviously, doing this at Willis (TX) High School and doing this for the Florida Gators in the SEC are two very different stories, there’s no way to predict how much this will translate- and if it doesn’t translate, how he adapts- but it’s nonetheless remarkable to watch.
Naturally, with his ability to elude tacklers in the backfield, he’s able to evade them downfield, too, making him a legitimate threat as a runner. The running obviously won’t look the same in college as it does in high school, so take those long, weaving runs you see on his highlight tape with a grain of salt. But Lagway is more than capable of beating SEC defenses with his feet and elusiveness, and if he tacks on another fifteen pounds of pure muscle, he could be a bona fide dual-threat QB that the likes of Georgia and Alabama will have fits with.
As far as the pure throwing part of being a quarterback, Lagway checks that box, too. He’s developed some very nice timing with his high school teammates, and is shown on tape throwing some perfect back-shoulder balls. He’s also very accurate on every route on the route tree, and does a nice job leading his receivers and throwing them open.
If there’s a weakness with Lagway- and there really isn’t because he can get away with it in high school, so I’ll call it something he needs to work on- it’s the mechanics. They’re a little funky, and could definitely use some fine-tuning. But that’s coachable.
He’s also going to have to realize when to concede defeat on a play, such as when protection has broken down, nobody is open, and he’s about to get sacked, and not try too hard to make something happen- not that he does this a ton, but it’s a natural learning curve for many dual-threat QBs making the adjustment from high school to college. So, it’s not really something that’s a problem for him, but just something to monitor with his growth and development.
Plain and simple, this is a tremendous recruiting victory for Florida.
Beating Dabo Swinney and Lincoln Riley on the recruiting trail is always a sign that you’re doing something right. Any time you beat Southern Cal and Clemson for a five-star prospect, it’s a victory. But there’s just another element to it when you land such a game-changer at QB who can do so many different things to help your team. It’s that kind of victory that Billy Napier and his staff get to celebrate- andd after the season they’ve suffered through on the field, they more than deserve it.
Lagway is also a top-tier baseball prospect, and wanted to at least have the ability to play both sports at a school if he wanted to. Part of what sold him on Florida was the elite baseball program that Kevin O’Sullivan has built. Florida reached the College World Series every year from 2010-12, and again from 2015-18, and the Gators figure to have another loaded team in 2022.
The addition of DJ Lagway vaults Florida’s 2024 class into the top ten of the 247Sports Composite Rankings, with running back Chauncey Bowens, linebacker Myles Graham and now Lagway committed. All three are considered to be blue-chip recruits, meaning they are ranked as either four-star or five-star prospects in 247Sports’ Composite rankings.
“Blue Chip Billy,” indeed.