TAMPA — On Monday, just two weeks before National Signing Day when football prospects across the country will sign letters-of-intent to play at the collegiate level, Jefferson senior quarterback Deiondre Porter announced his verbal commitment to the University of Florida.
Porter, a 6-foot-1 dual-threat quarterback, took an official visit to Gainesville over the weekend.
“It just felt right,” Porter said. “Everything about Gainesville, it just felt like the right feeling. When I left, I told my mom and dad that place is for me.”
Porter reopened his recruitment last Thursday when he decommitted from the University of South Florida. In the past week, he received verbal offers from Florida, Miami and Wyoming, following his performance in the Blue-Grey All-American Bowl at Raymond James on Jan. 11. He also had offers from Wisconsin, Central Florida and Cincinnati.
Though Porter helped lead the South team to victory by scoring the tying touchdown in the fourth quarter of the All-American game, he said playing with some of the nation’s best seniors that week didn’t lead to the newfound attention from college scouts.
“My coach sent my film out one last time, and they jumped on it,” he said.
Porter was recruited by Florida and USF at the athlete position, meaning he could be used on offense and defense. He said he was recruited by the Gators as a cornerback. Florida finished 4-8 last season and missed a bowl berth for the first time since 1990.
“I’m comfortable playing any position,” Porter said.
Porter led the Tampa area in all-purpose yards last season, passing for 3,199 yards and 33 touchdowns, and rushing for 1,499 yards and 20 TDs. He guided the Dragons to a 10-2 record and the Class 6A region semifinals. In his final high school game against Armwood, Porter threw a season-best 456 yards with five touchdowns and added 54 rushing yards and a touchdown.
After the season, Porter also played in the Florida Athletic Coaches Association North-South All-Star game in Sebring.
Porter said his choice wasn’t based on which program could better prepare him for a possible career in the NFL.
“I don’t even look at the NFL,” he said. “My goal is to work on getting a starting position.”
Porter initially committed to the Bulls before the season at the athlete position. He was the second quarterback from Tampa to decommit from USF this season. After verbally committing during the summer, Wharton’s Chase Litton decommitted before the start of the 2013 season.