Tight end Daniel Imatorbhebhe — im-a-TOUR-bay-bay, I'm guessing — committed to Florida on Wednesday, as first tweeted by Gator Country's Andrew Spivey. That makes Imatorbhebhe the first public Florida commit since the Gators hired Jim McElwain as head coach.
Imatorbhebhe, a 6'4" tight end from Suwanee, Georgia, is rated as a consensus three-star prospect by the 247Sports Composite rankings, and the nation's No. 24 tight end. From his highlights, he certainly looks more like a receiver than an in-line blocker at this point in his career, and, at 225ish pounds, might need a redshirt year before contributing at Florida.
Oh, and he catches jump passes.
Daniel Imatorbhebhe was destined to be a Gator. He already catches jump passes. #gators https://t.co/Dv7lzbZuKq— Jonathan Arnholz (@JArnholz) December 16, 2014
Florida will lose ("lose," perhaps) tight ends Clay Burton and Tevin Westbrook to graduation after this year, and is still somewhat likely to lose Jake McGee to the NFL Draft, though McGee has been quiet on his plans of late. Behind those three upperclassmen, the only tight ends on Florida's roster are a trio of freshmen: Deandre Goolsby was an early enrollee in 2014, and saw playing time early on, while C'yontai Leiws and Moral Stephens redshirted.
So there's a shot that Imatorbhebhe could see the field as a freshman, especially if an open competition at the position happens. At minimum, he's good depth for a position where a lack thereof left Florida with only two converted defensive ends in 2014 — and, given Westbrook's costly drops of a go-ahead touchdown against LSU and a catch against Florida State that turned into a pick-six, that lack of experienced depth alone may have helped swing two wins in the Gators' season.
But Daniel Imatorbhebhe's commitment also gets Florida to the front of the line for his brother Josh, a 2016 wide receiver who is likely to end up as a four-star prospect and one of the nation's top 250 players. And that's a nice bonus for the Gators, who will likely be restocking at wide receiver in after the 2015 season, with Demarcus Robinson very likely to enter the 2016 NFL Draft.
With the commitment, Florida is back to a whopping eight commitments in the 2015 class — but expect that number to rise before too long.