On Saturday night, in different states, two people felt relieved. Jamie Dixon had to have been excited that Mike Young (Pittsburgh/St. Benedict’s) picked Pittsburgh over Florida. Down in the Sunshine State, power forward Schuyler Rimmer (Orlando, Fla./Boone) was a lot like Dixon.
Rimmer was nervous and went through a period of not knowing if the Gators would have room for him. Chris Walker’s commitment put his dreams in jeopardy. A commitment by Young to Florida would have been disastrous from his perspective.
“I felt so relieved,” Rimmer said. “I kind of had almost a relapse when Mike Young was down to two. I told myself that if he doesn’t choose Florida, I’m going to do it. I didn’t want to go through this again.”
Rimmer, the son of two Florida graduates, grew up wanting to be in Gainesville. “When I started seriously playing basketball in sixth grade, they’d won consecutive national titles. Both my parents went there. It’s been my dream to play there since day one. Before I played basketball, I just wanted to go there. Given the opportunity to play there, it was something I didn’t want to pass up.”
This week, Rimmer went to campus armed with offers from Stanford, Virginia, Southern Cal, Vanderbilt and Tennessee. He wanted to know exactly what Billy Donovan had in store for him. What he found was a long-term plan that matched Rimmer’s mindset for improvement.
“My freshman year is going to be gridlocked. They see me developing into a successful player for them. That hit home for me. Going to practice and practicing everyday against NBA lottery picks is the best way to develop. Getting better instead of playing a lot as a freshman and not getting better is more important.”
The Florida Gators didn’t get Young. However, they did land a big man who knows his role inside, plays with toughness (he’s missing a front tooth from an eighth-grade clash with the net) and most importantly: He wants to be a Gator and always has.
UF has the nation’s No. 1 recruiting class.