By Cam Smith, USA TODAY High School Sports | June 2, 2017 9:47 am ET
Amari Burney decided he didn’t have to travel far to make a big impact at a power program.
On Thursday, the Calvary Christian (Fla.) safety picked the Florida Gators as his future collegiate home ahead of scholarship offers from the likes of Ohio State and Virginia Tech, which he had identified as his other finalists.
Speaking shortly after he donned a Florida hat at a live ceremony, Burney told Bob Putnam that his commitment was a relief and an inflection point to flip a switch and try to help sway potential future teammates in Gainesville. He also confirmed that he would be back on campus at some point this summer.
“It’s just the coaches and my relationship with all the coaches there especially Coach Mac [Jim McElwain],” Burney told 247 Sports. “The things they have around the school like the academic facilities stand out and it looked great when they showed it to me. Being close to home isn’t a big factor but it’s a nice thing to have.”
Burney also said he was reassured by coaches that there would be opportunities for him to get on the field, in part due to anticipated departures for the NFL. Now, he gets to buckle down and focus on his senior season without the distractions of the recruiting cycle, except for the fellow rising seniors who he’ll try to convince to join him in Gainesville.