While many will focus on the big names and scholarship players for the 2022 recruiting class, as they should, shortly after stepping on campus Billy Napier made it very clear that the walk-on program would be a huge part of the football team. Since making that statement the Gators have reeled in a few commitments from future preferred walk-on's, including talented Jacksonville (Fla.) native Bryce Capers. Capers is a linebacker from nearby Riverside HS who chose Florida over scholarship offers from FIU, Akron and Liberty among others.
I was able to sit down with Capers and go a little more in depth with him about why he chose Florida and what he wants to accomplish as a Florida Gator.
Anthony Beck: You chose Florida over scholarship offers from FIU, Akron, Liberty and more. What was it about Florida that made you decide that it was the right place for you?
Bryce Capers: “I always had to dream to go power 5 and I wanted nothing less for myself because that’s the type of player I am. I didn’t want to short myself. I’m competitive and I know once I show my skill I will be offered a scholarship. Florida is an SEC school in Florida, so what better way to show that then at Florida. I want to bring UF back to the top!”
AB: What coaches did you speak to the most leading up to our decision and what did they tell you they liked about your skillset and how you'd fit in their scheme?
BC: “The two most involved in my decision was Coach Raymond, and my position coach Mike Peterson. Coach Raymond loved my film and immediately responded to my high school coach, not sure what he liked but he must have saw something. Coach Peterson saw me on my unofficial and appreciated my frame. I have a good wingspan and they haven’t seen my quickness and speed yet. We haven’t discussed scheme but I’m versatile to where I’m able to play similar to a Isaiah Simmons or Derwin James.”
AB: What does it mean to have a position coach that played LB at not just the school you'll be attending but also at the highest level?
BC: “Coach Peterson is a GOAT where I’m from (Jacksonville, Florida) . It means he knows the in's and out's of the game. I will have my ears wide open hanging on every word he says. UF has a gem in Coach Peterson and that’s a major reason I decided to be a Gator.”
AB: Just to close it out, what does it mean to you to officially be a Gator, and what can Gator fans expect from you when you get on campus?
BC: “I’m excited to show Gator Nation my worth. The Florida Gator fans have been like no other Mr. Beck. The Gator fans are the best in the nation. To officially be a Gator is like simply and literally being at home.”
Simply put, Bryce Capers is an incredible young man and is gonna work hard when he gets on campus. I believe he’s gonna earn a scholarship within his first two to three years of being on campus and make an impact on the field. He’s a leader, and the way he carries himself rubs off on his teammates as well.
Stay tuned to Stadium And Gale for more on the Florida Gators.