Derby tight end DeAndre Goolsby was well-covered by Manhattan High defenders Friday night, but it didn’t matter.
The 6-foot-4, 225-pound senior stretched his arms out just in time for his quarterback to hit him in the hands for a 7-yard touchdown at Bishop Stadium — just down the road from where his father Brian was a star fullback for Kansas State.
Following the touchdown, Goolsby then remined everyone where he intends to play football next year when he performed the Gator Chomp.
The four-star recruit verbally committed to Florida on Nov. 8, choosing the Gators over Arkansas, K-State, Ohio State, Oklahoma and Oregon.
Rated as the third-ranked tight end in America by Rivals.com, Goolsby said he seriously considered playing for K-State, where his father made a name for himself as one of the most bruising fullbacks in school history from 1995-98.
“(K-State) was definitely up there,” he said Friday night. “Being around it my whole life and my parents and my uncle going there, it was a good place for me to go, but Florida felt the best.
“There was a lot of pressure (from family), but I stuck through it and made my decision. They were fine with it. They just wanted what’s best for me and where I’d fit best and wanted to see me happy.”
Goolsby’s decision to play at Florida may not be set in stone just yet, though. The Gators have lost their last five games and currently sit at 4-6 overall and 3-5 in SEC.
Florida head coach Will Muschamp could be in trouble at the season’s end, especially if the Gators miss out on a bowl game.
Goolsby said if Florida were to make a change at head coach, then he would have to reevaluate his decision.
“I don’t know… I’d really have to sit down and think about it if there was a head coaching change at Florida,” Goolsby said. “But I’ve talked to the coaching staff and they seem to have things figured out. (Muschamp) plans on being there for a while.”
Despite the Gators’ struggles, Goolsby said Florida just seemed like the perfect fit in the end.
“It just felt like it was the best place for me to be,” Goolsby said. “I got along with the coaching staff real well, the players real well, and it seemed like a good fit for me.”