Florida basketball recruiting: Gators nab first 2020 commit in JUCO forward

By Michael Phillips
September 29, 2019
Florida basketball recruiting: Gators nab first 2020 commit in JUCO forward

Image Credit: Tim Casey/UAA

The last couple of days have been great for the Florida Gators basketball program. Media day on campus provided a first impression of what this preseason top 10 team will look like, head coach Mike White inked a raise as part of a two-year contract extension, and Sunday night, the program landed its first verbal commitment for the Class of 2020 in power forward Osayi Osifo. 

The 6-foot-8, 215-pound big-man spent one season at Eastern Florida State College and will be eligible in the fall of 2020 as a junior college transfer. Osifo chose Florida over Georgia, Missouri, Georgetown and Xavier, according to Rivals, which reported Osifo’s commitment after speaking to his coach. The Gators offered him 10 days ago. Kansas was also reportedly interested in his services. 

Osifo, who is not rated or ranked on any recruiting service, was not well scouted out of high school in McKinney, Texas — he didn’t begin playing the sport until he was 15 years old — and his numbers in one season at EFSC were nothing to raise your eyebrows at either (averages of 4.4 points, 3.9 rebounds). Nevertheless, he has major upside. 

Osifi is athletic for his frame and has a 7-foot-1 wingspan. As he continues to learn the sport and how to use his body on the court under the coaching of White, the 19-year-old should make big strides. A major benefit is that he was also taught by one of the best NJCAA coaches in Jeremy Shulman (five straight Elite Eight berths).

Though Osifo is the first verbal commitment for 2020, he will be one of three transfers eligible to play for Florida next season; the other two are already on the team sitting out a season per NCAA eligibility rules. Former Cleveland State guard Tyree Appleby and former Louisiana Tech forward Anthony Duruji will spend the 2019-20 season redshirting.

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