Often times when looking at high school prospects for Florida football, one of the common themes we talk about here at Hail Florida Hail is whether or not a player has the size needed for the SEC. Most of the time, we comment that players must add 10 to 20 pounds before arriving on campus.
But class of 2024 prospect Benedict Umeh could immediately step on the field in the SEC and immediately look like he belongs.
Florida Football: Sir Benedict
Listed at 6’5″ and 240 pounds, Umeh is a defensive lineman that matches the size of current Florida EDGE rusher Princely Umanmielen. Originally out of Toronto, he currently plays for Avon Old Farms School in Connecticut, the same school as previously reviewed prospect Jack Hines.
He’s not lying about his size either, as on film, he immediately pops out as a grown man playing against children.
But even with his size, he is explosive off the ball and impossible to stop once he gets the first step on you. He often times will beat his man to the inside, and once he breaks through the line he comes after the opposing with QB with such ferocity that you feel bad for them while watching on film.
On3 has him as a top 30 overall prospect, while ESPN has him 81st. 247 Sports and Rivals have him around 130th.
We would probably agree with the ESPN ranking the most. His size doesn’t grow on trees, and there are very few players nationally Billy Napier could find that even come close to his build.
But, despite his size, there isn’t much on film that shows him sending an opposing offensive lineman straight backward and on skates. Part of this is because Umeh tends to get high once the snap is made, negating some of his power.
If you trust the Gator coaching staff, technique issues can be cleaned up. Umeh was recently on campus and had nothing but positive things to say about Florida football. Napier is going to have to fight off Penn State for his services, as he was at their Spring Game.
But if Umeh does wind up as a Gator, it will be impossible to miss him on the field.