Florida RB Deonte Sheffield is on Official Visit in Storrs
January 28, 2017
As we enter the final recruiting weekend before signing day on Wednesday, there are several top prospects taking in their official visits in Storrs, perhaps none more high profile than Florida running back Deonte Sheffield. From Niceville High School, Sheffield is the 2015 Daily News Large School Offensive Player of the Year and USA Today All-Florida Selection after running for a school record 1,822 yards, accounting for 2,144 all-purpose yards and 22 touchdowns as a junior.
Sheffield earned a lot of interest from some high profile schools down south including Florida State throughout the recruiting process. Niceville running back coach Adron Robinson was able to provide some insight into Sheffield, his development as a player and what type of asset he could be to an offense under the leadership of new offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee.
"Since his sophomore year Deonte has developed into a complete back," Robinson said over email on Friday. "He has always been a talented runner, but over his junior and senior years, he has improved as a blocker."
A skill set that makes Sheffield dangerous is his abilities out of the backfield to catch the ball, something Robinson touched on.
"He is as talented a pass catcher as any wide receiver," he said. "He's the best in the country out of the backfield, highlighted by his performance as the best WR at the Florida State 7v7 camp, bar none. It's what makes him such a versatile player, his unique pass catching ability."
Following his record-setting 2015 season as a junior, opposing defenses focused on stopping Sheffield and forcing the Niceville offense to beat them in a different way. Still, he was able to have a very productive season.
"Deonte had a major bullseye on his back in 2016, which allowed our QB to set or tie six school records," Robinson said. "He still had 1,000 yards and 8 receiving touchdowns out of the backfield. The exciting and unique thing about Deonte is he can make you miss and take it to the house, or you can give it to him 40 times in a game and grind it out."
Florida State was all over Sheffield, who stands 5'10" 210-pounds, but the Seminoles never did offer. Their loss, could be UConn's gain.
"Deonte has prototypical size for a running back," Robinson said. "I know Jimbo Fisher loves him, but FSU happened to get two blue chippers late and had another committed for over a year. There was no doubt how Florida State felt about him. It was just a numbers game and FSU batted 1.000 on running backs this year."
One more piece that fans will like to hear, Sheffield fits into the mold of what the UConn program is all about.
"Deonte is a fun-loving, hard-working athlete that comes from a great family," he said.
Robinson himself has earned quite the reputation at Niceville, helping more than fifty potential college prospects earn scholarships across the country. It takes hard work, but the reward is certainly worth his efforts.
"It means everything," Robinson said when his guys obtain scholarships. "Nothing is more joyous then hearing (insert name) from Niceville, FL on Saturdays, except seeing my guys having an opportunity to get an education and a head start in the game of life. It's a grind, lots of texts, emails, social media, camps and just being completely relentless for my guys. I am also blessed to work for a Head Coach/Athletics Director (John Hicks) that supports the effort and allows flexibility to get it done."
Stay tuned for much more on Sheffield and the rest of the official visits that are taking place this weekend, just four days before National Signing Day.
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