- Associated Press - Thursday, September 2, 2010

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - Jeoffrey Pagan can just about do it all on defense, and that’s a big reason why the defensive end at Asheville High School is headed to Florida next fall.

“He’s a guy that’s good enough to certainly put a lot of pressure on the passer, and then he can turn around and get into some zone blitz stuff and he’s plenty good enough to drop into flat coverage,” high school coach Danny Wilkins said.

Pagan is one of two North Carolina players on The Associated Press’s South Region 25 list of top recruits. He has committed to Florida, choosing Urban Meyer’s Gators _ No. 4 in the Top 25 preseason poll _ over a list of elite programs that include Ohio State and Southern California, according to his high school coach.

“That’s one of my coach’s main concerns _ it not affecting me this year. Me knowing that I’ve got a lock with Florida as soon as I get out of here feels good, and it’s a lot of fun,” Pagan said. “That’s a great place for me to go and excel and hopefully make it to the next level.”

Even better, he said he found a way to get his mom to all the games.

“That’s really all that matters,” he said.

Wilkins says Pagan has added about 30 pounds of muscle to his 6-foot-4 frame and now weighs 270 pounds.

But the extra bulk hasn’t hurt his quickness or speed: The coach says Pagan ran the 40-yard dash in 4.6 seconds at a recent combine for the North Carolina Shrine Bowl all-star game.

He said Pagan started attracting interest from Division I programs as a junior, and Florida approached him last December.

At that time, Wilkins said Gators assistant D.J. Durkin called him, telling him it was a “no-brainer.”

“They saw the video tape and they wanted to get in early and offer him, and then it snowballed,” he added.

Wilkins said he is looking for Pagan to improve the way he uses his hands to get off blocks and swat at passes, and also hopes he can develop a tougher edge on the field.

“Jeoffrey’s got a great demeanor _ he’s a truly super nice kid,” Wilkins said. “He’s such a nice guy (but) you don’t want to be the nice guy on the field. … Just a contrast for the personality that he has. … There’s no ego or anything like that with him.”

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