Dr. Phillips receiver Deionte Gaines names Iowa State, Arizona leaders

Orlando Sentinel

Dr. Phillips’ multi-talented offensive weapon Deionte Gaines said this week during the Panthers opening sessions of practice that he has zeroed in on his college suitors and, while his recruitment is certainly not winding down, he has a pair of leaders.

“I’m liking Iowa State and Arizona right now,” Gaines said. “They’ve just shown me a lot of love, especially Iowa State … they seem like they care a lot for me and my family. When they write me letters, they also usually write some to my mom and they do different things from other people, so that’s one of the reasons why I’m liking them.”

Gaines also has a few friends calling Ames, Iowa, their home-away-from home these days, in particular former Dr. Phillips teammate Alton Meeks, a freshman at Iowa State this fall. Iowa State also signed two other Central Florida players to their 2013 recruiting class in Orlando Olympia OL Shawn Curtis and Clermont East Ridge LB Brian Mills, and the Cyclones roster is dotted with familiarity for a person like Gaines.

“They like Central Florida players, so that helps too,” Gaines said.

He also has an ally and former DP teammates in Arizona redshirt freshman receiver Trey Griffey, so he can also rely on a Pac-12 friend for info on the Wildcats.

The slot receiver, who was named first-team preseason all-state by Athlon’s Magazine as a return specialist,  has four other FBS offers from Cincinnati, Appalachian State, South Alabama and Western Michigan, and he said he’s in no hurry to make a decision.

“I’ll wait until I go on my visits and see which ones the best for me and then commit,” Gaines said.

He figures he’ll see more offers as the season progresses and the Panthers will rely heavily on his output  this season. Gaines accounted for 687 yards and 7 touchdowns combined rushing and receiving last season, which, in the eyes of head coach Rodney Wells, is not enough if the Panthers plan to be in the Class 8A title hunt come playoff time.

Gaines, the No. 13-ranked player in the Sentinel's 2014 Central Florida Super60 and the No. 84 player in the Sentinel's 2014 Florida Top 100, had 361 yards and four touchdowns in returns. He knows what lies ahead for his senior season.

“I expect a lot more of myself this year and I’m putting a whole lot of pressure on me,” Gaines said. “I’m going after Dee Hart’s punt return record, so that’s one of the goals I’ve made for myself for this year.”

Lofty goals for sure when considering what Hart, who is an Alabama redshirt sophomore, accomplished as a 2010 All-American. One record Gaines can target this year is Hart’s mark of 5 return touchdowns in a season.


Chris Hays is the Sentinel's recruiting coverage coordinator and can be reached at chays@tribune.com. Follow us on Twitter at @Os_Recruiting and Facebook at Orlando Sentinel Recruiting and now on Pinterest at Orlando Recruiting.

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