MANOR — In front of a throng of family and friends, as well as ESPN cameras, Manor defensive end Princely Umanmielen said goodbye to the state of Texas when he signed with Florida on Wednesday afternoon. The four-star was once committed to Texas and was leaning towards Baylor before the departure of head coach Matt Rhule, picked the Gators over Texas, Baylor and Auburn.
“It was tough to leave the state because it was hard to see my parents sad about it, but to be who you want to be, you need to get out of your comfort zone,” he said following the ceremony. “It was a tough month. I was stressed out, but I got through it.”
The allure of playing SEC defense was the deciding factor for Umanmielen.
“I thought that Florida was the perfect challenge for me. I’ll compete against top competition and that can get me ready for the next level,” he said. “My goal is to go to the NFL and I know that the SEC produces great defensive linemen.”
The 6-4, 249-pound prospect was a two-time first-team all-district selection. He’s No. 33 on the 2020 Fabulous 55. Umanmielen becomes the third member of the 2020 Fabulous 55 to sign with the Gators, joining Fort Bend Marshall cornerback Avery Helm and Arlington cornerback Jahari Rogers. Umanmielen recorded 90 tackles, including 27 tackles for loss and 10 sacks, as a senior.
Umanmielen visited Texas twice in January to meet Ash and the new defensive staff. He admitted to being committed to Baylor behind the scenes before Rhule left. Recruiting is a roller coaster, full of thrills and dips. Umanmielen rode the wave and is ready to focus on his next chapter.
“It feels like a relief to be done with the recruiting process because it’s been going on for three years,” he said. “My mind was all over the place. I changed my mind multiple times.”