Posted: 7:11 pm Tuesday, September 13th, 2011

Florida Gators face Dwyer grad Curt Maggitt of Tennessee, aka the ‘one who got away’ 

By Post Staff

GAINESVILLE — The biggest recruiting score in Tennessee coach Derek Dooley’s two years with the program might have been wrestling Curt Maggitt away from Florida.

Maggitt, formerly a dominant defensive end at Dwyer High School, looked like he was headed to Gainesville to join four of his former teammates, but Dooley swayed him to the Volunteers and was rewarded with instant impact. Maggitt quickly took hold of a starting job and will open at strong-side linebacker Saturday against No. 16 Florida (3:30 p.m., CBS).

“It’s not shocking to me,” said Florida tight end Gerald Christian, who was a year ahead of Maggitt at Dwyer. “When we were going through high school, he was always one of the hardest working people I’ve known. He’s always been that way.”

Maggitt, 18, was the first true freshman ever to start at linebacker in a season opener for Tennessee, a team spokesman said. The Volunteers worked him at defensive end and linebacker in training camp, and he beat out red-shirt senior Daryl Vereen to start at strong-side linebacker.

Dwyer will have a noticeable presence at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on Saturday. In addition to Maggitt and Christian going directly against each other as linebacker and tight end, sophomore Matt Elam is Florida’s starting safety. Florida receiver Robert Clark could play, too, though he missed the first two games with a hamstring injury, and true freshman Jacoby Brissett will be on the sideline as a reserve quarterback.

Click here to read Jason Lieser’s full story and to leave comments.