TCPalm Super 11: Jensen Beach's Da'Quan Gonzales has skyrocketed up recruiting boards
TCPalm is announcing its annual Super 11, the list of the top recruited senior football players on the Treasure Coast. TCPalm is counting down from No. 11 to No. 1, with two players announced per week. The No. 1 player will be revealed on Sunday, July 26.
JENSEN BEACH — Pretty much everything in life slowed to crawl during the coronavirus shutdown.
Football recruiting seemed immune as several area players were the beneficiaries of college coaches having little more to do than watch film.
Perhaps no one on the Treasure Coast benefited more than Jensen Beach's Da'Quan Gonzales, who watched his recruiting take off during March and April.
"You don’t really expect it because you’re on quarantine and you think the colleges are taking time off," Gonzales said. "I was just chilling and trying to go day by day. It was crazy to be sitting in your room and almost every day getting the calls."
Before campuses shut down and spring practices were wiped out, Gonzales had a handful of offers ranging from the Ivy League to Power 5 programs.
Gonzales' offer list included defending national champion LSU, Miami, Michigan State, Penn State, Ole Miss and West Virginia. Gonzales has almost 20 offers from ACC, Big 10, Big 12 and SEC programs and is ranked No. 2 on the TCPalm Super 11.
"Honestly, I've never seen that before, but I'm not surprised by it for the simple fact of the type of player he is," Jensen Beach coach Tim Caffey said. "For a kid like Da’Quan, the opportunity for coaches to watch film really helped. You watch his film and you go, 'Holy cow! How did we miss this kid?' For a kid like him, it was a great opportunity for the coaches to do evaluations. Film don’t lie."
Gonzales had a breakout season in 2019 and played a key role in the Falcons winning their first district title in program history.
Defensively — Gonzales most likely will play cornerback in college — he had 38 tackles and five interceptions and was a finalist for TCPalm's All-Area Defensive Player of the Year. He also had more than 1,000 all-purpose offensive and special teams yards and scored 11 touchdowns.
His impact on the team prompted Caffey to compare Gonzales to former Jensen Beach star and current Auburn safety Jamien Sherwood.
"Jamien didn’t have to come off the field, and he can impact you in many different ways," Caffey said. "Defense, offense, special teams. Da’Quan is the exact same way. Offensively, off the charts. Defensively, you’re not going to throw his way. Special teams, good luck kicking or punting to him. When you have a kid like that, that can affect all three phases, it makes it very difficult to game plan for him. That's the effect Jamien had for us. He's not the same player. He does it a different way, but you get the same result."
More Super 11
Gonzales will be counted this season as Jensen Beach aims to repeat as district champion.
And now that he has so many offers, Gonzales is expecting opponents to try and make a name for themselves against him.
"I had a couple people last year try to say stuff to me because I had a bunch of Ivy League offers instead of what they call 'football offers.' That kind of fueled me last year," he said. "This year, I hope they attack me. If they do, I have to show up."
Jensen Beach ATH
TCPalm Super 11 rank: 2
Height, weight: 5-foot-11, 175 pounds
2019 stats/honors: 38 tackles, 5 interceptions and 2 defensive touchdowns, 1,088 all-purpose yards on offense and special teams, 13 total touchdowns, TCPalm Defensive Player of the Year finalist, FloridaHSFootball Class 5A all-state third-team selection
Top offers (in alphabetical order): LSU, Miami, Penn State, Tennessee, West Virginia