Westside-Macon standout Kowacie Reeves Jr. made his verbal pledge to the University of Florida last Thursday, April 30, and is the focus in this week’s Thursday’s Trail column. The 6-foot-5 wing announced his decision via Twitter becoming the first commitment in the Gators 2021 class [headline photo via GatorsMBK].

“It was a tough decision for me, but I felt the time was now to make a choice just so I could get back 100% focused on getting better on and off the court. My entire recruitment process was such a blessing because I learned a lot and met some wonderful people that I hope to continue having a friendship with.”

Hypesouth: Congratulations on your decision. Can you talk about your three finalists Georgia Tech, Florida, and Stanford and give some insight on your relationship with each staff and what played into your final decision?

Reeves Jr: I developed a good relationship with Georgia Tech over the past three-four months. Coach Swartz was awesome throughout the entire process. He visited my high school for workouts and came to a playoff game as well. Coach Pastner is really cool to. He invited me to campus a couple times and always explained everything to me as far as how they’d utilize me coming in and also broke down the academic side of things. Georgia Tech was one of those situations that made it tough on me when making my final decision.

Reeves Jr: Stanford was the school that I truly went back and forth with the most. Everyone was saying it was a homerun for Florida, but the overall situation at Stanford checked all the boxes and in the end they were right there with Florida. I have a lot of respect for the entire coaching staff. Every coach on the staff visited my high school at least once. Coach Jerod Haase came two or three times and sent handwritten letters every week. I will be forever appreciative to Stanford.

Reeves Jr: Florida has been recruiting me for about two years and stayed consistent throughout. All the coaches have visited my school several times since they offered. Coach Al Pinkins and I have a great relationship. We call each other multiple times every week and he always makes sure my family is good whenever we visit.  I also developed a great relationship with Coach Mike White this year. He visited me a couple times as well this season and we talk and text on a weekly basis to. The opportunity to come in and play right away is there and I just felt a connection with everyone. Also, the proximity to home and the solid academic foundation there played roles as well. I just think it was the best overall fit for me and my family.