Bryant to FIU, Castillo to Vanderbilt


Gateway’s Jakovi Bryant, who missed half of his senior season with a shoulder injury, inked a letter-of-intent to play football for Florida International University.

Bryant, who played running back, wide receiver, defensive back and special teams for the Panthers is projected to be a defensive back in the FIU system for Head Coach Butch Davis. He led Gateway this season in rushing (800 yards), receiving (271) and scoring (18 touchdowns) this season, despite being hurt in the first quarter of the second game of the season and proceeded to miss the next three games.

Other than a few plays in the second game of the season, he played in just four games on the season.

“Florida International is getting a great player, but more importantly they are getting a great kid, a great leader and a player with great work ethic,” Gateway Head Coach Marlin Roberts said. “Jakovi is an incredible athlete who would have gotten a lot more attention from recruiters if we would have had spring football last year, and if he would have been healthy for his entire senior season. It’s no accident we were 0-4 in the first four games, three of which when he was missing, and 3-1 when we had him for the last four games.” An outstanding student,

Bryant said he selected FIU because of their unwavering commitment.

“From my junior season on they showed me nothing but love, even after I got hurt,” Bryant said. “They believed in me from the beginning, so even though some other schools showed an interest later, I felt a real connection with FIU and its staff.”

As for his goals in his first season, Bryant said he “Wants to work hard, learn and get better every day.”

He would major in economics.

Osceola offensive lineman Xavier Castillo inked with Vanderbilt. Castillo, 6-3, 275, has been a mainstay on the Kowboys offensive line this year and has played a key role in Osceola’s run to the state title game.

A three-star recruit according to 247Sports, Castillo received offers from nine division one schools.

He selected the Commodores over Alabama, Virginia Tech, Rutgers, Pitt, and others.

In addition to Bryant and Castillo, two other county players announced their decisions last Wednesday. Tohopekaliga standouts Myles Winslow will play college football at Georgia Southern; while Julio Deljesus will attend Wofford College.

Winslow is a 6-4, 230-pound defensive end who is rated as a 3-star recruit on 247Sports. He tallied 18 tackles with six tackles-for-loss and four quarterback sacks as a senior; while Deljesus is a 6-4, 280-pound offensive tackle.

Toho finished the season 5-4 this year, and won their first playoff game in school history.