GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The newest member of the Florida soccer team understands what it takes to win.
On Wednesday, the Gators officially added Alabama transfer Damieon George Jr. to the roster. George, a 6-foot-6, 339-pound offensive lineman, has enrolled in spring classes and has two years left to play.
George has been part of three consecutive championship teams: 2018 and 19 consecutive state championship teams at North Shore High in the Houston area, and then as a college freshman, Alabama’s national championship team in 2020.
George announced in late November that he had entered the transfer portal after playing limited snaps for the Crimson Tide last season. George signed with the Gators after reportedly visiting Ole Miss.
He was high school teammates with Rebels star running back Zach Evans, who drafted for the NFL Draft. At one point, Evans said he and George were a “package deal” when they were teammates on the North Shore and led the Mustangs to back-to-back Class 6A Division I state championships.
At the 2019 state championship game at AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys, Evans did not play after being suspended for violating team rules. That didn’t stop George and the offensive line from dominating the game in North Shore’s 31-17 win over Duncanville. George’s blocking paved the way for Roger Hagan and Dematrius Davis to each run 100+ yards.
Be like Dameon.
— Florida Gators Football (@GatorsFB) January 18, 2023
While George enlisted and signed with Alabama — Texas, LSU, Georgia and Oklahoma were others in the mix — Evans first signed with Georgia, was released from his NLI, played two seasons at TCU and spent the last season at Ole Miss.
Meanwhile, George’s most significant season in Alabama came in 2021, when he played in 12 games and started three in right tackles, including the Iron Bowl against Auburn. George traveled to the Gators with the Crimson Tide that season but did not play in Alabama’s 31-29 win at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.
George has a four star rating from as an offensive tackle prospect ESPN.com from high school and the 48th overall recruit from Texas in the 2020 signing class.
He played for respected North Shore coach Jon Kay, who has turned North Shore into a state powerhouse. The Mustangs have won five state championships since Kay acquired them in 2014.
North Shore is located in a working-class neighborhood in East Houston made up mostly of economically disadvantaged students.
According to a recent story by HoustonPublicMedia.org, based on the 2020-21 academic year, 83.7 percent of North Shore’s student population is considered economically disadvantaged. The student body is 70.3 percent Hispanic, 23.8 percent African American, and 3.7 percent White.
Kay, before a loss to rivals Duncanville in last month’s state championship game, recounted HoustonPublicMedia.org that his program was successful because the players wanted to be successful and perhaps live a better life than they had known as adults.
“I think you’re kidding yourself if you don’t feel like these kids in these two communities face some challenges that not every community faces,” Kay said. “I think sometimes that’s used as an excuse for these kids not realizing their full potential, whether you’re talking about athletics or in life. I think you have two sets of kids who have proved them wrong and I think that’s pretty special and I hope people realize that.”