McClain Kessler commits to "Dream School" in Florida
by Rick Limpert, 21 January 2014
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Blue chip junior McClain Kessler looked at all his options when it came to playing college tennis, but one voice led him to make his early commitment to the University of Florida.
It wasn't a parent, his tennis-playing friends, or even a coach.
It was his grandfather, Andrew "Pat" Driggers, that gave the much sought after tennis recruit some advice.
"He told me that Florida has the most loyal fans on the earth," explained Kessler. "He said it's always great to be a Gator, and you will always be known as a Gator."
Now this isn't just some relative spouting off about their favorite college or university. Kessler added that his grandfather played football for the Gators in the 1940s, and because of that, his entire family has been diehard University of Florida fans.
Kessler said schools like Georgia, Georgia Tech and Alabama made strong pushes to attract his interest, but Florida was his "dream school."
It also didn't hurt that Florida men's coach Bryan Shelton has been stockpiling talent in Gainesville the last 18 months, and Kessler said he wanted to be a part of that excitement.
Kessler had taken note that Shelton has been a longtime fixture in the Atlanta area, playing and coaching at Georgia Tech, but he said he didn't know the former ATP World Tour pro and coach until he was being recruited by him.
"The recruiting process was the first time I had the chance to get to know him," said Kessler. "When I went down there, he showed me around, and he's just an all-around great guy."