Being part of a rich football tradition at St. Thomas Aquinas, senior wide receiver Quincy Skinner Jr. understands what the recruitment process is meant for.
At the end of the day, it’s not about receiving the glitz and glamour offers, nor showcase high-end graphics to post on social media. The transition to the collegiate level is all business, and that’s what Skinner Jr. is in for.
The 6-foot-1 wide receiver announced his verbal commitment to Vanderbilt on November 3, with aspirations to continue dominating at a prestigious university.
“I can make an immediate impact as soon as I get there as a freshman,” Skinner told 305 Sports. “Not many people can do that from a lot of these big-time SEC programs.”
Skinner, also referred to as the Joker, held offers from Miami (FL), Maryland and Minnesota, among other Power 5 schools. Regardless, the influence of two former South Florida stars proved to him why going to a big-name school wasn’t the go-to route to pursue.
“[Ole Miss wide receiver] Elijah Moore and [Boston College wide receiver] Zay Flowers,” he said. “Those two people took a very unlikely route. Elijah had Alabama, was committed to Georgia at one point, he could of gone anywhere in the nation but he went to Ole Miss. And right now he’s balling. Zay balls week in and week out at Boston College, that’s the unlikely route.
“I feel like I can start a tradition, start a pipeline of my own by taking the unusual route.”
Skinner has spent little time at the wideout spot, with limited playing time last year, as former Aquinas star and current Georgia Bulldog Marcus Rosemy headlined the receiving core. Instead of complaining about it, however, he chose to learn and grow from watching Rosemy play.
Now, they’re bound to compete against each other in the future.
“It’s a dream come true,” Skinner said on the chance to play in the SEC. “Last year, I watched my big brother Marcus Rosemy go to the SEC, and I told myself ‘one day I’m gonna play against him.’ It’s just a blessing, that’s where all the dogs are made.”
With still so much to play for at Aquinas, the perennial focus remains for Skinner is winning football games. On the bright side, his time at the South Florida powerhouse has helped him prepare for what college has to offer.
“St. Thomas is just a great environment,” he said. “They build you up not only as a football player, but as a man. You can see the growth within the four years that I’ve been there as a football player. As a man, on and off the field, they teach you maturity, they teach you how to handle certain things. Most people our age aren’t really used to going through those things.
“On the field, they put that dog mentality in you. My freshman year, I’m going against [Florida State cornerback] Asante Samuel Jr., [Oklahoma cornerback] Jaden Davis, [Miami cornerback] Al Blades everyday. They put that dog in you to have no fear in anyone.”
Skinner will be joined by two teammates in three-star offensive lineman Gunnar Hansen and three-star cornerback Tyson Russell. He says those two played a great factor into him committing.
“I talk to Gunnar briefly but it was more of a Tyson thing,” he said. “Everyday he came to me saying ‘Anchor Down, let’s make this thing happen.’ He stayed in my ear, both of those guys really stayed in my ear about it.”
Now expected to suit up against some of the nation’s top tier programs, Skinner simply hopes to do the best he can at representing his hometown and add his name to the list of incredible players that have come from the area.
“That’s all I’ve ever wanted,” he said. “I come from Pompano Beach, we have [Lamar Jackson]. I have a big shoe to fill, every time I step on that field, when I’m in the SEC, it’s something to prove. They say this is the heart of football, so it’s a lot that goes into it.
“For me to represent my city is a blessing in itself that many people don’t get.”