The Florida Gators football camp circuit continued on Wednesday, but in a brand new location. The Gators coaching staff took their camp on the road for the first satellite camp of the season when they hosted camp in Jacksonville at Trinity Christian High School.
Its no coincidence that top Florida defensive back target Shaun Wade (6-2, 179) attends Trinity Christian and he was at the camp on Wednesday afternoon.
Wade spoke to Gator Country about his recruitment and what he has been up to since spring football ended last month.
“Just working out and we just started summer workouts this week,” Wade said of his summer. “Pro Impact, our 7-on-7 team, is going on a summer road trip this week. We will be visiting Georgia, Georgia Tech, the North Carolina area, Virginia Tech, Notre Dame, Ohio State and a couple of other schools. I’m going to see the schools.”
Last weekend Wade was in Columbus, Ohio to visit Ohio State, the team he’s committed to, and he was joined by his parents.
“It was a great trip, my parents came with me and talked to Coach [Urban] Meyer,” he said of his trip to Ohio State last weekend. “Our relationship got closer with them and we talked to them a lot.”
After that trip you would expect Wade to say he’s solid to Ohio State, and that’s exactly what he says, but he’s leaving the door open to other schools.
“My commitment stands firm and I’m still committed to Ohio State 100 percent,” Wade said of his recruitment. “I’m still going to look around because I wants what’s best for me. My parents still want me to look around too. Ohio State says they understand and that when I’m done just to tell them that I’m ready to be a Buckeye.”
One school that is recruiting Wade hard is the instate Florida Gators and defensive backs coach Torrian Gray, area recruiter Tim Skipper, and head coach Jim McElwain are leading the charge.
“Me and Coach Gray are real close, I like Coach Gray,” he said of Florida. “We’ve been connecting a lot, Coach Skipper too and I talked to Coach McElwain today [Wednesday] too. They tell me that they really want me to be a Gator.”
Gray and Skipper have been the two coaches in constant talks with Wade and they pushing one big message to the Ohio State commit.
“They tell me that I can come right in and play early,” Wade said of Florida’s message. “They tell me that I can take [Jalen] Tabor’s spot next year. I’m just trying to get the best thing for me.”
Wade has visited Gainesville several times in the past and he says two things stand out the most about Florida.
“The playing time and the education. That’s the things that stand out to me,” he said. “I know they have a good education there but playing time is also important to me too.”
Another school that is after Wade hard is the Alabama Crimson Tide and they’re selling tradition to the cornerback.
“Alabama, I’m going up there this week to see about the playing time,” Wade said of Alabama. “They say that they want me to be a part of their program and that they have a nice program that wins national championships.”
Wade, who is one of the top players in the country, has a whole list of schools that are recruiting him but he broke it down to the ones after him the hardest.
“Michigan, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Florida, UCLA, USC and Stanford has hit me up lately,” he said on the schools after him the hardest. “It’s a lot of schools that have been hitting me up lately.”
Despite his commitment to Ohio State, Wade says that he has a plan in place for the next few months as he tries to make a final decision.
“I want to take all five of my official visits between September and November,” he said of fall plans. “I’m probably going to sign in late November (Wade early enrolls). I only know one official visit and that’s Ohio State.”
A top prospect like Wade always looks for help in making this tough decision and he says he will rely on two coaches to help him out.
“I have great coaching staff, Coach [Guss] Scott and Coach [Gerald] Ross are going to tell me the truth about where I fit in at,” Wade said on who will help him. “They’ve been in the league before so they’re big in my life with my recruitment. They tell me to go where is best for me and where I can play at. They know the right places.”
INSIDERS TAKE: Wade has been a top priority for Florida, Alabama and Ohio State and I expect a decision to come from one of those three schools. Wade’s mom is from Alabama so that helps the Crimson Tide but the cornerback has family in Florida, which helps the Gators. I expect his recruitment to go until November or December.
QUOTES PROVIDED BY NICK DE LA TORRE