Florida Gators staff show Lemons he’s a priority

North Carolina running back commit Adarius Lemons (6-1, 192, Clearwater, FL. High) had the buzz surrounding him on Friday night inside the Swamp and indoor practice facility.

Lemons, who has offers from over 20 schools in the country, decided to work out at Friday Night Lights and that caught a lot of people’s attention.

“Just the work, I like to work and get better,” Lemons said on why he decided to work out. “I like getting better, so in order to get better you have to work. You have to put in that extra work to be on top. You should feel good about working hard so I felt good because I worked hard.”

Florida has been working hard on Lemons the last few months and getting him on campus Friday night and helped their cause.

Following the event on Friday night Lemons had a huge smile on his face and was decked out in Gators clothes and he says the interest in Florida is there.

“The interest in Florida is high, very high interest,” he said. “This is just the home state team and it’s close to home. My grandma can come down and my mother can come down. We are going to see [on when a final decision is coming]. We’re going to see how things turn out.”

Despite being a North Carolina commit Lemons says the Gators are rising on his board and a family member wants him in Gainesville.

“Florida is pushing for number one, my grandma came here before and she liked the school,” Lemons said. “She really wants me to come here but at the end of the day she said it was my choice.”

Running backs coach Tim Skipper is a huge reason for the turn around from Lemons and the two got to work together on Friday night.

“Coach Skip actually taught me a couple of things in the room,” he said. “He taught me about how the backs should read the butt of the center. He told me some key things that a back should know so it was kind big to sit down and talk to him. It was good working with him.”

Skipper didn’t mince words with Lemons about how big of a priority he is for the Gators class.

“His overall message to me was that if I commit then I’m the only 2017 running back they will take,” he said. “It was special because a lot of schools are recruiting a lot of backs. That means something to me and they said that if I didn’t commit then they would have to look at other backs. It showed me high of a priority I am to them.”

When Skipper explained that to him and explained how he fit into the offense, Lemons got to thinking about the other backs on the roster.

“Me personally and looking at the backs they have, I can tell that they all run hard,” Lemons said. “I feel like I’m bigger, taller and I have speed too. I feel like I’m a different back. I feel like that I’m different than what they have here. It’s nice to see how well I fit into the offensive scheme and things like that.”

Head coach Jim McElwain spoke at length with Lemons and explained that he needed to handle his situation like a mature adult.

“Coach McElwain is a good dude and he says he’s not going to pressure me or hound me,” he said of McElwain’s message. “He said if it’s in my heart that I should do something then I should do it and do it the right way. He said to do it in the respectful way.”
McElwain, Skipper and offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier have gone all in on Lemons and that’s a feeling that isn’t lost on the North Carolina commit.

“It’s very special that are still recruiting me,” Lemons said. “A lot of times when player commits to a school a school isn’t going to recruit you. They forget about them so it’s special that they’re still recruiting me.”

INSIDERS TAKE: Lemons was smiling ear-to-ear talking about the Florida Gators and Florida is in great shape here. Not only is Lemons a really good player, but he’s also a hard worker and that showed on Friday night when he went all out in drills and competition.

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Andrew Spivey
Andrew always knew he wanted to be involved with sports in some capacity. He began by coaching high school football for six years before deciding to pursue a career in journalism. While coaching, he was a part of two state semifinal teams in the state of Alabama. Given his past coaching experience, he figured covering recruiting would be a perfect fit. He began his career as an intern for Rivals.com, covering University of Florida football recruiting. After interning with Rivals for six months, he joined the Gator Country family as a recruiting analyst. Andrew enjoys spending his free time on the golf course and watching his beloved Atlanta Braves. Follow him on Twitter at @AndrewSpiveyGC.