Friday night on the Florida Gators lacrosse field you could see receiver talent galore playing in the 7-on-7 tournament as three Gators commits and several other big name prospects played with their respective high school teams.
One of those talented receivers — and Florida Gators target — was Cavin Ridley (6-1, 190, Deerfield Beach, FL High) and he had a nice day and a half visit to Florida including a stop on campus on Saturday before leaving town.
“It’s a nice campus and a nice learning environment,” Ridley said of his campus tour. “You see new things everyday here, but I really love the Swamp and the atmosphere it has around it.”
During that extended stay in Gainesville Ridley had plenty of interactions with several, well, really all of the coaches and he came away really feeling wanted.
“I believe the coaching staff at Florida is really interested in me,” Ridley said. “I believe that they know that I can work hard when they push me to my limit to make me better.”
While there are several individual messages being sent to Ridley by different coaches, the one overall message was simple, but also very important.
“All of the coaches make me feel wanted here,” Ridley said. “They tell me to keep working and to work as hard as I possibly can. They always tell me to outwork the next person so that I can be the best possible player I can be.”
The most important conversation of the trip came on Friday night when Ridley had the chance to speak individually with head coach Jim McElwain about his recruiting process.
“Coach McElwain just tells me to be a Gator,” Ridley said of McElwain’s message to him. “He said there is nothing like being a Gator and when you get up here you will love it. He said that if I truly want to be a Gator then to come here and follow my dreams.”
Receivers coach Kerry Dixon hasn’t gotten enough credit for the job he has done at Florida so far, but Ridley has taken notice of Dixon.
“Coach Dixon is the coolest guy,” Ridley said. “To me, I believe he’s a nice receiver coach because you know it’s all a business because we all have to work together to make each other better. I believe we can do that together.”
There were lots of rumors going around that Ridley wanted to make a decision this past weekend and, while that didn’t materialize, he did set a final date for his announcement.
“June 22nd is my decision date and I will be choosing from Florida, Florida State, Auburn, Alabama and LSU,” Ridley said. “My final factor will be playing time because I really want to get on the field and make an impact early on.”
One thing that should have Florida Gators fans happy is that Ridley has always had high interest in Florida, plus a dream.
“I’ve been a Gators fan since I was a little kid,” Ridley said of his interest in Florida. “Really since I was little I always watched the game and I always wanted to be a Gator. To get the offer from Florida and get the opportunity to say I’m a Gator one day is a blessing as well.”
INSIDERS TAKE: It would be a major upset if the Gators didn’t land Ridley on the 22nd of this month. The big playmaking ability of Ridley is something that is missing in Gainesville and will be a welcome sight to Florida if the Gators land him.