Friday Night Lights is a camp known for the great competition amongst the nation’s best high school football players, and this year was no exception.
Anticipation builds for the special Friday night in July as top talents may commit to play for the University of Florida.
But Friday Night Lights is also an opportunity for some prospects to jump-start their recruiting process.
This year an outside linebacker in the 2013 recruiting class made the trip from Tampa to compete in front of the Gators coaching staff.
Nigel Harris came to Ben Hill Griffin Stadium to go against the best players around the state and the country. He didn’t know exactly what to prepare for.
”It was fun,” he said. “I didn’t expect it to be this big. A lot of competition out here.”
He also enjoyed the connection between the coaches, especially linebackers coach D.J. Durkin.
“He was a fun coach to interact with,” Harris said. “He’s into the players.”
Durkin even had some advice for the junior out of Hillsborough High School.
“He says I have good footwork,” Harris said, “just keep doing what I’m doing.”
Although the Gators didn’t offer Harris, he said UF is high on his board. He also said he was born in Gainesville and “wouldn’t mind living here again.”
Harris is coming off an Auburn visit, which was his first time leaving the state of Florida. The recruiting process is officially beginning for Harris as more schools look to offer him a scholarship; UAB and Vanderbilt have already offered.
Harris’ father said his son may visit the Tigers again in November for the Iron bowl. He also said the Florida vs. Alabama game was another top option.
He also said Harris has another 18 months to make his decision. Nigel seems to be thinking the same way.
“I’ll have to wait until the time comes to make my decision where to go,” he said.
2012 Florida defensive tackle commit Dante Phillips (6-6, 270) attended the camp with some other Gators pledges. Phillips said he enjoyed Friday Night Lights, although he didn’t compete, and he liked catching up with his fellow commits. The big man from Venice also stated that he put in some hard work mentioning that he was recruiting top defensive ends Jordan Jenkins (Harris County, GA) and FSU commit Dante Fowler (Lakewood, St. Petersburg).