Although there aren’t quite as many storylines for Florida fans watch the Army All-American Bowl on Saturday as there were for the Under Armour All-America Game on Thursday night, there is still plenty of intrigue surrounding the expected decisions of a pair of prospects anouncing their ‘college declarations during the game this afternoon.
Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. at the Alamodome in San Antonio, and the contest will be nationally televised on NBC.
Three UF commitments – OL D.J. Humphries (6-5, 270, Charlotte, N.C./Mallard Creek), DL Omari Phillips (6-5, 280, Venice, Fla.) and TE Kent Taylor (6-5, 230, Land O’Lakes) – will be taking part in the game today, but only one appears 100% solid in his pledge to the Gators moving forward.
Humphries will enroll in classes at the University of Florida next week. According to all the services, he is easily the top-ranked prospect in this class for the Gators. Humphries was named the Anthony Munoz National Lineman of the Year this week, and has been named a captain for the game, further cementing his status as one of the top players in the country for the Class of 2012.
As for Taylor, the tight end out of the Tampa area who committed to the Gators back in October, now it is a wait-and-see process. While Will Muschamp has searched for an offensive coordinator, Taylor has reached out to programs such as Georgia, LSU and Notre Dame, among others, in the event he does not mesh with the new hire. That said, as long as Taylor and the coach that eventually assumes the vacated position of Charlie Weis are on the same page, his commitment to Florida should ultimately stick.
The real question is what will happen with Phillips. The two-way lineman missed his flight to San Antonio on Sunday, but eventually made it out to practices and reportedly has been impressive ever since. Over the course of the last month, there has been considerable discussion as to whether or not he will actually stick with his pledge to the Gators. For now, it seems, he is still in the column for UF, but there is a very real chance his status could change in the near future.
Two Florida targets: DL Jonathan Bullard (6-3, 250, Shelby, N.C./Crest) and LB Tyriq McCord (6-3, 220 Tampa, Fla./Jefferson) will announce their college decisions on Saturday afternoon during the broadcast of the game. While there have been plenty of ‘warm fuzzies’ from the UF perspective regarding where Bullard will go, it appears McCord will be headed elsewhere – likely South Carolina.
There are a number of major targets for the stretch run to Signing Day for Florida participating today as well. WR Stefon Diggs (6-0, 185, Olney, Md./Our Lady of Good Counsel) is looking to showcase today why he should be the #1-ranked recruit in the country for the Class of 2012, regardless of position. Florida has long been a major player for Diggs, but the offensive coordinator hire will play a major role in the Gators’ chances down the stretch (much like it will with UF pledge Taylor as well).
Meanwhile, after recording 10 interceptions as a senior at Miramar, CB Tracy Howard (5-11, 175) is hoping to make a final push for consensus five-star status among the various recruiting services. The Gators and LSU appear to be the top two teams for Howard at the present time.
For 6-foot-5, 200-pound Josh Harvey-Clemons (Valdosta, Ga./Lowndes) the future could hold a number of positions, although he should eventually settle in at outside linebacker in college. Florida and Georgia are the top schools for Harvey-Clemons, but the Gators are believed to hold a slight lead at this time.
Big news came this week in the form of defensive lineman Darius Hamilton (6-4, 250, Ramsey, N.J./Don Bosco Prep) making it known that he would make an unofficial visit to Florida in January with his mother. This would seem to indicate that the Gators are in very good shape for Hamilton moving forward if he’s going to take a second visit to Gainesville inside of six weeks.
There are even a couple of prospects for the West to keep an eye on, as Florida has made a strong pursuit of Ellis McCarthy (6-4, 310, Monrovia, Calif.) and OL Kyle Murphy (6-7, 280, San Clemente, Calif.) throughout the process. Murphy made an official visit to Florida in Vanderbilt, and the Gators are still considered a contender for his services, despite the strong West Coast flavor to his list of favorites.
With the Gators looking to take about 10 more players, in addition to their 18 present commitments for the Class of 2012, today could get the ball rolling on a strong class for UF as Will Muschamp and company looked to make a push for one of the top-ranked recruiting classes in the country on Feb. 1.