Florida takes lead for Lauderdale

Florida hosted a total of eight official visitors this past weekend for the Florida State rivalry game including receiver Eric Lauderdale (6-1, 195, Mission Viejo, CA Saddleback CC), who now has a new leader.

“Florida is my leader after this visit and it was real cool down there,” Lauderdale said. “I enjoyed myself out there everyone was really nice. The atmosphere was awesome; when #15 (Loucheiz Purifoy) made the interception it was so loud in there. It was loud pretty much the whole game until the fourth quarter.”

The JUCO prospect picked up a Florida offer in October from receivers coach Joker Phillips and Lauderdale was excited to meet Phillips this past weekend.

“Coach Joker (Phillips) was real cool man,” Lauderdale said. “He was telling me that he needs me and that I’ll have the opportunity to play early but that he’s going to work me hard and stuff but that I could play my first year.”

Sunday wasn’t a usual day for official visitors as news broke in the morning that offensive coordinator Brent Pease and offensive line coach Tim Davis had been fired.

The one good thing for Lauderdale, though, was that he was able to sit down with head coach Will Muschamp to talk about the future of the Florida offense moving forward.

“Coach (Will) Muschamp told me that he wants the offense next year to be more fast paced and more throwing,” Lauderdale said. “He said that it would be good for a receiver and that I’m the only JUCO receiver they are recruiting this year. He told me that he needs me and needs some veteran leadership at that position.”

With this past weekend being such a huge weekend for visitors in Gainesville the Georgia native (Lauderale) was able to meet everyone including Florida’s future quarterback.

“I got to hang out with all of the recruits there including Will Grier, the quarterback,” Lauderdale said. “The tight end from Alabama C’yontai (Lewis) is my boy. We got along really good and he’s a good dude. He’s crazy but funny.”

Next up for Lauderdale will be three official visits including one to Tennessee, where he was once committed.

“I want to take officials to Arizona State, Tennessee and Washington,” Lauderdale said. “I’ll probably announce my decision after I take those official visits.”

Spivey Says: Lauderdale was very upbeat about his official to Florida and while he will take visits to other schools, I still expect Lauderdale to be a Gator next year unless something crazy happens. Lauderdale loves the weather in Florida and likes the idea of playing close to his Georgia home and the opportunity that his family will have to see him play in the SEC.

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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.