Of all the prospects to confirm their presence for tonight’s edition of Friday Night Lights, the two biggest names at wide receiver are two players who have already pledged their commitment to play for the Gators in 2011.
Ja’Juan Story (6-3, 195, Brooksville, Fla./Nature Coast) and Javares McRoy (5-9, 170, Lakeland, Fla./Lakeland) both made their intentions known during a flurry of commitments for the University of Florida in June.
It was hoped Kelvin Benjamin (6-6, 220, Belle Glade, Fla./Glades Central) – widely thought to be the favorite of the Florida staff for the third open slot at the position – would join McRoy and Story in Gainesville. But Benjamin is scheduled to be taking part with teammates at a 7-on-7 event at Florida State University.
However, there will still be plenty of firepower on the field in Gainesville. Wide receivers and defensive backs annually create some of the biggest fireworks seen in the Swamp for Friday Night Lights, and that should be the case once again tonight.
Among the tight ends expected to participate, Nick O’Leary (6-4, 230, Palm Beach Gardens, Fla./Dwyer) is expected to join his teammate, defensive end prospect Curt Maggitt (6-3, 210, Palm Beach Gardens, Fla./Dwyer) in Gainesville Friday night. O’Leary is quite possibly the top prospect, regardless of position, in the entire state of Florida. He will also be participating in the Gridiron Kings event scheduled Saturday morning at the ESPN Wide World of Sports in Lake Buena Vista.
Another highly regarded player taking part in that event – Damiere Byrd (5-9, 155, Sicklerville, N.J./Timber Creek) – also confirmed he plans to attend Friday Night Lights. Byrd, regarded as one of the fastest prospects in the country, could also project at cornerback. He recently competed in the Nike SPARQ Championships held in Beaverton, Ore., an event designed to bring together the best athletes in the country who had the highest combined scores on a number of NFL Combine-style events (i.e., the 40-yard dash, vertical leap, short shuttle, etc.). This will be Byrd’s second trip to Gainesville within the last several months.
Although he could end up playing along the offensive line in college, highly regarded tight end prospect Cameron Clear (6-6, 260, Memphis, Tenn./Central) is also expected to take part in drills at Friday Night Lights. Duke and Tennessee currently stand out among an offer list that also includes tenders from Arkansas, Ole Miss, Mississippi State and Vanderbilt. Alabama and Florida are also high on his list, despite the fact neither school has currently extended an offer to Clear.
The Class of 2012 will also be well represented with a couple of big-time players heading into their junior seasons. Angelo Jean-Louis (6-0, 175, Wellington, Fla./Palm Beach Central) arrived in Gainesville Thursday and plans to stick around for a few days, much like he did last year on a trip that spanned nearly a week in Gainesville. He is close with former Palm Beach Central standout Jon Bostic, now a sophomore linebacker for the Gators.
Two other prospects to watch are Carlson Miliken (6-1, 180 Woodberry Forest, Va./Woodberry Forest) and P.J. Harris (6-0, 160, Groveland, Fla./South Lake) among the rising juniors who will be in attendance. Although both players have the ability to work out on either side of the ball, they will primarily get a look at wide receiver.
Also keep an eye out for a number of Gridiron Kings participants to be in the house. Those players include DeAnthony Arnett (6-0, 170, Saginaw, Mich./Saginaw), Devon Blackmon (6-0, 180, Fontana, Calif./Summit), Quinta Funderburk (6-3, 205, Chesapeake, Va./Oscar Smith), Jarvis Landry (5-11, 185, Lutcher, La./Lutcher) and Kasen Williams (6-2, 205, Sammamish, Wash./Skyline).
GATOR COUNTRY MEMBERS: JOIN US AT BEEF’S BEFORE FNL
Gator Country members are invited to a pre-Friday Night Lights meet-and-greet at Beef ‘O’ Brady’s located in the Holiday Inn at 13th Street and University Avenue in Gainesville today from 4:30-6:30 p.m.
Beef ‘O’ Brady’s is offering free beer to Gator Country.com members. There will also be a happy hour wing special available to help get you ready for the 7 p.m. Friday Night Lights start.
This will be a great opportunity to meet some of our new insiders as well as our old guard. Joining us will be Buddy Martin, John Fineran, Justin Wells, Tim Casey, John Patton and Dugan Arnett along with your fellow Gator Country members. We may even have a surprise or two. So we’ll see you at Beef’s.
Please give us a show of hands if you will be joining us so our friends at Beef’s can be prepared and make sure a good time is had by all. CLICK HERE: http://www.gatorcountry.com/swampgas/showthread.php?t=158654