In the past three recruiting cycles, St. Thomas Aquinas in Ft. Lauderdale has been a source of quality in-state talent for Florida Gators. Cody Riggs, Marcus Roberson, Dan Wenger and recently signed Bryan Cox Jr. are all former Raiders who became Gators.
In 2013, linebacker Lance Virgile could be the next player from the Raiders to play college football in Gainesville. The Gators haven’t offered Virgile a scholarship at this time, but the 6-foot-2, 245-pound prospect is being evaluated by UF and many other top programs.
It’s early in the recruiting process, but Virgile already has in mind where he wants to visit.
“I want to visit the local schools,” Virgile said. “I would say Miami, FSU, Florida and USF. Florida State has been recruiting me the hardest, though.”
Virgile doesn’t claim any leaders at this time. However, he acknowledged if he had to choose one school that stood out above the rest, it would be the Hurricanes.
“I like the tradition and how they put people in the NFL,” Virgile said. “It means a lot [to be recruited by Miami] since they are one of my highest options and they’re recruiting me.
He added that preparation for the future would be the biggest factor for him when he evaluates the different programs.
“It’s about what prepares me for the future,” Virgile said. “If I make it to the NFL, it’s something that happens, that’s where I want to get to. If I have to get a professional career, that’s something that happens, so it makes look at both aspects.”
Although Florida is a school that Virgile wants to visit, he stressed that having former teammates on the roster would not sway his decision.
“That doesn’t affect my decision at all,” Virgile said. “It’s all about the future. If a couple of my buddies go to a school, that [school] benefits them, but it may not benefit me.”
As far as when he will make his decision, Virgile is going to let the recruiting process play out.
“That decision is going to come to me one day. I don’t know if it’s going to come a week before signing day. I don’t know if it’s going to come tomorrow. I don’t know,” Virgile said. “It’s just one of those decisions that will hit me one. I’m going to see how things go.”
St. Thomas Aquinas finished with a 10-3 record. Virgile led the team with 12 sacks.