Christian LeMay knows his way around Gainesville.
The 6-foot-2, 195-pound quarterback from Butler High School in Matthews, N.C., is no stranger to the Florida Gator football program. The former Gainesville resident is the son of a preacher – one who just happened to serve as a team chaplain for the Gators earlier this decade. Although his family made the move to the metro Charlotte area in 2005, LeMay still keeps close tabs on the Gators – a team that is in the running to land the talented signal-caller.
Tuesday was the first day that colleges were able to send written offers out to high school juniors, and LeMay was in line to receive mail from a number of programs – including the University of Florida. As of last check, however, LeMay still wasn’t sure as to which schools had come forward with written tenders, as he was waiting until this weekend to go through his recruiting mail. “The way I see it, I don’t have any offers right now,” he said.
When LeMay does start opening the envelopes, he should find the returns quite encouraging. Clemson, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Ohio State, Oklahoma and Tennessee are just a sampling of the big-time institutions to have already come forward with verbal promises. Mississippi State was the latest team to jump in the mix over the course of this past week, giving LeMay 12 offers in total.
Even with the considerable attention he has received from schools to date, LeMay maintains that he is “wide open” right now. He does however, acknowledge a level of familiarity with the Florida program, and clearly that will have an impact on the Gators’ recruitment of the talented athlete. “That’s where I used to live,” he said. “It’s the hometown school, and it’s nice to have schools recruiting me early on, especially one as good as Florida.”
Over the course of the summer, LeMay had the opportunity to camp at Florida for a couple of days. The June sun certainly didn’t make things easy for any of the campers in attendance. “It was hot,” he said with a laugh, before going on to mention that, “it was great being down there, getting a feel for the Swamp, one of the best stadiums in college football.”
During that camp session, LeMay had the chance to work with new Florida quarterbacks coach Scot Loeffler, an experience from which LeMay hopes to takes some of the things he learned to optimize his performance on-the-field this fall. “He put me through drills that I’ve used in every game this season,” he reported.
LeMay also noted that he believes the play of Florida quarterbacks will rise to another level under the watchful eye of Loeffler “You’re going to see (improvement) starting with Tim (Tebow) this season, and into next year when (John) Brantley takes over.”
The talented quarterback prospect also had some good things to say about the head Gator, and he would have some good insight on the matter. Christian’s father, Stacey LeMay, worked with the Gators as a chaplain during Urban Meyer’s first season in 2005. “He demands perfection,” Christian explained. “It starts at the top, and goes all the way to the very bottom of the depth chart.”
Now in North Carolina, LeMay noted that there isn’t much of a drop-off in the competition he saw during his time in Florida. “The level of play was way better than what I thought it would be,” he noted. “The competition is very stiff. We play in the one of the top conferences in the state. Our schedule is one of the toughest around.”
The tough schedule hasn’t been able to prevent LeMay’s talent from emerging, however. He passed for over 1,800 yards with 16 touchdowns a year ago. In Butler’s opening game two weeks ago, LeMay showed off his skills on the ground, breaking off a 35-yard touchdown run to give Butler a 21-0 lead in the third quarter against Mt. Tabor High School of Winston-Salem, N.C. Butler would go on to win the game, 35-14.
With his season off and running to a good start, all eyes will be firmly focused on one of the top junior quarterback prospects in the country. There is considerable time yet before he makes a decision, but expect the Florida Gators to be one of the teams in the mix for Christian LeMay when he finally does come forth with a decision.