The Florida Gators have themselves a good one in defensive end Sidell Corley of Mobile (AL) McGill-Toolen. He was recently named to the US Army All-American Bowl East team and he’s nominated for Mr. Football for the state of Alabama. The Liberty Area Player of the Year was runner-up to teammate Phelon Jones for Alabama’s Gatorade Player of the Year.
Getting the invitation to the US Army game was high on Corley’s wish list. That was one of his goals when the season began.
“It means a lot to me,” Corley said. “Ever since I heard of the game I wanted to play in it. I am the first person from the Mobile area to play in the game.”
He knows he needs to show up in San Antonio (TX) in shape and ready to play.
“I am expecting to see the best linemen I have ever played against,” he said. “I am busy working out and getting in shape to go against the best players in the country.”
In the meantime it is open season for recruiting and coaches are visiting the big time lineman. The 6-4, 250-pounder is hard to miss on the field and off for big time programs in search of big time linemen. One coach that hasn’t missed a beat in his recruitment is Gator co-defensive coordinator Charlie Strong.
Corley and strong have a great relationship and as it goes, they hardly ever talk about the recruiting process and all these other schools after him.
“Coach Strong showed up at school Thursday,” Corley said. “He doesn’t talk about recruiting when he is around me. He just plays around. They don’t worry about what they read on the internet sites. He knows I am going to be a Gator and him and I just joke around a lot. He came by and he and my dad went out to eat.”
Strong first met Corley at the blowout win over Florida State in 2005. It was a game that turned the heads of a lot of recruits.
“I knew Coach Strong early on because I met him at the Florida – Florida State game during my junior year,” he said. “That is when I first started liking Florida; I wasn’t even being recruited then.”
That the Gators are in the national championship Game only strengthens Corley’s thoughts about being a Gator.
“I was praying and hoping Florida would get that BCS game chance,” Corley said. “I waited for the announcement to find out.
“The fact that they can win a national championship this year means a lot more for the future. It validates a lot of what I think about my decision. It is great to walk into a situation next year and knowing that we may have a chance to repeat, next year because the team is relatively young.”
It certainly makes walking around the state o Alabama with his Gator gear on a little bit easier.
“I always wear my Gator stuff, I always have it on,” he said.
According to Corley’s father, Sidell Corley Sr., he doubts they will visit Alabama now with the coaching situation the way it is. The plan now is to take a visit to Auburn and Louisville. Louisville was the team that was on him from the very beginning. They offered Sidell Jr. as a sophomore and there is somewhat of an obligation to visit there. He also still has a visit with the Gators left to take.
Dad also said that Sidell will get a little bit of a jump start on school in Gainesville, just ahead of the other freshmen.
“He will be on the Florida campus June 1st, the first summer semester,” Sidell Corley Sr. said.