The Florida Gators had their SEC home opener Saturday against the Kentucky Wildcats and a few big time recruits were on hand. In attendance were two prospects that have new offers from the Gators. Georgia Military College’s Jarius Wynn and Jacksonville Nease’s Justin Grant received offers last week from the Gators and decided to watch the Gators live and in the Swamp.
Jarius Wynn is a defensive end who played his high school ball at Lincoln County just outside of Augusta (GA). The 6-4, 270 pound run stopping end saw a lot he liked in Gainesville on Saturday on his unofficial visit.
“I loved it, it went real good,” Wynn said of his visit to Gainesville. “It was something different. It was more than I expected. The crowd was crazy. All those people and how loud it is. The school was big, I really liked it. ”
The Gators are most likely losing five linemen this year to graduation and the NFL draft. They will be in a real search to replace those linemen with some big bodies right away. He liked it enough to most likely make a return trip.
“I can see myself playing on that defensive line,” Wynn said. “I was offered by Florida and I like it. I will probably make it down there again for another game. I need to look at the schedule.
The Gators aren’t the only ones recruiting Wynn. He is hearing from some top schools in the southeast and he is taking notes on who will make him the best player.
“Florida, Auburn, South Carolina, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Tennessee, Purdue and a lot of little schools are all talking to me,” Wynn said. “I have offers from Auburn, South Carolina, Florida, Mississippi State, and Tennessee is talking about it. I plan on taking some more visits then I will make a decision. I am going to try and take five, but I am an early enrollee, so we will see.”
According to Wynn it is his effort that has schools really hard after him. Their interest in him will have to coincide with what he wants to see from these schools.
“I just go hard and do what I am supposed to do,” Wynn said. “I just try to make the defense click. My decision will be based on playing time, and I want to a school that is going to take care of me academically.”
One bad thing about trying to fill a signing class up before the start of the football season is that there may be some really good football players hiding in the wings that just don’t get noticed until their senior season. This could happen for many reasons and for Justin Grant; he is probably one of those players. His transfer to a new school seems to have gotten him the attention he deserves.
“I want to say because when I was at Ribault I wasn’t getting much exposure,” Grant said. “The team wasn’t winning and so my name didn’t get out. I am out at Nease now and we are undefeated so far, just trying to win games right now.”
Grant got a special something in the mail last week that was probably long over due. His first scholarship offer came, and the fact that is was national power Florida meant that much more to him.
“I got offered a week ago,” Grant said. “I got the letter and called the coaches and said I appreciated the offer and was real excited. It is my first offer so far.”
It is no mistake that the offer came after the Gator coaching staff saw what Grant is capable of.
“They came to see me in my second game of the season against the Sanford Seminoles,” Grant said. “I had three interceptions and returned one for a touchdown about 35 yards. They like my speed and aggressiveness. With my size, they say I have long arms and that is a real advantage for me.”
At 6-1 and 180 pounds he seems to be the total package at the cornerback position. The Gators are losing three cornerbacks to graduation and both starters are upper classmen. It is easy to see there will be playing time available to whoever can step up and play well at the position next season.
Grant got a first hand look at the cornerback play for Florida on Saturday. He rode to the game with Jacksonville Jackson defensive lineman D’Angelo McCray. The two have been friends for a while and enjoyed the game.
‘Yeah we both went down there and checked it out,” Grant said. “We are real good friends from like ninth grade.”
“I just liked the whole atmosphere in the Swamp. I liked how the fans were so dedicated to the game. The coaches are real cool and down to earth. I enjoyed the trip a lot and will probably be back again for the LSU game. I was checking out the secondary Saturday and I feel if I get a chance I can move up the depth chart there.”
Grant claims to be a mixture of Rasheen Mathis and Champ Bailey, two all-pro type cornerbacks. That style has garnered interest from other schools and he thinks once they see him in person and his highlights, the offers will start coming in.
“I only have film from three games, but my film is real good from those three games, so we sent that film out,” Grant said. “Georgia Tech, Florida, Miami, and Wake Forrest are contacting me. After I got the Florida offer, my coach is saying that a lot of other schools will check me out.”
The Gators are filling up in their class, but they aren’t putting the heat on Grant to commit just yet. His new offer will come with a little time to make up his mind.
“Right now, Florida is number one with me, especially after I went and checked out the game,” he said. “Coach Meyer just told me that when I am ready to be a Gator to just let them know. He said I am one they are really pushing for.”
In the end it will come down to a few deciding factors. When that decision will be, is yet to be determined.
“The depth chart, coaches, and wherever I feel comfortable spending the next three or four years are important to me,” Grant said.
“No timetable to commit anywhere, but if I get impatient and feel really comfortable with Florida I could make that move. Right now I am pretty comfortable, but I want to look at my options and go from there.”