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RECRUITING ISSUE – MAR 2008— Table of Contents
- THE ERASER II
Will Hill elicits comparisons to a recent All-America safety who lead the Gators to National Championship Glory
Do you remember THE play? The one where Reggie Nelson clobbered the snot out of the receiver? Still a little hazy? It was Georgia-Florida almost three years ago and Nelson came across the middle and smashed Mohammed Massaquoi as he stretched toward the end zone, a collision that radiated well beyond that Saturday afternoon in Alltel Stadium. So stunned by Nelson’s ferociousness was Massaquoi that he fell to the ground rather than feel the sting of the free safety’s hit a year later when the Bulldogs and Gators met again.
- TIME TO RELOAD
Urban Meyer and Staff lasso another top recruiting class
Urban Meyer finally has the Florida Gators at the point where it’s reload and never rebuild. The Gators have operated well below the 85-scholarship limit his first three years in Gainesville, but with a third straight outstanding recruiting class, the Gators are at 83 scholarships and there is now adequate depth at every position. ESPN rated the 2008 recruiting class fourth in the nation, even though the Gators came up short at running back. Florida didn’t recruit a quarterback and that, combined with the lack of a running back, likely kept the Gators from earning their third straight top-ranked recruiting class.
- STORM WARNING
Second-year Miami coach Randy Shannon comes up clutch with college football’s top class (& overview of other top classes)
Miami reeled in their best class in several years. The fact that the Hurricanes struggle at all is bewildering, considering they are the biggest name in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties. At two of those high schools, the Hurricanes helped themselves to a third of their 33-player recruiting class. The Canes raided Miami Northwestern for eight prospects (Marcus Forston, Sean Spence, Aldarius Johnson, Jacory Harris, Tommy Streeter, Kendall Thompkins, Ben Jones and Brandon Washington) and found three more at Miami Booker T. Washington High (Brandon Harris, Davon Johnson and Theron Collier).
- SLOW START, STRONG FINISH
Once again, Urban Meyer and his assistants overcome obstacles on the way to land a quality class
The Florida Gators did it again. Almost miraculously, after stockpiling talent for three years, the Gators landed their third top-five class on Feb. 6 when they finished fourth in the final ESPN rankings. It wasn’t easy; the football staff had to constantly fight off negative recruiting about depth charts and other things as they went along. In the end, Urban Meyer and company prevailed with a class that meets just about every need to a tee. Here is how it happened.
- HARD TO KEEP A GOOD MAN DOWN
Omar Hunter usually commands a double team from opposing offensive linemen, but even that approach may not stop the stout Georgian.
Only a middle linebacker can fully appreciate Omar Hunter and the things that he does. When Hunter lines up over the center, he’s so quick and so powerful that he commands a minimum of a double team. At the high school level, the smart teams committed at least one more player to stop this raging bull in the middle of the defensive line. “Once a play starts, you’ve got guys trying to cut you and hold you and all kinds of stuff going on,” said T. J. Pridemore, a University of Florida signee from Buford, Ga. and Hunter’s teammate since the eighth grade. “It really gets nasty in there with bodies flying all over the place. When you have someone in front of you like Omar, who always had two guys and most of the time three or four, trying to stop him, it kept people away from my legs and that made it easier for me to make plays. When you’re a middle linebacker, if the other guys can’t get to your legs, you’re going to be in a position to make some plays and you’re going to stay a lot healthier, too.”
- THE WAITING GAME
While others decide on their school of choice, Terrelle Pryor puts everyone on hold.
Terele Pryor apeared apprehensive while sitting on the dais. On a day when thousands of high school football players made decisions, so did Pryor. He chose not to decide. Instead, Pryor reopened his college recruitment process, one that has caused a firestorm on Internet chat boards and conjured countless speculative stories in electronic and print media. Pryor, No. 4 in the ESPN 150, told a horde of media on signing at the Jeannette High gymnasium that Oregon and Penn State will join Michigan and Ohio State as his primary suitors.
- HOLLYWOOD BOB’S TOP FIVE PROSPECTS TO FOLLOW
Every month, Gator Country Recruiting Analyst Bob Redman tells us who the Gators are hot after in football recruiting.
- NATIONAL NON-SIGNING DAY
Buddy Martin’s column
Forgive my blasphemy, but I’ve never been one for the ceremonial announcements of choosing up sides. That is to say, while Mel Kiper and Hollywood Bob and the Boys are getting their constituency all lathered up over NFL Drafts or National Signing Day, give me a good ol’ ball game where they keep an actual score that I can understand. All the fuss over National Signing Day I just don’t get. We’ve yet to see any of them suit up and step on a college field, yet they are already considered stars. But go ahead, let them have their fun — whatever it takes to amuse them.
- BONUS EXTRA: Pull-out full color poster of Janoris Jenkins, Will Hill, Dee Finley, and Caleb Sturgis showing off their Gator Chomp
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