The Florida Gators will be looking to replace at four receivers at the end of this season and are trying to sign a handful of players that could come in and compete immediately. Among those is five star receiver Ahmad Paige of Sterlington (LA). Paige brought his elusiveness to Gainesville for an official visit this past weekend.
Paige is the number four rated receiver in the country and he’s no stranger to big time football. He took an official visit to Tennessee earlier which impressed him. It was the Gators’ turn to put on a show and he had a great time in Gainesville.
“I liked it, it was very enjoyable,” he said about the entire visit. “It was a lot of fun, I am very excited about the Gators and what they are doing down there.”
One thing that really surprised him was a trip to Lake Wauberg where he got a close encounter of the scaly kind.
“One of the most memorable things was probably going to see some actual alligators,” he said. “Coach Gonzales took me to this lake place and they had some real Gators.”
Gonzales is someone that really made an impression on him. The Florida wide receiver coach spent a lot of time with Paige over the weekend through Monday.
“He is a good solid person,” Paige said about Gonzales. “Dallas (Baker) told me he is not going to beat around the bush with you—he is going to tell you the truth. If you aren’t doing well and doing your best he will tell you. He really cares about his players and any time you need to go to his house and talk or whatever you can do that. That is something I really respect as a person.”
Paige was also impressed with the atmosphere in the Swamp during the game. He felt the earth move when the Gators made their appearance and won the game.
“When the team ran out of the tunnel and on that blocked kick, the stadium was actually shaking,” he said. “That crowd was crazy. Everyone talks about Tennessee and I have been there, it was loud but Florida got them, gosh.”
Paige was hosted by two big time players that will likely be elsewhere next year. He had a great time with some of the older guys on the team.
“Dallas Baker and Andre Caldwell were my hosts Saturday night,” he said. “It was Dallas’ birthday so that made it even more enjoyable. I hung out with a lot of girls and guys. We just had a really good time.
“They were really cool and funny. Earlier in the day the nutritionist was talking about how we should eat right and not go to McDonalds. Dallas and Bubba were telling me they go to McDonalds every day.”
With Baker and Caldwell making plays on Saturday, Paige also noted an abundance of freshmen that were seeing playing time on the field. That is something that definitely caught his eye.
“It says a lot that they will play their playmakers,” Paige said. “It means that I can come in early and possibly play. They aren’t scared to play the best players even if they are young.
“I think I am more of a Percy Harvin or Andre Caldwell type. Coach Gonzales might not agree with me, but that is what I think. He tells me I would come in and play Dallas’ position.”
He also got a taste of Gainesville tailgating.
“The fans there are just crazy long into the night,” he said. “I really enjoyed myself.”
Monday morning he got to meet individually with Head Coach Urban Meyer.
“I met with Coach Meyer (Monday) morning,” he said. “Coach Meyer talked to me and said they were really excited about me. He said there was a real opportunity for me. He said he wanted me to come and visit again and bring my mom so she can see what Florida is all about.
“I have to make up my mind in the next couple of months, but I am going to try and bring my parents down there and let her see what it is like. We want to come down there in December or January.”
Right now there is a lot going on with Paige’s recruitment. The team he is committed to is struggling mightily and he has some big time programs looking hard at him and trying to get him to make a change.
“Both Florida and Tennessee are high on my list, but I am still committed to Florida State,” he said. “I will go where I feel the best at. The place where people that treat me the best. Coach Meyer told me today it is a big decision. It is one for the rest of your life. I am going to go where the best fit for me is.”