With four official visitors and several other top prospects visiting Gainesville for the Tennessee game, the Florida Gators hosted their biggest recruiting weekend of the season. Now that the dust has settled from the first SEC recruiting weekend, Gator Country takes a look at the Florida recruiting board, who the Gators are targeting and where they stand with these guys.
Players will be categorized into three groups, same as on a cross country flight on a major airline: (1) Prospects who the Gators sit in first class with or are looking good for; (2) Business class, which is prospects for whom the Gators are heavily involved with but still have some work to do; and (3) Coach class, a group of prospects for whom Florida has a lot of work to do to get them in the Class of 2014.
Here are the targets as of September 25th.
Hebron (TX) High safety Jamal Adams: Adams made an official to Gainesville and had a great visit overall. Most Florida fans know that Adams’ godfather is receiver coach Joker Phillips and that helps. It also helps that Adams plays the Matt Elam safety position and with Florida’s defense under Will Muschamp perhaps the best in the country, Florida is in good position here. Adams will announce in November.
Derby (KS) High tight end Deandre Goolsby: Goolsby plays a position of huge need and he’s the Gators top tight end prospect. This was Goolsby’s second visit to Florida this past weekend and came away very impressed by what Will Muschamp and his staff have to offer, plus he likes the state due to the weather and the beaches. Goolsby will take all five officials and announce shortly after that.
Gardena (CA) Junipero Serra cornerback Adoree’ Jackson: Florida has done a tremendous job of recruiting Jackson with the help of track coach Mike Holloway. Jackson has made it clear he wants to run track and play football in college and there isn’t a better school to offer both at the highest level. Gator Country expects Jackson to return to Gainesville for the FSU game in November.
West Palm Beach (FL) Cardinal Newman receiver Travis Rudolph: Rudolph has been a priority for Florida ever since he decommitted from Miami. Joker Phillips has done a great job on Rudolph and right now it looks to be a two team race between Florida and Florida State with the Gators having the edge from what sources have told GC.
Norcross (GA) High defensive end Lorenzo Carter: Carter named Florida as his leader only to back down a bit, but there is no doubt he still likes the Gators. The key for Florida is getting Carter back on campus for an unofficial visit which GC has been told could happen for Florida’s banquet or the FSU football game. Georgia is Florida’s biggest competition here.
Joilet (IL) Plainfield South linebacker Clifton Garrett: LSU and Florida are battling it out for Garrett. Working against Florida is that Garrett’s parents haven’t been to Gainesville. Garrett likes Florida’s defense and is friends with Antonio Morrison but the Tigers are going to be tough to beat.
Lakeland (FL) Kathleen receiver Javon Harrison: Florida was finally able to get Harrison on campus this past weekend and it was a good trip. The Gators still have work to do here but the opportunity to play close to home in front of his young daughter is something that weighs on Harrison’s mind. Florida needs to secure an official visit before things can move any further but that should happen.
Brooklyn (NY) Abraham Lincoln defensive tackle Thomas Holley: Holley has been very quiet about his recruitment as of late but Holley has talked about how much he liked his Florida visit this past summer. Brad Lawing visited Holley during the bye week and Holley is expected to take an official to Gainesville later this fall.
Bradenton (FL) IMG Academy running back Bo Scarbrough: The Alabama commit was supposed to be in Gainesville for the Tennessee game but the ACT prevented that trip from happening. Scarbrough sees early playing time at Florida and the possibility to play with his cousin C’yontia Lewis is appealing here. Florida needs to get Scarbrough back on campus soon but communication between both sides as of right now is good.
Greensboro (NC) Page defensive end Lorenzo Featherston: Featherston doesn’t talk about recruiting at all so knowing what he’s thinking is next to impossible. The one thing that we do know is that Featherston likes Clemson but also sees the potential to play for Brad Lawing at Florida. The key for Florida is getting Featherston on campus.
Plaquemine (LA) High defensive end Davon Godchaux: LSU is the team to beat for Godchaux, and some say he may be a silent commit to the Tigers. Godchaux was supposed to visit Florida this past weekend but he had ACL surgery that caused him to cancel the trip. Godchaux will be in town for the FSU game and this will be a huge visit for Florida.
Gallatin (TN) Station Camp receiver Josh Malone: Malone talked about not taking an official to Florida but apparently that has changed and he is likely to take an official for either the FSU or banquet weekend. Malone has concerns about Florida’s passing offense but also sees the potential to play early. Georgia is the biggest competition for Malone with Clemson in the race.
Hinesville (GA) Liberty County linebacker Raekwon McMillan: While McMillan has said that Ohio State is his leader, some close to to him don’t believe that he will go that far from home. Working in Florida’s favor is that they get the last official from McMillan for the FSU weekend. Alabama and Ohio State are the leaders here.
Jacksonville (FL) Providence offensive lineman David Sharpe: Florida was thought to be the team to beat for quite some time but things are changing quickly. Sharpe has already attended two Georgia games and he is expected in Athens again this weekend. Sharpe declined to visit Florida for the Tennessee game.
Homewood (AL) High offensive lineman Jordan Sims: The key for Sims is getting him on campus and soon. Sims was thought to be an Alabama lock but when the Crimson Tide didn’t seal the deal, Auburn and Florida stepped in to take advantage.
Washington D.C. Friendship cornerback Jalen Tabor: Tabor announced on Tuesday that he would take officials to Florida, Maryland, Alabama, USC and Arizona but Maryland is considered the leader here. Tabor talks about Under Armour a lot and Maryland is an Under Armour school.
McCalla (Al.) McAdory defensive end Cory Thomas: Much like Sims the key for Florida is to get Thomas on campus soon. Thomas and C’yontai Lewis are good friends and want to play together but Thomas hasn’t seen Florida yet. Mississippi State is the leader here.
Gardena (Ca.) Junipero Serra linebacker Dwight Williams: The question for Williams is how much interest does both parties have in each other. Williams says he will visit for the FSU game but will the visit be legit or just a free trip?