With about half their class already committed, the Florida Gators still have a few spots to fill and could three of those be the Seminole Three? The Gators are in the hunt for Andre DeBose, Dyron Dye and Ray Ray Armstrong but can they pull off a major recruiting coup by landing these three big time prospects in the recruiting class of 2009?
Here is a look at the kids I talk to on my recruiting list and what they’re thinking and where they might be leaning.
RYNE GIDDINS, DE (6-4 235 Seffner, FL Armwood): Early in the spring Giddins was big on FSU and Mickey Andrews, so much so many thought he would commit after spring practice. That didn’t happen and since then the Seminoles have received commitments from two other defensive ends in Brandon Jenkins and Ed Stinson. One big sell for the Gators is former Armwood teammate Matt Patchen. I think the Gators are the frontrunner The Gators have to be the front runner but Miami and Auburn are going to be hammering him about how many defensive linemen the Gators have on their roster.
BRANDEN SMITH, DB (5-11 170, Atlanta, GA Washington): Out of all of these recruits, it would be safe to say Smith is enjoying the recruitment process the most. Touted as the “Fastest Man in Atlanta” and one of the fastest prospects in the 2009 class, Smith has been offered by every big name in college football. He has yet to name a top 10 or even hint at where he will make his visits. He told me that he wants to see a lot of games this year and that one of them will be a Gator game. One bit of good news is that he is not a big Georgia fan. At this point that’s pretty much all we know about Branden Smith. Figure he is going to decide in late January and maybe not until National Signing Day. The Gators are recruiting him and until he eliminates them, you have to say he’s a possibility, if for no other reason all that speed.
ANDRE DEBOSE, WR (6-0 170, Sanford, FL Seminole): Florida, Miami and LSU have been showing DeBose the most love. He has reciprocated with unofficial visits to all three schools and he’s planning an official to all three in the fall. He’ll be at the Florida-Miami game at The Swamp on September 6 and that could be the Gators’ chance to gain some separation with the Hurricanes. LSU comes The Swamp on October 11. That could be a chance to separate from the Tigers. There won’t be a seat in the house and the atmosphere on game day will be unmatched. If the Gators go 2-0, that might be what it takes to get the commitment to UF.
RAY RAY ARMSTRONG, S (6-4 218 Sanford, FL Seminole): It’s been awhile since I’ve talked to Ray Ray, but the last time we talked he seemed to be carrying the torch for Miami. His hero is the late Sean Taylor, a Miami All-American at safety. There were rumors flying that Armstrong and teammates Debose and Dyron Dye committed to Miami but they were proven untrue. Right now, nobody can safely say that any of the three will go to the same school. Armstrong might make his official to Florida with Debose for the Miami game.
DYRON DYE, DE (6-4 230 Sanford Seminole): Of the three from Sanford Seminole, Dye seems to be the one most seriously considering signing out of state. He has already taken a visit to Southern Cal and has them high on his list, although he hasn’t listed a top five. Dye says that he wants to play right away in college and while the Gators have shown that they will play freshman, the depth on the defensive line could be the one factor that scares him away. It looks like it will be sometime during the season before he really tips his hand about who he’s serious about.
JAIRUS JONES, DB (6-2, 210, Tampa, FL Wharton): Jones has told me and just about anyone that will listen that he wants to be a Gator more than anything in world. His dad is James Jones. Yeah, that one. One of the all-time great Gator running backs. No question Jairus wants to follow in dad’s footsteps. However, the Gators might not have enough room due to a small class and decent depth everywhere in the secondary. He has been offered by the likes of Illinois, Michigan State, Nebraska and LSU. LSU and Nebraska are the leaders because of their tradition of great defenses but Jones grew up in Detroit, so he may give the Spartans a hard look. Bottom line, if the Gators offer him, they’ll get him.
MARVIN ROBINSON, S (6-1, 190, Eagle Lake, FL Lake Region): All eyes will be on Robinson this year as he was very impressive at every camp he went to this summer. He is already being touted as one of the top players in the 2010 class. Only 16, this hard hitting safety has gotten offers from USC, Ohio State, Michigan, Tennessee, UCLA and Florida. The Gators currently sit third on his list behind USC and Ohio State but Urban Meyer made sure he felt wanted last month at Friday Night Lights giving him a lot of attention and coaching him up in drills. There is no question about his talent as Robinson could play D-1 as a safety or a running back. His playing style and size reminds me of Miami commit Ramon Buchanan from last year’s class.
TONY GRIMES, DB (6-0 170, DB Hollywood, FL Holllywood Hills): This guy came out of nowhere and really impressed the GC staff at Friday Night Lights as he continually refused to let receivers get off the line in one-on-one drills. The verdict is still out as to where he will rank in next year’s class because no one has offered him yet. We will keep you posted on his progress and his offers. He did tell me he has always been a Gator fan and would love to play his college ball in The Swamp, so we’ll see.