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The Briefing Room: May 22, 2009

Written by justinwells, May 22, 2009, 0 Comments,
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The spring evaluation period is crucial to strong recruiting and with the Florida class of 2010 half-filled, the Gators have the advantage of narrowing their focus and making their presence known to some of the top prospects on the board by visiting some schools multiple times. For example, Billy Gonzales has been to Pahokee twice this spring while Brian White has been to Columbus (GA) Hardaway to see Marcus Smith.

The Gators have been able to shrink their recruiting board due to so many early commitments and that will allow the coaches to take longer looks at the prospects they are interested in during the final days of spring practice and next month at camp. Pressure tactics aren’t part of the deal for this coaching staff but kids do have to understand that with the available spots in this recruiting class shrinking on an almost weekly basis, you better jump on the train or watch it pass you by. The wishy-washy types will find themselves passed by for kids who know they want to be Gators.

Here’s a look at the Florida recruiting board:



QUARTERBACK:

Committed to Florida: Trey Burton (6-3, 205, Nokomis, FL Venice)

Also on the board: Stephen Morris (6-2, 185, Miami, FL Monsignor Pace)

Notes: For now it’s Burton and only Burton at the quarterback position. Look for more on this topic in the “athlete section” of The Briefing Room as we try to address what direction the Gators will go in at this slot.

Up to 215 pounds now, Burton has a big summer ahead of him. He will be attending an Elite 11 qualifier in Las Vegas in June, and will be spending a good portion of the summer working to improve his mechanics and football, and continuing to develop as a passer.

Keep an eye on Morris, however. He has a relationship with QB coach Scot Loeffler dating back to Loeffler’s days at Michigan (where Morris has camped for several years now). Morris is a legit 4.6 40 threat on the ground and has an extremely strong arm to boot. The biggest question is, what kind of a player is he?Morris hasn’t really been asked to carry his team at Pace to date. Regardless, the tools Morris possesses should get him a bunch of offers this spring and summer and could have him in the mix on Florida’s board down the line.

RUNNING BACK:

Priority offers: Gio Bernard (5-9, 195, Ft. Lauderdale, FL St. Thomas Aquinas); Corey Brown (6-0, 175, Springfield, PA ); Mack Brown (5-11, 185, Lithonia, GA King); Corey Grant (5-10, 185, Opelika, AL); Storm Johnson (5-11, 210, Loganville, GA); Lache Seastrunk (5-11, 195, Temple, TX)

Also in the mix: Dareyon Chance (5-5, 155, Ft. Lauderdale, FL Cardinal Gibbons); Roy Finch (5-8, 165, Niceville, FL); Brandon Gainer (6-0, 195, Miami, FL Central); Jakhari Gore (5-9, 160, Miami, FL Columbus); Jordon James (5-10, 185, Corona, CA); D.J. Jones (5-11, 200, Dennison, TX); Corvin Lamb (5-9, 190, Miami, FL Northwestern); Kendrun Malcome (5-11, 210, Decatur, GA Southwest Dekalb); Cassius McDowell (5-9, 165, Deerfield, Beach, FL); Marcus Shaw (5-9, 185, Arcadia, FL DeSoto); Juwan Thompson (5-11, 207, College Park, GA Woodward Academy); Casey Turner (5-11, 190, Jacksonville, FL Ed White); Devon Wright (6-0, 185, Coral Springs, FL Taravella)

Notes: There are plenty of great prospects on the board for Florida so it’s hard to see the Gators getting out of 2010 with less than two backs in tow. It’s really a great year at the position (especially in the states of Florida and Georgia), which is perfect for a team looking to increase their depth and versatility.

For now, the search focuses on four backs in particular — the Browns (Corey and Mack), another Corey (Grant), in addition to Storm Johnson (what a great name, huh?) who provides Florida a nice big back option in this class. All four backs are legitimate possibilities on the board, although Mack Brown seems to be the favorite of the Florida coaching staff.

While those four backs have first crack at taking an offer from Florida, there are some other options as well. The Gators have decided to cast their lot for Lache Seastrunk, one of the top rated backs in the entire country, but he will be a tough pull for the Gators. Auburn, LSU, and Texas have already made a strong push for the Temple, TX product. Still, look for Florida to at least push for an official visit from Seastrunk.

Roy Finch is a back the Gators love because of his all-purpose ability and his potential for becoming a threat in the return game. He is expected to camp at Friday Night Lights.

Marcus Shaw is an ultra-productive RB out of DeSoto County who ran for over 2,500 yards last year and is a bit of a sleeper on the board. Also keep an eye out for Juwan Thompson, who times at under 4.5 seconds in the 40 yard dash at nearly 210 pounds. Both are prospects that the staff is continuing to evaluate, and will likely press to camp in Gainesville this summer.

WIDE RECEIVER:

Priority offers: Markeith Ambles (6-2, 180, McDonough, GA Henry County); Kadron Boone (6-0, 197, Ocala, FL Trinity Catholic); Quinton Dunbar (6-2, 170, Miami, FL Booker T. Washington); Chris Dunkley (5-11, 170, Pahokee, FL); James Louis (5-11, 180, Delray Beach, FL Atlantic); Ivan McCartney (6-2, 180, Miramar, FL); Justin McCay (6-4, 210 Shawnee, KS Bishop Miege); Solomon Patton (5-11, 170, Mobile, AL Murphy); Nickell Robey (5-8, 160, Frostproof, FL); Da’Rick Rogers (6-3, 205, Calhoun, GA); Kenbrell Thompkins (6-3, 190, Torrance, CA El Camino CC)

Also in the mix: Shawn Corker (6-1, 180, Ft. Lauderdale, FL Cardinal Gibbons); Cordero Dixon (6-1, 165, Suwanee, GA North Gwinnett); Antonio Goodwin (6-2, 175, Atlanta, GA Booker T. Washington); Darius Milines (6-0, 170, Delray Beach, FL American Heritage); Josh Reese (5-11, 175, Miami, FL Central); Kenny Shaw (6-0, 155, Orlando, FL Dr. Phillips)

Moving off the board: Adrian Coxson (6-2, 180, Baltimore MD ) COMMITTED TO PENN STATE; Justin Hunter (6-4, 175, Virginia Beach, VA Ocean Lakes) COMMITTED TO LSU

Notes: A ton of names on the board, so how do we sort this whole situation out? Well, first off, expect no less than four receivers in this class. That is the baseline number.

With three “big” wide receivers running out of eligibility following this season (6-3 Riley Cooper, 6-3 Carl Moore and 6-5 David Nelson) it is imperative that the Gators land a big receiver in this class. 6-4 Justin McCay and 6-3 Da’Rick Rogers fit that bill perfectly. I would be stunned if Florida doesn’t land at least one of the two (and I do believe they would take both if each were to commit).

Another player that it seems will eventually be a part of this class is Kenbrell Thompkins, who is an interesting story. After graduating from high school in the class of 2006, he hit the streets for a couple of years before heading out to El Camino CC following his the signing of his brother, Kendall, with the University of Miami in 2008. While Florida has yet to take his commitment, it makes a lot of sense for Thompkins to be in this class as he provides some built-in separation for what looks to be a big group in 2010 at the position.

Kadron Boone is a no-brainer take as well. At 6-0, and nearly 200 pounds, he gives Florida an unusual option at the position. Big, fast, smooth and incredibly strong, his game will likely evoke comparisons to a player like Anquan Boldin down the line.

Markeith Ambles is a take and from all indications, he will be a battle between Alabama, Florida and USC. Ambles had an enjoyable visit to Florida for the spring by all accounts and the Gators should be in the mix for him until decision day.

Quinton Dunbar and Ivan McCartney are a pair of Miami-area receivers that the Gators are certainly in the mix for. I keep going back and forth on these two. In a deep year, missing on both really wouldn’t hurt a whole lot. The Gators will certainly entertain any interest from both players, but for now it seems more likely that both players end up elsewhere (Dunbar at Miami and McCartney at either Florida State, Miami, Oregon or USC).

Finding another player to man the slot is a key in this class and there aren’t two prospects better in this class than Chris Dunkley and James Louis for that position. Dunkley has long been a favorite of Gators fans but Louis has emerged as possibly the favorite to grab that spot in Florida’s class for 2010. If Louis goes through with a possible commitment following spring practice, expect that the Gators will continue to recruit Dunkley but it might be a bit of a tougher sell if things play out accordingly. Solomon Patton is also a very realistic target at the slot position as well.

Nickell Robey is a bit of an anomaly. He seems to be the forgotten man at times in this group but Florida will be hard-pressed not to accept his commitment if he wants in because of his pure explosiveness. Think of him as the Nu’Keese Richardson for this class but with an added gear that “Pete” simply didn’t have. Virginia Tech has emerged for Robey and don’t discount Georgia or Tennessee in this battle, either. However, Robey was in attendance for the spring game, and remains a very viable option for the Gators.

TIGHT END:

Committed to Florida: Gerald Christian (6-3, 230, Palm Beach Gardens, FL Dwyer); Michael McFarland (6-5, 230, Tampa, FL Blake)

Priority offers: Blake Barker (6-6, 230, Cambridge, MA Buckingham Brown & Nichols)

Also in the mix: Delvin Jones (6-5, 220, Miami, FL Palmetto)

Notes:

This is a position where Florida is in really good shape for the time being. Christian gives Florida a great replacement for missing out on Orson Charles last year. He is that hybrid H-Back/tight end who should prove to be a fine replacement for Aaron Hernandez in a year or two.

McFarland’s skill set is comparable to what Cornelius Ingram provided during his stay at the University of Florida. He is a hybrid-type of player who provide a nice outlet in the passing game and should prove to be quite a threat in the red zone for the Gators.

While Blake Barker is a legitimate target on the board as well, look for Florida to hang tight with Christian and McFarland (assuming their commitments stay solid, and there is no reason to think they won’t), and then reset their focus at the position in 2011 with a pair of top targets (Kelvin Benjamin and Austin Seferian-Jenkins) already high on the board for next year, it seems unlikely that the Gators would sign two tight ends in this class.

OFFENSIVE LINE:

Committed to Florida: Ian Silberman (6-5, 265, Orange Park, FL Fleming Island)

Priority offers: Brent Benedict (6-5, 290, Jacksonville, FL Bolles); Chaz Green (6-5, 286, Palm Harbor, FL Tampa Catholic); Seantrel Henderson (6-8, 305, Minneapolis, MN Cretin-Durham Hall); Brandon Linder (6-4, 265, Ft. Lauderdale, FL St. Thomas Aquinas); Eric Mack (6-4, 320, St. Matthews, SC Calhoun County)

Also in the mix: Kenneth Bizier (6-3, 275, Jacksonville, FL Ed White); John Bloom (6-4, 250, Groveland, FL South Lake); Dylan Bostic (6-5, 270, Jacksonville, FL Fletcher); Willis Bowles (6-3, 285, Pahokee, FL); Matt James (6-7, 275, Cincinnati, OH St. Xavier); T.J. Leifheit (6-7, 300, Wilmington, NC Hoggard); Colton Odom (6-4, 290, Rockledge, FL); Torrian Wilson (6-3.5, 300, Miami, FL Northwestern); David Yankey (6-5, 270, Roswell, GA Centennial)

Moving off the board: James Hurst (6-5, 290, Plainfield, IN) COMMITTED TO NORTH CAROLINA; Jawuan James (6-6, 295, Suwanee, GA North Gwinnett) COMMITTED TO ALABAMA; Jose Jose (6-2, 365, Miami, FL Booker T. Washington) COMMITTED TO TENNESSEE

Notes: For all intents and purposes, there are really only three offensive lineman on the board right now with offers who the Gators are seriously after — Brent Benedict, Chaz Green and Brandon Linder. The good news is that the need for offensive linemen in this class really isn’t that high. Florida will probably take just three big guys in this recruiting class and call it a day. The other good news is that Florida is in a pretty good position for all three players as the Gators are believe to be at or near the top to of the list for Benedict, Green and Linder.

The bad news? If Florida is to miss out on these three prospects then the board becomes a little dicey.

While that doesn’t seem likely (missing out on Benedict, Green and Linder), getting even two of three will not be an easy proposition. All three prospects have a ton of offers and ties to other regions and schools as well. Because of that, the board is very likely to expand to include some more options for the staff to go with.

Look for the Florida summer camps to produce a few new names to the board (and possibly a commitment or two) along the offensive line. David Yankey is one prospect the coaches are hoping to get a better look at on campus in June. There will be plenty of others as well. In any case expect some new names to pop up on the board over the course of the summer.

DEFENSIVE END:

Priority offers: Dominique Easley (6-3, 255, Staten Island, NY Curtis); William Gholston (6-7, 250, Detroit, MI Southeastern); Jackson Jeffcoat (6-5, 230, Plano, TX Plano East); Corey Lemonier (6-4, 225, Hialeah, FL); Dexter Morant (6-6, 220, Manning, SC);

Owamagbe Odighizuwa (6-3, 220, Portland, OR David Douglas); David Perry (6-6, 240, Davie, FL University School); Ronald Powell (6-4, 224, Moreno Valley, CA Rancho Verde); T.J. Stripling (6-6, 215, Decatur, GA Southwest Dekalb); Lynden Trail (6-7, 205, Miami, FL Washington)

Also in the mix: Neiron Ball (6-4, 210 Jackson, GA); Brandon Burrows (6-3, 240 Marietta, GA Walton); Kaleb Eulls (6-4, 240, Pickens, MS Yazoo County); Fre’Shad Hunter (6-5, 245, Cary, NC); Tim Jackson (6-4, 215, St. Petersburg, FL Gibbs); Gabe King (6-5, 250, Greensboro, NC Page); Chris McCain (6-6, 205 Greensboro, NC Northern Guilford); Anthony Williams (6-4, 230 McDonough, GA Union Grove)

Moving off the board: Craig Sanders (6-4, 230, Ariton, AL) COMMITTED TO ALABAMA

Notes: Florida is in a good spot at defensive end for the 2010 class. The Gators have made serious strides for Lynden Trail and word on the street is that the Gators are close to locking him up, even if he won’t make commitment for some time. While in my talks with Lynden, he has said good things about Florida, he does enjoy talking to the media so sometimes you have to take that with a grain of salt. However, other sources have confirmed that the interest in Florida is legitimate, and it would take a serious paradigm shift in Miami’s recruiting philosophy (one that seems unlikely to happen at this point) to knock Florida off Trail’s list of favorites.

Also, the Gators are doing surprisingly well in Georgia, as a pair of what would seem to be Georgia leans in Neiron Ball (whose brother Neland is a scholarship defensive end at Georgia) and T.J. Stripling (who plays for a UGA stronghold in SW Dekalb, just shy of an hour from the campus) have made it known that the Gators lead for their services. Ball could potentially play linebacker but figures to be a rush end at Florida, just as Stripling would play as well. I have to think that as of today Florida gets one of the two prospects to go along with Trail to give the Gators a nice pair of pass-rushers in this class.

However, it doesn’t stop there. Look for Florida to try to close out this potential three-man group with a player who can give them a look on the strong side. The most likely candidates at this point are Dominique Easley (who I’m told the staff absolutely loves), Owamagbe Odighizuwa (who has Florida in his top three) and David Perry (the more traditional strongside end in Florida’s system — he’s a legit 6-6). That’s not to discount interest from Jackson Jeffcoat (who should visit this summer), Corey Lemonier (who visited this spring) and Ronald Powell (who has a high level of interest in Florida, and has family in the South). Regardless, this is a deep group, and look for the Gators to take three when it’s all said and done.

DEFENSIVE TACKLE:

Committed to Florida: Leon Orr (6-4, 305, New Port Richey, FL Gulf)

Priority offers: Richard Ash (6-3, 270, Pahokee, FL); Calvin Barnett (6-3, 290, Tulsa, OK Booker T. Washington); Jatashun Beachum (6-2, 270, Dallas TX A. Maceo Smith); Shariff Floyd (6-3, 300, Philadelphia, PA George Washington); Garrison Smith (6-3, 275, Atlanta, GA Douglass); Brandon Willis (6-4, 260, Duncan, SC Byrnes)

Also on the board: Tavaris Barnes (6-4, 250, Jacksonville, FL First Coast); J.R. Ferguson (6-3, 270, Fredrick, MD St. John’s Prep);

Antonio Ford (6-3, 260, Pahokee, FL); Eric Hammond (6-3, 300, Tampa, FL Chamberlain); Calvin Smith (6-3, 260, Hialeah, FL);

Michael Thornton (6-2, 280, Stone Mountain, GA Stephenson); Darious Cummings (6-1.5, 260, Titusville, FL Astronaut) COMMITTED TO FLORIDA STATE

Notes: At this point, it seems clear that Orr is being projected to play on the defensive side of the ball (likely as a one-technique nose tackle). His size and athleticism give him enormous upside as a football player. Aside from Orr, it looks as if the Gators would like to sign at least one more defensive tackle in this class. Richard Ash is very high on what the University of Florida has to offer and he seems like the most likely candidate right now to join Orr in this group.

Barnett, Floyd, Smith and Willis are all great looking prospects and the Florida staff would gladly accept commitments from any of those four players. However, as of today, it seems unlikely that any one from that group will end up in Gainesville when it comes time to make a decision.

Beachum is a player the Gators really like as well. Look for Florida to make a strong push for the Dallas product over the course of the next few months. While Beachum will be recruited as a “jumbo athlete” and might even see spot duty in a number of places, his future is on the defensive line at the college level.

One prospect to really keep an eye on is Darious Cummings. He projects as a defensive tackle at the next level and word is that Charlie Strong really liked what he saw out of the talented defensive lineman during a recent trip to Titusville. While stealing his commitment from Florida State might be a stretch, look for the Gators to push hard for a visit from the War Eagle star.

LINEBACKER:

Committed to Florida: Gideon Ajagbe (6-2, 205, Coconut Grove, FL Ransom Everglades)

Priority offers: Khairi Fortt (6-2, 220, Stamford, CT); Jordan Hicks (6-2, 210, West Chester, OH Lakota West); Tony Jefferson (6-0, 195, Chula Vista, CA Eastlake); Christian Jones (6-3.5, 220, Winter Park, FL Lake Howell); Shaun Lewis (6-1, 200, Missouri City, TX Hightower); Jeff Luc (6-0, 241, Port St. Lucie, FL Treasure Coast)

Also in the mix: Desmond Cooper (6-2, 190, Jacksonville, FL Bolles); Tyrone Cornileus (6-2, 190, Stone Mountain, GA Stephenson); Stanley Evans (6-0, 195, Groveland, FL South Lake); Justin Maclin (6-3, 215, Memphis, TN Ridgeway); Mike Mirabella (6-0, 205, Tampa, FL Plant); Quayshawn Nealy (5-11.5, 204, Lakeland, FL); Kevin Nelson (6-0, 220, Gainesville, FL Gainesville); Ralph Williams (6-1, 220, Miami, FL Gulliver Prep)

Notes: With Ajagbe in the fold, it appears that Florida would like to take one more linebacker to close out this class for the time being. Luc is the top priority on the board with Jones a very close second (with only his family ties to Florida State keeping him off the top line). If Florida can land just one of those two prospect, this linebacker class will be considered a huge success.

Most of the focus right now is on Luc. With the emergence of Jon Bostic this spring, Luc has become more of a luxury item in this class than a necessity. However, Bostic could easily transition to the outside and Luc is simply the type of prospect that must be recruited to the bitter end. He has kept his cards close to the vest but Charlie Strong has made a good impression to date and it would seem that the Gators are in a good position to land Luc at the current time.

Look for the Gators to keep tabs on a number of linebacker prospects, however. There is a chance that Florida will need to take a third linebacker prospect later on in the process if a crowded depth chart causes a backup on the team to leave for greener pastures.

CORNERBACK:

Committed to Florida: Victor Hampton (5-10, 170, Charlotte, NC Independence); Jaylen Watkins (6-0, 172, Cape Coral, FL)

Priority offers: Ryan Ayers (5-10, 175, Douglasville, GA South Paulding); John Fulton (6-0, 175, Manning, SC); Terrence Mitchell (5-9, 155, Tampa, FL Hillsborough); Kacy Rodgers (6-2, 185, Southlake, TX Carroll); Demetrius Wright (6-1, 185, Corona, CA)

Also in the mix: Terrence Brooks (5-10, 165, Dunnellon, FL); Ravonne Carter (5-10, 167, Hialeah, FL); Devonta’ Davis (6-0, 170, Gainesville, FL); Tony Grimes (6-0, 166, Hollywood Hills, FL); Rashad Knight (5-10, 190, Jacksonville, FL Trinity Christian); Richard Leonard (5-8, 160, Miami, FL Killian); Dior Mathis (5-8, 165, Detroit, MI Cass Tech); Derek Owens (5-11, 165 Jacksonville, FL Jackson); Garry Peters (6-0, 183, Conyers, GA Heritage); Keion Payne (6-0, 155, Ft. Lauderdale, FL St. Thomas Aquinas); Pernell Williams (6-1, 170, Douglas, GA Coffee County)

Notes: The Gators are in really good shape at cornerback with commitments from two top-flight players in Hampton and Watkins. However, there is still some concern for the strength of Hampton’s commitment, considering the fact that he hasn’t yet visited campus. With that in mind, there is still some work to be done at the corner position, both to lock down a third commitment and keep some back-up options open as well for the staff to have in place in the event that a possibility or two falls through.

Florida really cannot be considered the leader for any of the five corner prospects they have offered although Rodgers did quietly visit Florida over the spring and Wright has some serious interest in checking out what Florida has to offer as well. Keep an eye on those two as well as Terrance Brooks, Devonta’ Davis, Rashad Knight (who will camp at Florida in June), Derek Owens and Keion Payne (who should have a Florida offer in hand shortly).

Of course, there is also Pernell Williams who tried to commit to Florida several weeks ago but was asked to hold off. At 6-1, he is one of the biggest corners on the board, and I still think there is a pretty decent shot he could end up in this class.

SAFETY:

Committed to Florida: Demar Dorsey (6-1, 180, Lauderdale Lakes, FL Boyd Anderson); Jonathan Dowling (6-3, 180, Bradenton, FL Southeast)

Priority Offers: Alec Ogletree (6-3, 214, Newnan, GA); Sean Parker (5-11, 194, Harbor City, CA Narbonne); Jarrick Williams (6-2, 195, Pritchard, AL Blount)

Also in the mix: Travis Bell (6-1, 171, Belle Glade, FL Glades Central); Daunte Carr (6-2, 192, Gainesville, GA); Demetrius Pettway (5-11, 179, Homestead, FL); Brian Robinson (6-0, 180, Ft. Lauderdale, FL St. Thomas Aquinas); Johnnie Simon (6-0, 170, West Palm Beach, FL Palm Beach Lakes)

Moving off the board: Marvin Robinson (6-1, 196, Eagle Lake, FL Lake Region) COMMITTED TO MICHIGAN

Notes: With “athletes” Elam and Haden also being pegged to play the safety position, it’s really more about holding on to who Florida already has on board, than trying to pick up any additional commitments at the safety position.

While Ogletree, Parker and Williams all have offers in hand, none are believed to be seriously considering the Gators at this point — although Ogletree and Williams would more likely play outside linebacker than safety on the next level.

Marvin Robinson was a player Florida had a high level of interest in (also as an outside linebacker) but Michigan got in on the talented Polk County prospect early (verbally offering before his sophomore year) and that was always an uphill battle that the Gators were facing to land his signature.

ATHLETE:

Committed to Florida: Matt Elam (5-11, 205, Palm Beach Gardens, FL Dwyer); Jordan Haden (6-0, 200, Ft. Washington, MD Friendly)

Priority offers: Demarco Cobbs (6-1, 200, Tulsa, OK Central); Christian Green (6-2, 200, Tampa, FL Catholic); Darius Milines (6-0, 175, Delray Beach, FL American Heritage)

Also in the mix: Pablo Alvarez (6-3, 190, Miami FL Belen Jesuit); B.J. Bostic (5-10, 160, Louisville, GA Jefferson County); Jeremy Deering (6-1, 200, Tampa, FL Leto); James Haynes (6-0, 180, Orange, TX West Orange-Stark); Hayes Pullard (6-2, 220, Los Angeles, CA Crenshaw); Gilbert St. Louis (5-11, 175, Plantation, FL)

QUARTERBACK/ATHLETE:

B.J. Chitty (6-3, 180, Dothan, AL Northview); A.J. Derby (6-4, 215, Iowa City, IA); Jamius Gunsby (6-4, 220, LaGrange, GA ); Jarred Haggins (6-0, 175, Lakeland, FL); Marcus Smith (6-3, 210, Columbus, GA Hardaway)

Notes: Milines is a new name into the mix. He is a 6-0 blazer who could get a look on either side of the ball if things are to heat up between him and Florida.

Christian Green is a great looking player, but isn’t in the quarterback/athlete category because he has been quite insistent that he will play wide receiver at the next level. The dynamic of Green and high school teammate Chaz Green wanting to play together in college should be very interesting. Florida, Florida State and USC stand out for Christian but Florida State isn’t among Chaz’s favorites and Tennessee will be a big factor for the big lineman as well (as both of his parents went there). So that should be an interesting recruitment for the two star players at Tampa Catholic.

Many of these prospects will camp in Gainesville this summer. Deering made his intentions known when I sat down with him last week. Pullard, on the other hand, has been quoted in reports as saying he would like to attend Friday Night Lights.

As for the prospects in the quarterback/athlete category, if any of them are to end up at Florida (and the chances are that the Gators could very well wind up with one of them), it will be interesting to see how that dynamic plays out. If any of the five players were to sign with Florida they would likely at least be afforded a shot at the quarterback position (although Chitty and Haggins haven’t been real particular about having to stay at the position on the next level). Derby, Gunsby and Smith all project as tight end/defensive end/linebacker types if quarterback doesn’t work out, while Chitty looks to land at wide receiver most likely, and Haggins could play at either wide receiver or safety.

In any case, don’t be surprised if the Gators end up with one of the above five players in this class. But don’t look for that potential pairing to cause a whole lot of problems in regards to the commitment of Trey Burton, either.

Next up, we will back in a couple of weeks to wrap up spring practice in the state of Florida and also start previewing some very important summer camp sessions in Gainesville. As they do every summer, the camp circuit always brings some new names to the forefront, and typically changes the landscape of the entire recruiting class. Stay tuned!

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The spring evaluation period is crucial to strong recruiting and with the Florida class of 2010 half-filled, the Gators have the advantage of narrowing their focus and making their presence known to some of the top prospects on the board by visiting some schools multiple times. For example, Billy Gonzales has been to Pahokee twice this spring while Brian White has been to Columbus (GA) Hardaway to see Marcus Smith.

The Gators have been able to shrink their recruiting board due to so many early commitments and that will allow the coaches to take longer looks at the prospects they are interested in during the final days of spring practice and next month at camp. Pressure tactics aren’t part of the deal for this coaching staff but kids do have to understand that with the available spots in this recruiting class shrinking on an almost weekly basis, you better jump on the train or watch it pass you by. The wishy-washy types will find themselves passed by for kids who know they want to be Gators.

Here’s a look at the Florida recruiting board:



QUARTERBACK:

Committed to Florida: Trey Burton (6-3, 205, Nokomis, FL Venice)

Also on the board: Stephen Morris (6-2, 185, Miami, FL Monsignor Pace)

Notes: For now it’s Burton and only Burton at the quarterback position. Look for more on this topic in the “athlete section” of The Briefing Room as we try to address what direction the Gators will go in at this slot.

Up to 215 pounds now, Burton has a big summer ahead of him. He will be attending an Elite 11 qualifier in Las Vegas in June, and will be spending a good portion of the summer working to improve his mechanics and football, and continuing to develop as a passer.

Keep an eye on Morris, however. He has a relationship with QB coach Scot Loeffler dating back to Loeffler’s days at Michigan (where Morris has camped for several years now). Morris is a legit 4.6 40 threat on the ground and has an extremely strong arm to boot. The biggest question is, what kind of a player is he?Morris hasn’t really been asked to carry his team at Pace to date. Regardless, the tools Morris possesses should get him a bunch of offers this spring and summer and could have him in the mix on Florida’s board down the line.

RUNNING BACK:

Priority offers: Gio Bernard (5-9, 195, Ft. Lauderdale, FL St. Thomas Aquinas); Corey Brown (6-0, 175, Springfield, PA ); Mack Brown (5-11, 185, Lithonia, GA King); Corey Grant (5-10, 185, Opelika, AL); Storm Johnson (5-11, 210, Loganville, GA); Lache Seastrunk (5-11, 195, Temple, TX)

Also in the mix: Dareyon Chance (5-5, 155, Ft. Lauderdale, FL Cardinal Gibbons); Roy Finch (5-8, 165, Niceville, FL); Brandon Gainer (6-0, 195, Miami, FL Central); Jakhari Gore (5-9, 160, Miami, FL Columbus); Jordon James (5-10, 185, Corona, CA); D.J. Jones (5-11, 200, Dennison, TX); Corvin Lamb (5-9, 190, Miami, FL Northwestern); Kendrun Malcome (5-11, 210, Decatur, GA Southwest Dekalb); Cassius McDowell (5-9, 165, Deerfield, Beach, FL); Marcus Shaw (5-9, 185, Arcadia, FL DeSoto); Juwan Thompson (5-11, 207, College Park, GA Woodward Academy); Casey Turner (5-11, 190, Jacksonville, FL Ed White); Devon Wright (6-0, 185, Coral Springs, FL Taravella)

Notes: There are plenty of great prospects on the board for Florida so it’s hard to see the Gators getting out of 2010 with less than two backs in tow. It’s really a great year at the position (especially in the states of Florida and Georgia), which is perfect for a team looking to increase their depth and versatility.

For now, the search focuses on four backs in particular — the Browns (Corey and Mack), another Corey (Grant), in addition to Storm Johnson (what a great name, huh?) who provides Florida a nice big back option in this class. All four backs are legitimate possibilities on the board, although Mack Brown seems to be the favorite of the Florida coaching staff.

While those four backs have first crack at taking an offer from Florida, there are some other options as well. The Gators have decided to cast their lot for Lache Seastrunk, one of the top rated backs in the entire country, but he will be a tough pull for the Gators. Auburn, LSU, and Texas have already made a strong push for the Temple, TX product. Still, look for Florida to at least push for an official visit from Seastrunk.

Roy Finch is a back the Gators love because of his all-purpose ability and his potential for becoming a threat in the return game. He is expected to camp at Friday Night Lights.

Marcus Shaw is an ultra-productive RB out of DeSoto County who ran for over 2,500 yards last year and is a bit of a sleeper on the board. Also keep an eye out for Juwan Thompson, who times at under 4.5 seconds in the 40 yard dash at nearly 210 pounds. Both are prospects that the staff is continuing to evaluate, and will likely press to camp in Gainesville this summer.

WIDE RECEIVER:

Priority offers: Markeith Ambles (6-2, 180, McDonough, GA Henry County); Kadron Boone (6-0, 197, Ocala, FL Trinity Catholic); Quinton Dunbar (6-2, 170, Miami, FL Booker T. Washington); Chris Dunkley (5-11, 170, Pahokee, FL); James Louis (5-11, 180, Delray Beach, FL Atlantic); Ivan McCartney (6-2, 180, Miramar, FL); Justin McCay (6-4, 210 Shawnee, KS Bishop Miege); Solomon Patton (5-11, 170, Mobile, AL Murphy); Nickell Robey (5-8, 160, Frostproof, FL); Da’Rick Rogers (6-3, 205, Calhoun, GA); Kenbrell Thompkins (6-3, 190, Torrance, CA El Camino CC)

Also in the mix: Shawn Corker (6-1, 180, Ft. Lauderdale, FL Cardinal Gibbons); Cordero Dixon (6-1, 165, Suwanee, GA North Gwinnett); Antonio Goodwin (6-2, 175, Atlanta, GA Booker T. Washington); Darius Milines (6-0, 170, Delray Beach, FL American Heritage); Josh Reese (5-11, 175, Miami, FL Central); Kenny Shaw (6-0, 155, Orlando, FL Dr. Phillips)

Moving off the board: Adrian Coxson (6-2, 180, Baltimore MD ) COMMITTED TO PENN STATE; Justin Hunter (6-4, 175, Virginia Beach, VA Ocean Lakes) COMMITTED TO LSU

Notes: A ton of names on the board, so how do we sort this whole situation out? Well, first off, expect no less than four receivers in this class. That is the baseline number.

With three “big” wide receivers running out of eligibility following this season (6-3 Riley Cooper, 6-3 Carl Moore and 6-5 David Nelson) it is imperative that the Gators land a big receiver in this class. 6-4 Justin McCay and 6-3 Da’Rick Rogers fit that bill perfectly. I would be stunned if Florida doesn’t land at least one of the two (and I do believe they would take both if each were to commit).

Another player that it seems will eventually be a part of this class is Kenbrell Thompkins, who is an interesting story. After graduating from high school in the class of 2006, he hit the streets for a couple of years before heading out to El Camino CC following his the signing of his brother, Kendall, with the University of Miami in 2008. While Florida has yet to take his commitment, it makes a lot of sense for Thompkins to be in this class as he provides some built-in separation for what looks to be a big group in 2010 at the position.

Kadron Boone is a no-brainer take as well. At 6-0, and nearly 200 pounds, he gives Florida an unusual option at the position. Big, fast, smooth and incredibly strong, his game will likely evoke comparisons to a player like Anquan Boldin down the line.

Markeith Ambles is a take and from all indications, he will be a battle between Alabama, Florida and USC. Ambles had an enjoyable visit to Florida for the spring by all accounts and the Gators should be in the mix for him until decision day.

Quinton Dunbar and Ivan McCartney are a pair of Miami-area receivers that the Gators are certainly in the mix for. I keep going back and forth on these two. In a deep year, missing on both really wouldn’t hurt a whole lot. The Gators will certainly entertain any interest from both players, but for now it seems more likely that both players end up elsewhere (Dunbar at Miami and McCartney at either Florida State, Miami, Oregon or USC).

Finding another player to man the slot is a key in this class and there aren’t two prospects better in this class than Chris Dunkley and James Louis for that position. Dunkley has long been a favorite of Gators fans but Louis has emerged as possibly the favorite to grab that spot in Florida’s class for 2010. If Louis goes through with a possible commitment following spring practice, expect that the Gators will continue to recruit Dunkley but it might be a bit of a tougher sell if things play out accordingly. Solomon Patton is also a very realistic target at the slot position as well.

Nickell Robey is a bit of an anomaly. He seems to be the forgotten man at times in this group but Florida will be hard-pressed not to accept his commitment if he wants in because of his pure explosiveness. Think of him as the Nu’Keese Richardson for this class but with an added gear that “Pete” simply didn’t have. Virginia Tech has emerged for Robey and don’t discount Georgia or Tennessee in this battle, either. However, Robey was in attendance for the spring game, and remains a very viable option for the Gators.

TIGHT END:

Committed to Florida: Gerald Christian (6-3, 230, Palm Beach Gardens, FL Dwyer); Michael McFarland (6-5, 230, Tampa, FL Blake)

Priority offers: Blake Barker (6-6, 230, Cambridge, MA Buckingham Brown & Nichols)

Also in the mix: Delvin Jones (6-5, 220, Miami, FL Palmetto)

Notes:

This is a position where Florida is in really good shape for the time being. Christian gives Florida a great replacement for missing out on Orson Charles last year. He is that hybrid H-Back/tight end who should prove to be a fine replacement for Aaron Hernandez in a year or two.

McFarland’s skill set is comparable to what Cornelius Ingram provided during his stay at the University of Florida. He is a hybrid-type of player who provide a nice outlet in the passing game and should prove to be quite a threat in the red zone for the Gators.

While Blake Barker is a legitimate target on the board as well, look for Florida to hang tight with Christian and McFarland (assuming their commitments stay solid, and there is no reason to think they won’t), and then reset their focus at the position in 2011 with a pair of top targets (Kelvin Benjamin and Austin Seferian-Jenkins) already high on the board for next year, it seems unlikely that the Gators would sign two tight ends in this class.

OFFENSIVE LINE:

Committed to Florida: Ian Silberman (6-5, 265, Orange Park, FL Fleming Island)

Priority offers: Brent Benedict (6-5, 290, Jacksonville, FL Bolles); Chaz Green (6-5, 286, Palm Harbor, FL Tampa Catholic); Seantrel Henderson (6-8, 305, Minneapolis, MN Cretin-Durham Hall); Brandon Linder (6-4, 265, Ft. Lauderdale, FL St. Thomas Aquinas); Eric Mack (6-4, 320, St. Matthews, SC Calhoun County)

Also in the mix: Kenneth Bizier (6-3, 275, Jacksonville, FL Ed White); John Bloom (6-4, 250, Groveland, FL South Lake); Dylan Bostic (6-5, 270, Jacksonville, FL Fletcher); Willis Bowles (6-3, 285, Pahokee, FL); Matt James (6-7, 275, Cincinnati, OH St. Xavier); T.J. Leifheit (6-7, 300, Wilmington, NC Hoggard); Colton Odom (6-4, 290, Rockledge, FL); Torrian Wilson (6-3.5, 300, Miami, FL Northwestern); David Yankey (6-5, 270, Roswell, GA Centennial)

Moving off the board: James Hurst (6-5, 290, Plainfield, IN) COMMITTED TO NORTH CAROLINA; Jawuan James (6-6, 295, Suwanee, GA North Gwinnett) COMMITTED TO ALABAMA; Jose Jose (6-2, 365, Miami, FL Booker T. Washington) COMMITTED TO TENNESSEE

Notes: For all intents and purposes, there are really only three offensive lineman on the board right now with offers who the Gators are seriously after — Brent Benedict, Chaz Green and Brandon Linder. The good news is that the need for offensive linemen in this class really isn’t that high. Florida will probably take just three big guys in this recruiting class and call it a day. The other good news is that Florida is in a pretty good position for all three players as the Gators are believe to be at or near the top to of the list for Benedict, Green and Linder.

The bad news? If Florida is to miss out on these three prospects then the board becomes a little dicey.

While that doesn’t seem likely (missing out on Benedict, Green and Linder), getting even two of three will not be an easy proposition. All three prospects have a ton of offers and ties to other regions and schools as well. Because of that, the board is very likely to expand to include some more options for the staff to go with.

Look for the Florida summer camps to produce a few new names to the board (and possibly a commitment or two) along the offensive line. David Yankey is one prospect the coaches are hoping to get a better look at on campus in June. There will be plenty of others as well. In any case expect some new names to pop up on the board over the course of the summer.

DEFENSIVE END:

Priority offers: Dominique Easley (6-3, 255, Staten Island, NY Curtis); William Gholston (6-7, 250, Detroit, MI Southeastern); Jackson Jeffcoat (6-5, 230, Plano, TX Plano East); Corey Lemonier (6-4, 225, Hialeah, FL); Dexter Morant (6-6, 220, Manning, SC);

Owamagbe Odighizuwa (6-3, 220, Portland, OR David Douglas); David Perry (6-6, 240, Davie, FL University School); Ronald Powell (6-4, 224, Moreno Valley, CA Rancho Verde); T.J. Stripling (6-6, 215, Decatur, GA Southwest Dekalb); Lynden Trail (6-7, 205, Miami, FL Washington)

Also in the mix: Neiron Ball (6-4, 210 Jackson, GA); Brandon Burrows (6-3, 240 Marietta, GA Walton); Kaleb Eulls (6-4, 240, Pickens, MS Yazoo County); Fre’Shad Hunter (6-5, 245, Cary, NC); Tim Jackson (6-4, 215, St. Petersburg, FL Gibbs); Gabe King (6-5, 250, Greensboro, NC Page); Chris McCain (6-6, 205 Greensboro, NC Northern Guilford); Anthony Williams (6-4, 230 McDonough, GA Union Grove)

Moving off the board: Craig Sanders (6-4, 230, Ariton, AL) COMMITTED TO ALABAMA

Notes: Florida is in a good spot at defensive end for the 2010 class. The Gators have made serious strides for Lynden Trail and word on the street is that the Gators are close to locking him up, even if he won’t make commitment for some time. While in my talks with Lynden, he has said good things about Florida, he does enjoy talking to the media so sometimes you have to take that with a grain of salt. However, other sources have confirmed that the interest in Florida is legitimate, and it would take a serious paradigm shift in Miami’s recruiting philosophy (one that seems unlikely to happen at this point) to knock Florida off Trail’s list of favorites.

Also, the Gators are doing surprisingly well in Georgia, as a pair of what would seem to be Georgia leans in Neiron Ball (whose brother Neland is a scholarship defensive end at Georgia) and T.J. Stripling (who plays for a UGA stronghold in SW Dekalb, just shy of an hour from the campus) have made it known that the Gators lead for their services. Ball could potentially play linebacker but figures to be a rush end at Florida, just as Stripling would play as well. I have to think that as of today Florida gets one of the two prospects to go along with Trail to give the Gators a nice pair of pass-rushers in this class.

However, it doesn’t stop there. Look for Florida to try to close out this potential three-man group with a player who can give them a look on the strong side. The most likely candidates at this point are Dominique Easley (who I’m told the staff absolutely loves), Owamagbe Odighizuwa (who has Florida in his top three) and David Perry (the more traditional strongside end in Florida’s system — he’s a legit 6-6). That’s not to discount interest from Jackson Jeffcoat (who should visit this summer), Corey Lemonier (who visited this spring) and Ronald Powell (who has a high level of interest in Florida, and has family in the South). Regardless, this is a deep group, and look for the Gators to take three when it’s all said and done.

DEFENSIVE TACKLE:

Committed to Florida: Leon Orr (6-4, 305, New Port Richey, FL Gulf)

Priority offers: Richard Ash (6-3, 270, Pahokee, FL); Calvin Barnett (6-3, 290, Tulsa, OK Booker T. Washington); Jatashun Beachum (6-2, 270, Dallas TX A. Maceo Smith); Shariff Floyd (6-3, 300, Philadelphia, PA George Washington); Garrison Smith (6-3, 275, Atlanta, GA Douglass); Brandon Willis (6-4, 260, Duncan, SC Byrnes)

Also on the board: Tavaris Barnes (6-4, 250, Jacksonville, FL First Coast); J.R. Ferguson (6-3, 270, Fredrick, MD St. John’s Prep);

Antonio Ford (6-3, 260, Pahokee, FL); Eric Hammond (6-3, 300, Tampa, FL Chamberlain); Calvin Smith (6-3, 260, Hialeah, FL);

Michael Thornton (6-2, 280, Stone Mountain, GA Stephenson); Darious Cummings (6-1.5, 260, Titusville, FL Astronaut) COMMITTED TO FLORIDA STATE

Notes: At this point, it seems clear that Orr is being projected to play on the defensive side of the ball (likely as a one-technique nose tackle). His size and athleticism give him enormous upside as a football player. Aside from Orr, it looks as if the Gators would like to sign at least one more defensive tackle in this class. Richard Ash is very high on what the University of Florida has to offer and he seems like the most likely candidate right now to join Orr in this group.

Barnett, Floyd, Smith and Willis are all great looking prospects and the Florida staff would gladly accept commitments from any of those four players. However, as of today, it seems unlikely that any one from that group will end up in Gainesville when it comes time to make a decision.

Beachum is a player the Gators really like as well. Look for Florida to make a strong push for the Dallas product over the course of the next few months. While Beachum will be recruited as a “jumbo athlete” and might even see spot duty in a number of places, his future is on the defensive line at the college level.

One prospect to really keep an eye on is Darious Cummings. He projects as a defensive tackle at the next level and word is that Charlie Strong really liked what he saw out of the talented defensive lineman during a recent trip to Titusville. While stealing his commitment from Florida State might be a stretch, look for the Gators to push hard for a visit from the War Eagle star.

LINEBACKER:

Committed to Florida: Gideon Ajagbe (6-2, 205, Coconut Grove, FL Ransom Everglades)

Priority offers: Khairi Fortt (6-2, 220, Stamford, CT); Jordan Hicks (6-2, 210, West Chester, OH Lakota West); Tony Jefferson (6-0, 195, Chula Vista, CA Eastlake); Christian Jones (6-3.5, 220, Winter Park, FL Lake Howell); Shaun Lewis (6-1, 200, Missouri City, TX Hightower); Jeff Luc (6-0, 241, Port St. Lucie, FL Treasure Coast)

Also in the mix: Desmond Cooper (6-2, 190, Jacksonville, FL Bolles); Tyrone Cornileus (6-2, 190, Stone Mountain, GA Stephenson); Stanley Evans (6-0, 195, Groveland, FL South Lake); Justin Maclin (6-3, 215, Memphis, TN Ridgeway); Mike Mirabella (6-0, 205, Tampa, FL Plant); Quayshawn Nealy (5-11.5, 204, Lakeland, FL); Kevin Nelson (6-0, 220, Gainesville, FL Gainesville); Ralph Williams (6-1, 220, Miami, FL Gulliver Prep)

Notes: With Ajagbe in the fold, it appears that Florida would like to take one more linebacker to close out this class for the time being. Luc is the top priority on the board with Jones a very close second (with only his family ties to Florida State keeping him off the top line). If Florida can land just one of those two prospect, this linebacker class will be considered a huge success.

Most of the focus right now is on Luc. With the emergence of Jon Bostic this spring, Luc has become more of a luxury item in this class than a necessity. However, Bostic could easily transition to the outside and Luc is simply the type of prospect that must be recruited to the bitter end. He has kept his cards close to the vest but Charlie Strong has made a good impression to date and it would seem that the Gators are in a good position to land Luc at the current time.

Look for the Gators to keep tabs on a number of linebacker prospects, however. There is a chance that Florida will need to take a third linebacker prospect later on in the process if a crowded depth chart causes a backup on the team to leave for greener pastures.

CORNERBACK:

Committed to Florida: Victor Hampton (5-10, 170, Charlotte, NC Independence); Jaylen Watkins (6-0, 172, Cape Coral, FL)

Priority offers: Ryan Ayers (5-10, 175, Douglasville, GA South Paulding); John Fulton (6-0, 175, Manning, SC); Terrence Mitchell (5-9, 155, Tampa, FL Hillsborough); Kacy Rodgers (6-2, 185, Southlake, TX Carroll); Demetrius Wright (6-1, 185, Corona, CA)

Also in the mix: Terrence Brooks (5-10, 165, Dunnellon, FL); Ravonne Carter (5-10, 167, Hialeah, FL); Devonta’ Davis (6-0, 170, Gainesville, FL); Tony Grimes (6-0, 166, Hollywood Hills, FL); Rashad Knight (5-10, 190, Jacksonville, FL Trinity Christian); Richard Leonard (5-8, 160, Miami, FL Killian); Dior Mathis (5-8, 165, Detroit, MI Cass Tech); Derek Owens (5-11, 165 Jacksonville, FL Jackson); Garry Peters (6-0, 183, Conyers, GA Heritage); Keion Payne (6-0, 155, Ft. Lauderdale, FL St. Thomas Aquinas); Pernell Williams (6-1, 170, Douglas, GA Coffee County)

Notes: The Gators are in really good shape at cornerback with commitments from two top-flight players in Hampton and Watkins. However, there is still some concern for the strength of Hampton’s commitment, considering the fact that he hasn’t yet visited campus. With that in mind, there is still some work to be done at the corner position, both to lock down a third commitment and keep some back-up options open as well for the staff to have in place in the event that a possibility or two falls through.

Florida really cannot be considered the leader for any of the five corner prospects they have offered although Rodgers did quietly visit Florida over the spring and Wright has some serious interest in checking out what Florida has to offer as well. Keep an eye on those two as well as Terrance Brooks, Devonta’ Davis, Rashad Knight (who will camp at Florida in June), Derek Owens and Keion Payne (who should have a Florida offer in hand shortly).

Of course, there is also Pernell Williams who tried to commit to Florida several weeks ago but was asked to hold off. At 6-1, he is one of the biggest corners on the board, and I still think there is a pretty decent shot he could end up in this class.

SAFETY:

Committed to Florida: Demar Dorsey (6-1, 180, Lauderdale Lakes, FL Boyd Anderson); Jonathan Dowling (6-3, 180, Bradenton, FL Southeast)

Priority Offers: Alec Ogletree (6-3, 214, Newnan, GA); Sean Parker (5-11, 194, Harbor City, CA Narbonne); Jarrick Williams (6-2, 195, Pritchard, AL Blount)

Also in the mix: Travis Bell (6-1, 171, Belle Glade, FL Glades Central); Daunte Carr (6-2, 192, Gainesville, GA); Demetrius Pettway (5-11, 179, Homestead, FL); Brian Robinson (6-0, 180, Ft. Lauderdale, FL St. Thomas Aquinas); Johnnie Simon (6-0, 170, West Palm Beach, FL Palm Beach Lakes)

Moving off the board: Marvin Robinson (6-1, 196, Eagle Lake, FL Lake Region) COMMITTED TO MICHIGAN

Notes: With “athletes” Elam and Haden also being pegged to play the safety position, it’s really more about holding on to who Florida already has on board, than trying to pick up any additional commitments at the safety position.

While Ogletree, Parker and Williams all have offers in hand, none are believed to be seriously considering the Gators at this point — although Ogletree and Williams would more likely play outside linebacker than safety on the next level.

Marvin Robinson was a player Florida had a high level of interest in (also as an outside linebacker) but Michigan got in on the talented Polk County prospect early (verbally offering before his sophomore year) and that was always an uphill battle that the Gators were facing to land his signature.

ATHLETE:

Committed to Florida: Matt Elam (5-11, 205, Palm Beach Gardens, FL Dwyer); Jordan Haden (6-0, 200, Ft. Washington, MD Friendly)

Priority offers: Demarco Cobbs (6-1, 200, Tulsa, OK Central); Christian Green (6-2, 200, Tampa, FL Catholic); Darius Milines (6-0, 175, Delray Beach, FL American Heritage)

Also in the mix: Pablo Alvarez (6-3, 190, Miami FL Belen Jesuit); B.J. Bostic (5-10, 160, Louisville, GA Jefferson County); Jeremy Deering (6-1, 200, Tampa, FL Leto); James Haynes (6-0, 180, Orange, TX West Orange-Stark); Hayes Pullard (6-2, 220, Los Angeles, CA Crenshaw); Gilbert St. Louis (5-11, 175, Plantation, FL)

QUARTERBACK/ATHLETE:

B.J. Chitty (6-3, 180, Dothan, AL Northview); A.J. Derby (6-4, 215, Iowa City, IA); Jamius Gunsby (6-4, 220, LaGrange, GA ); Jarred Haggins (6-0, 175, Lakeland, FL); Marcus Smith (6-3, 210, Columbus, GA Hardaway)

Notes: Milines is a new name into the mix. He is a 6-0 blazer who could get a look on either side of the ball if things are to heat up between him and Florida.

Christian Green is a great looking player, but isn’t in the quarterback/athlete category because he has been quite insistent that he will play wide receiver at the next level. The dynamic of Green and high school teammate Chaz Green wanting to play together in college should be very interesting. Florida, Florida State and USC stand out for Christian but Florida State isn’t among Chaz’s favorites and Tennessee will be a big factor for the big lineman as well (as both of his parents went there). So that should be an interesting recruitment for the two star players at Tampa Catholic.

Many of these prospects will camp in Gainesville this summer. Deering made his intentions known when I sat down with him last week. Pullard, on the other hand, has been quoted in reports as saying he would like to attend Friday Night Lights.

As for the prospects in the quarterback/athlete category, if any of them are to end up at Florida (and the chances are that the Gators could very well wind up with one of them), it will be interesting to see how that dynamic plays out. If any of the five players were to sign with Florida they would likely at least be afforded a shot at the quarterback position (although Chitty and Haggins haven’t been real particular about having to stay at the position on the next level). Derby, Gunsby and Smith all project as tight end/defensive end/linebacker types if quarterback doesn’t work out, while Chitty looks to land at wide receiver most likely, and Haggins could play at either wide receiver or safety.

In any case, don’t be surprised if the Gators end up with one of the above five players in this class. But don’t look for that potential pairing to cause a whole lot of problems in regards to the commitment of Trey Burton, either.

Next up, we will back in a couple of weeks to wrap up spring practice in the state of Florida and also start previewing some very important summer camp sessions in Gainesville. As they do every summer, the camp circuit always brings some new names to the forefront, and typically changes the landscape of the entire recruiting class. Stay tuned!

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