Gators Get Defensive for Big Visit Weekend

The National Champion Florida Gators will be trying to replace nine starters from a ferocious defense in the 2007 season. This weekend the Gators will host five prospects and all on the defensive side of the ball. The front and secondary take center stage in Gainesville.

With the Gators on a recruiting roll, they will be trying to woo a few more to join the recruiting train that Urban Meyer and the Gators have running down the rail.

Leading off the group are the defensive linemen. The Gators lose five prominent players up front from the 2006 season including four that were starters for most of the season. They are looking to find more of the big, mean, and nasty linemen that just left the team. Two of that ilk will be in Gainesville this weekend.

Leading off the visiting group is Orlando Jones defensive end Jay Howard (6-5, 230). Howard is as quick as you will get of the end as is being recruited for the Fox position at Florida. With his size and quickness, he could b called upon to play linebacker, especially the way the Gators like to mix things up. Howard was the first committed Gator this recruiting season and is still considered a commitment, but has taken visits to other schools since committing. He says his recruitment will come to a close shortly after the weekend.

Lakeland’s John Brown (6-1, 285) is a big time defensive tackle that is also expected into Gainesville this weekend. Brown will be on campus with four of his Lakeland teammates (Michael and Maurkice Pouncey, Ahmad Black, and Paul Wilson) who are already currently enrolled at Florida. The five-star tackle has been highly touted in recruiting circles for three years and brings to town the attitude of a winner with Lakeland’s three state championships and two National Championships under his belt. It is expected that Brown will also decide early next week where he will attend school.

The Gators also lose three starters in the secondary and will have to look for some young guys to step up in 2007. Surprise visitor Jerimy Finch (6-2, 200) of Indianapolis (IN) Warren Central is expected to be in Gainesville over the weekend. The four-star and number eight safety in the nation according to is a current commitment to the University of Indiana. Finch is a big time player with speed and power from the safety position.

Continuing in the Midwest and in the secondary, five-star and number two rated cornerback Ronald Johnson (6-0, 185) of Muskegon (MI) is a big timer that is among the long list of star players looking at the National Champions. The Gators appear to be on the outside looking in for Johnson, but as we have seen so far this recruiting season, you cannot count the Gators out for anyone if they can get them in on a visit.

With the Gators losing five cornerbacks after the 2006 season the need at the position is huge and Lauderdale Lakes Boyd Anderson corner Moses Jenkins (6-2.5, 175) has the height and the speed to be a difference make at the next level. Jenkins has turned down offers from the likes of Wisconsin and Auburn and would love to stay in state to play football. A Gator offer could go along way in finalizing Jenkins plans for his future. It is expected he will wait to make a decision till very late in the process.

Next week is setting up to be another big week for Gator recruiting. With a handful or less spots left in the class, some decisions will be made quicker than expected if a prospect wants to join’s current number one class. The train is leaving the station.