Wednesday’s practice provided quite a surprise for recruiting fans in attendance. Two of the state’s top linebacker prospects, Lerentee McCray and Vincent Williams, were present to take in practice and speak with the Florida coaches.
Watching the coaching staff interact with the two players, it is evident that the team’s depth issues at linebacker have moved the two players near the top of their recruiting board.
One of the most highly recruited linebackers in the southeast so far has been Ridge Community High School prospect Vincent Williams.
On Wednesday, Williams made the trip to the Florida campus, where he was able to watch the national champions during one of their spring practices.
“It was good,” Williams said. “I got there at around two. We just got to walk around and we talked to some of the coaches.”
“Coach Meyer let me spend some time in his office and I got to try on all the rings that they got from this past season. I got to hold the crystal ball too. That was pretty special.”
One characteristic seen by all Florida fans since Meyer’s reign in Gainesville has begun is a much higher level of intensity. It is now being noticed by recruits as well.
“Practice was very live,” Williams said. “There was lots of contact. All that hitting made it pretty exciting. Those are things that you look for in a good program.”
The Davenport (FL) prospect also got to spend some time with the Florida coaches after practice. Williams said that Meyer gave him some good advice during this time.
“Coach Meyer told me there should be no rush in making my decision,” Williams said. “He said that it’s a good football school, but that they are much more than just that.”
Last weekend, Williams was able to take in a Junior Day at Florida State, where he picked up an offer. He spoke about what this offer meant to him, especially coming from his childhood favorite.
“It was fantastic. It really means a lot to me. Coach Bowden is a good person and getting it personally from him meant a lot.”
With 6-1, 225 pound prospect still open to most schools, he says that Florida and Florida State currently stand at the head of the pack.
“Those two are tied for the lead right now,” Williams said. “Location is really big for me right now. Those two schools are close and they’re both big time football schools too.”
One of the guys Williams has become the closest with throughout the recruiting process is Lerentee McCray. “Lerentee and I are just real cool,” Williams said. “He really doesn’t talk much, so I’ve got to do all the talking for him. We just met through combines and camps so far. We see each other so much on the trips we go on, that we just sort of clicked.”
After putting on a show at the Scout combine in Jacksonville, Dunnellon High School prospect Lerentee McCray has found his name throughout many recruiting circles.
Wednesday he also came to see the Gators practice, and came away impressed with what he saw.
“It was pretty nice,” McCray said. “I saw some things while I was there that were very exciting.”
“I was there for three hours or so,” McCray said. “I thought the practice was nice. They got after it, and I really was impressed.”
One of the things that the 6-2, 200 pound linebacker came away most impressed with was the contact he was able to have with the Florida coaches.
“I got to talk to Coach Meyer and Coach Mullen,” McCray said. “They told me a lot about the university. He just told me about the academics again, and about everything else that’s going on at the university.”
With linebacker being one of the thinnest positions on the spring practice field for the Gators, fans can know for sure that the coaching staff is reminding recruits of the playing time available.
“Well they could definitely use me, I do know that,” McCray said. “All the coaches have been telling me that.”
One school that has also been high on McCray’s list has been Miami. Growing up a Hurricane fan, they are currently one of his top schools. He currently has offers from both Florida and Miami.
“They’re a good team,” McCray said. “They have a great past. I’ve liked them since I was a kid.”
The Dunnellon High School prospect also talked about the relationship he has with fellow recruit Vincent Williams.
“We have a good relationship,” McCray said. “We got close because pretty much everywhere I am, he is there too. We’ve been together a lot at combines and other recruiting trips.”
With Florida in the top two for both Vincent Williams and Lerentee McCray, the coaches have gotten off to a great start recruiting the linebacker position. With issues of depth already present at the position, it will be interesting to see which prospects from this position fill out the linebacker spots in this class.