Florida Gators Recruiting: Targets shined during week one

If you love the feel of high school football then you certainly were able to get your fix this past weekend as games started on Friday night and ran through Sunday evening on several different networks.

A lot of top teams were on the ESPN family of networks like Booker T. Washington and Trinity Christian and with those teams came several top prospects that either have a Florida Gators offers or are certainly a target.

I know everyone wasn’t able to watch football all weekend like I was, so I’m going to give everyone a recap, as well as spotlight some of the top performers from this weekend’s action.


Game Recaps:

Buford defeated Trinity Christian 17-0. It looks like a lopsided win, but really, both teams struggled offensively — Trinity’s offense just never truly showed up. Trinity used LSU cornerback commit Kevin Toliver as a wildcat quarterback and he simply wasn’t able to do anything on offense. Defensively, Trinity looked very good with the exception of a few plays but most of the time Buford ran the ball away from top linebacker Jeffrey Holland. All in all, Trinity must get a lot better on offense if they hope to repeat as state champions.


Booker T. Washington defeated Oscar Smith 57-21 and this wasn’t even a close game as Booker T dominated in all aspects and showed its elite speed. Transfer quarterback Maurice Alexander and Florida receiver target Antonio Callaway dominated the game on offense with both players scoring multiple touchdowns. When Booker T wasn’t scoring in the air, running back Mark Walton was scoring on the ground as he accounted for three touchdowns rushing.


IMG Academy defeated Godby 32-13 and the game wasn’t even that close as IMG had its way with Godby by running the football. Florida target Tony Jones Jr. and a host of other running backs were too much for Godby. To Godby’s defense, they don’t have five scholarship worthy offensive linemen either, but overall IMG showed why they are consider a top school in the state. FSU quarterback Deondre Francois did struggle for IMG as he was sacked four times in the first half.


Clay-Chalkville defeated Niceville 44-23 in a game that was back and forth for most of the day. Clay-Chalkville however was able to answer any time that Niceville tried in coming back. Niceville’s 2016 receiver Eli Stove however was a bright spot for the team on offense as he showed several good efforts on screenplays.


Plant defeated Armwood 21-17 in the battle of Tampa. Plant’s new quarterback Rex Culpepper got off to a slow start on offense as he had trouble handling snaps as well as throwing interceptions. Armwood also had problems on offense but both teams showed good defenses.


Stand out Players

Booker T. receiver Antonio Callaway caught 10 passes for 233 yards and two touchdowns in Booker T’s win. Callaway caught a short pass and took it 64 yards for a touchdown while showing elite speed. He showed what colleges are looking for out of a slot receiver in speed and explosiveness from the receiver position. After this performance I would expect the Florida Gators to turn up the heat even more in his recruitment.


2016 Niceville receiver Eli Stove is a big 6-1 receiver that has great size and speed. Stove isn’t just a big receiver but he’s a guy that took a speed sweep to the house on Saturday while cutting and breaking tackles. Stove ended the game with a 63 yard touchdown run and three catches for 23 yards. Florida has Stove as a top target for 2016.


2016 IMG Academy running back Tony Jones Jr. had eight carriers for 116 yards and two touchdowns. Jones has lost a little weight but he’s still big and strong and he showed good vision and a good burst during the game. Jones needs to gain stamina so he can carry the ball more but he’s on track to become a big time prospect in 2016. The Florida Gators have already offered him and he’s one of the top backs on the board.


2016 IMG Academy defensive Saivion Smith may have had the best day out of everyone as he stole the show on defense for IMG. Smith had an 86 yard interception return for a touchdown and also had another pick six that was called back due to holding on the return. Smith also had several tackles and one long kick return for IMG. Smith has high interest in Florida and has visited the Florida Gators several times with his good friend Tony Jones Jr.


For all the latest in Gators’ recruiting from Andrew Spivey join Gator Country.

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Andrew Spivey
Andrew always knew he wanted to be involved with sports in some capacity. He began by coaching high school football for six years before deciding to pursue a career in journalism. While coaching, he was a part of two state semifinal teams in the state of Alabama. Given his past coaching experience, he figured covering recruiting would be a perfect fit. He began his career as an intern for Rivals.com, covering University of Florida football recruiting. After interning with Rivals for six months, he joined the Gator Country family as a recruiting analyst. Andrew enjoys spending his free time on the golf course and watching his beloved Atlanta Braves. Follow him on Twitter at @AndrewSpiveyGC.


  1. Did you happen to see Tyrrell Pigrome, the Clay-Chalkville QB, do the Gator chomp following his big run on the first possession of the Niceville game? Are we recruiting this kid? He’s a stud and lightning fast when he takes off. I want him in a Gator uniform as an athlete, receiver, QB, whatever!

  2. AS, I saw Tony Jones Gator Chomping after his two TD’s as well. Did you see this and if so, can we read anything into it at this point? He looked very good to me against a pretty good Godby defense. It may be a little bit of a stretch, but he reminds me a little of the Davis kid at South Carolina when he was coming out of high school, especially in terms of size, power, speed, etc.

    • Yes Rex is the son of Brad. Georgia is also moving up on Callaway’s list but I think Florida is in good shape here.