Jason Pughe’s “Reel Recruiting”

Welcome to the first of what will be many editions of “Reel Recruiting.” I’m Jason Pughe and I’m going to be providing you with a recruiting notebook on a regular basis that combines lots of information about what’s happening on the recruiting trail for the Florida Gators that you can’t get anywhere else along with video links that allow you to actually get a good idea about the kids that are mentioned.

So here goes with Reel Recruiting, Volume I, August 21, 2008:

It’s safe to say that the Gators have filled as much as half of their 2009 class and they are already turning their attention to 2010. The Gators made the month of July lively with the commitments of Desmond Parks (TE, 2009), Ian Silberman (OL, 2010), Jordan Reed (QB, 2009), and Trey Burton (QB, 2010). Urban Meyer and his staff have three straight top five finishes on the recruiting trail and 2009 looks to be the fourth in a row. Silberman and Burton are a strong start to an outstanding 2010 class.

THE COMPETITION: It used to be Florida vs FSU for the big recruiting battles with an occasional battle with Miami. The Gators still battle with Miami for players in South Florida such as Michael Carter CB (5-10, 170 Pompano Beach, FL Blanche Ely) and Frankie Telfort S/LB (5-11, 205, Miami, FL Gulliver Prep) and occasionally outside Florida for players such as Curtis Porter DT (6-0, 220, Charlotte, NC Victory Christian), but the battles with FSU over top recruits seem to be a thing of the past.

A good example is FSU’s recruiting class of 2008. The only Seminole signees that the Gators really tried to recruit were Nigel Bradham, Nigel Carr and Jermaine Thomas. There are even fewer among the 2009 FSU commitments that the Gators have really gone after.

When the Gators are out on the recruiting trail these days, they are far more likely to go head-to head with Clemson and Georgia for a recruit than FSU. Clemson and Miami have become the best at recruiting in the ACC. Clemson has established a foothold in Florida and the Tigers are actually stealing players away from FSU. That wouldn’t have happened in the past.


Desmond Parks: http://www.athletevault.com/Videos/DesmondParksAV.html

Curtis Porter: http://www.athletevault.com/Videos/CurtisPorterAV.html

TOPS ON THE BOARD: Denard Robinson, QB (6-0, 176, Deerfield Beach, FL) is being recruited as a quarterback and I was told that he is one of the most important targets for this recruiting class. Robinson is best friends with fellow Deerfield Beach teammate Cassius McDowell. McDowell is a RB for 2010 and definitely on Florida’s radar. Jordan Reed QB (6-3, 235, New London, CT) recently committed to Florida and that sealed the deal for Morgan Newton. Newton decided to commit to Kentucky. Many Friday Night Lights observers felt Reed was more impressive. With the addition of Reed and 2010 QB Trey Burton (6-3, 203, Venice, FL), getting Robinson in the fold would mean the Gators are set at QB for the 2009 and 2010 classes.

Trent Richardson, RB (5-11, 215, Pensacola, FL Escambia) is committed to Alabama but will continue to be recruited hard by the Florida staff. Jaamal Berry , RB (5-11, 190, Miami, FL Palmetto) currently favors Ohio State, but will be recruited by Florida the whole way. Florida right now is running second, but Berry’s mom could be a big factor. Rodney Scott, RB (5-9, 185, Cross City, FL Dixie County) will continue to be recruited and there’s a chance that he could make it into this class if Berry and Richardson go elsewhere. Although Mike Gillislee (6-1, 205, Deland, FL) is considered an athlete he definitely has the skills to be an every down back. The prospect of not getting another RB isn’t that big of a deal. However, with that being said, the Gators will still pursue both Richardson and Berry. One thing to watch with Berry is how big of a role his mom will have in his recruitment. We have seen in the past that moms are usually huge factors when it comes to recruiting. Berry’s mom is a Gator and I’m told that she’d prefer he stay in-state.

Andre DeBose, WR (6-0, 182, Sanford, FL Seminole) and the rest of the Seminole Three have been the talk of the summer. I was told by two different sources that the Gators feel good about DeBose right now. One of my sources told me last night that he’s not sure why it was said that the Gators haven’t been recruiting him as hard lately. He believes the Gators are recruiting DeBose as hard as they possibly can. LSU will be a team to watch out for in the end, but with Miami getting so many receivers last year both sources seem to think that will play a big part in DeBose’s decision. The same sources weren’t really sure about Dyron Dye, DE (6-5, 220, Sanford, FL Seminole) and Ray Ray Armstrong , S (6-4, 215, Sanford, FL Seminole). There has been word that Dyron’s family is all Miami, but I was told that his dad favors the Gators right now. Armstrong is the wild card as he and Dye are very close. All three are close, but Armstrong and Dye appear to always hang around each other. Armstrong seems to be it at safety for right now, but what about Telfort you ask? More on that later, but first the DE board is pretty much Dye and Ryne Giddins (6-4, 235, Seffner, FL Armwood) with Kendric Johnson (6-4, 215, Palmetto, FL) also a target.


Andre DeBose: http://www.athletevault.com/Videos/AndreDeBoseAV.html

Dyron Dye: http://www.athletevault.com/Videos/DyronDyeAV.html

Ray Ray Armstrong: http://www.athletevault.com/Videos/RayRayArmstrongAV.html

THREE TO WATCH: he news today of Jheranie Boyd , WR (6-3, 185, Gastonia, NC Ashbrook) announcing on October 10th came out of left field. Boyd repeatedly stated that he wanted to announce on National Signing Day in front of a television audience. There’s a possibility that he will visit Gainesville for the Miami game. I think he makes that trip, especially since I was told that Curtis Porter will also be at the game. The Gators continue to recruit Porter hard at DT, but it appears the spot will go to the first one to take it between Porter and Antwan Lowery (6-4, 335, Miami, FL Columbus).


Jheranie Boyd: http://www.athletevault.com/Videos/JheranieBoydAV.html

THE WIDE RECEIVER BOARD: There are some other WR’s on the board besides Boyd and DeBose. Rantavious Wooten (5-10, 158, Belle Glade, FL Glades Central) has been a hot topic lately on Gator boards. He’s down to Georgia, and LSU and I expect him to choose Georgia. However because of his relationship with Deonte Thompson, I think he’s a guy that could possibly end up a Gator before National Signing Day. At the big WR spot after Boyd there are Marlon Brown (6-5, 210, Memphis, TN Harding Academy) and Alshon Jeffrey (6-3, 217, St. Matthews, SC Calhoun County). Rumors are flying about Jeffrey having second thoughts about his USC commitment, and I’d watch out for the other USC(e). Jeffrey has some academic hurdles to cross however, but his coach feels like he’s on the right track. There are concerns about Brown’s speed but he’s very athletic and changes directions really well. The level of competition is also a factor, and many believe he will end up at Tennessee.


Alshon Jeffrey: http://www.athletevault.com/Videos/AlshonJeffreyAV.html

OFFENSIVE LINE: This is a position where the Gators appear to be pretty much be done. Xavier Nixon (6-6, 270, Fayetteville, NC Jack Britt) is a guy that Florida would most likely take if he wants to come aboard but the OL class is still impressive without him. Many believe that it’s LSU, Florida, and Miami for Nixon with Notre Dame also being in the hunt. I think NC State is a school that people should watch out for. I think Florida, and Miami feel pretty good about him right now. The fact that Florida already has commitments from John Halapio (6-4, 302, St. Petersburg, FL St. Petersburg Catholic), Nick Alajajian (6-4, 280, Naples, FL) and Jonotthan Harrison (6-3, 279, Groveland, FL South Lake) really is a great accomplishment with it only being August.


Xavier Nixon: http://www.athletevault.com/Videos/XavierNixonAV.html

Jonotthan Harrison: http://www.athletevault.com/Videos/JonotthanHarrisonAV.html

LINEBACKER/SAFETY/CORNER: Jon Bostic (6-1, 218, Wellington, FL Palm Beach Central) is a linebacker that many Gator fans would love to have. Watch out for LSU as he visited there and had a great time. However, I feel pretty good about him and his mom is another one that will play a big role in his recruitment. Like Berry’s mom, she prefers that her son stays in state. Jarvis Jones (6-3, 226, Columbus, GA Carver) is also very high on the board and Florida would take a commitment from him. It also helps that he grew up a Florida fan, but this will be a Florida/Georgia battle until the end. Frankie Telfort (5-11, 205, Miami, FL Gulliver Prep) is a guy that many have penciled in at safety, but I was told by a good source that he believes he will be a middle linebacker at the next level. I feel Florida is in the driver’s seat for Telfort right now and he’s also close friends with Jamaal Berry so that could have a bearing there.

At CB, it’s anyone’s guess but the #1 target appears to be Michael Carter CB (5-10, 170, Pompano Beach, FL Blanche Ely). Whether he doesn’t go to Miami or not is another story. After Carter, there’s a group of CBs being recruited such as Jamal Reid (6-1, 175, Mayo, FL Lafayette). With the emergence of many cornerbacks this spring as well as Jeremy Brown and other young guys turning heads the future looks bright at this position for the Gators.

Now onto the 2010 class:

I spoke to a source close to Marvin Robinson S/LB (6-1, 190, Eagle Lake, FL Lake Region) yesterday. Many have stated that Robinson is a Michigan lock but that is hardly the case. He visited Michigan’s camp, had a good time and formed a friendship with Ricardo Miller (6-2.5, 203, Orlando, FL Dr. Phillips). Miller appears to be headed to Michigan but Robinson doesn’t have any ties to Michigan. Miller’s mom graduated from Michigan, his favorite player is Braylon Edwards and has family that lives in Detroit and Flint. Robinson has watched Michigan a lot but that’s due to an assistant coach who’s a die hard Michigan fan and is close with Robinson. I was also told that many believe he’ll be a LB at the next level. This source believes it will ultimately come down to Florida, Florida State, UCF and USF. His mother will follow him wherever he decides to go, and she wants to stay in state. Here’s something that could very well factor in Florida’s favor: Robinson’s cousin is Tony Joiner.

Recently committed Ian Silberman , OL (6-5, 257, Fleming Island, FL) has already started to recruit for the 2010 class. He hit it off with Corvin Lamb, RB (5-10, 180, Miami, FL Northwestern) at FNL and is really trying to get him to come to Florida. Lamb looked solid at FNL, especially in his receiving skills. He’s a guy that’s probably going to be the state champion in the 400 meter hurdles and he has ties with another Florida target Lo Wood , CB (5-10, 170 Apopka, FL). Wood and Lamb ran track together when they were younger and their dads are friends with each other. Lamb visited FSU’s camp and felt like he didn’t receive a lot of attention from their staff. Aside from Silberman, the other top target at OL for Florida next year is Brandon Linder (6-5, 275, Fort Lauderdale, FL St. Thomas Aquinas). Linder right now likes Florida, Miami and Notre Dame. Most think it is Florida and Miami, but I was told by a close source that his family is very Pro-Gators.

I think it’s just a matter of time before Chris Dunkley, WR (5-10, 165 Royal Palm Beach, FL) becomes a Gator. He had a committable offer and even he takes some time, he’s all Gator.

Finally, the top player in Georgia for 2010 could be Alec Ogletree, S (6-2, 210 Newnan, GA). He recently was offered by Florida State and Georgia, but has Clemson #1 and Florida #2.


Class of 2009

GREG REID, ATH (5-9, 170, Valdosta, GA Lowndes County): He can line up at corner, give you breakaway ability at running back or give you Percy-like production in the slot. Where will he play? That seems to be the biggest question of all.

DESMOND PARKS, TE (6-6, 215, Greer, SC): Parks fits the CI mold in terms of how Florida uses a TE. Parks played WR for Greer last season and really came onto the scene over the summer. A big time victory over Clemson in that area of South Carolina.

JONOTTHAN HARRISON, OL (6-3, 279, Groveland, FL South Lake): South Lake has been very, very good to Florida in recent years. Harrison is hands down the best offensive lineman in Central Florida. Many believe he’s a guard at the next level, but according to Harrison he was recruited to play the tackle position.

MIKE GILLISLEE, ATH (6-1, 205, Deland, FL): Like Reid, what position will Gillislee play? Many seem to think he’s a RB, some a WR, and some have suggested CB. I think he could be great at all 3 positions, but he’ll probably end up in the Percy Harvin, Chris Rainey, Jeff Demps role.

JOHN HALAPIO, OL (6-4, 302, St. Petersburg, FL St. Petersburg Catholic): Halapio might be one of the most underrated players in the 2009 class. Don’t be fooled by his rating, he’s one of the gems of this class. The Florida staff did the right thing getting on Halapio early!

NICK ALAJAJIAN, OL (6-4, 280 Naples, FL): Many consider Alajajian the best OL prospect in the state of Florida. Despite the bad news about Alajajian’s ankle, he’s young and a competitor. He’ll work hard to get healthy and recovered and was a huge get for this class.

NU’KEESE RICHARDSON, ATH (5-9, 165, Pahokee, FL): Richardson was unreal at FNL and I was told that the coaching staff describes him as a “freak.” Players, particularly skill position players, from the Muck are often special.

JORDAN REED, QB (6-3, 225, New London, CT): After Aaron Murray committed to Georgia, many were concerned about the QB position. Reed was the best QB at FNL and has similar attributes to a current Florida QB and Heisman winner.

GARY BROWN, DT (6-4, 275, Quincy, FL Gadsden Technical Institute): Despite what the rankings say, I’m confident that many would take Brown over fellow DT and FSU commit Jacobbi McDaniel in the rankings. What a steal Brown was, especially considering the area of Florida he’s from. There was a time when it would have been unthinkable for the Gators to get a player out of Quincy.

Class of 2010

TREY BURTON, QB (6-3, 203, Venice, FL): Burton is a perfect fit at QB for Urban Meyer’s spread offense. The talented signal caller has a good set of wheels and was impressive at FNL.

IAN SILBERMAN, OL (6-5, 257, Fleming Island, FL): Silberman and Linder are the top two OL’s in Florida for 2010. As I stated earlier, Silberman is already starting to recruit for Florida.