With the end of the regular season comes the start of the final push in recruiting. For the next two weeks expect the coaching staff to be pounding the pavement visiting recruits hoping to shore up some already committed guys who might be feeling a little forgotten and attempt to nail down some guys who are in the final stages of choosing a destination.
One such guy in the final stages, and likely already decided, is one of the top guys left on the Gator board. Top rated safety Marcel Harris, son of former Gator linebacker Mike “Mud” Harris is finally going to make his decision known this Thursday at approximately 5 pm eastern. Originally supposed to announce on the 16th, Harris put off announcing so that he could make it on live tv. He has long been considered a Gator lean, but is also considering Texas, and Florida State. He is expected by most recruiting analysts to choose the Gators and the extended wait is just seen as an opportunity to get a little fanfare when he announces. With the expected departure of Matt Elam, Harris is a critical get for Dan Quinn.
An interesting story developed over the weekend with one of Florida’s committed recruits. Defensive tackle Caleb Brantley, long a Gator commit, took a visit to FSU this weekend for the Florida-Florida State game. An unofficial visit according to him not an official. He, apparently, was decked out in Gator gear from head to toe and celebrated when the Gators scored. Apparently, he offended or angered the Florida State coaching staff and Odell Haggins, his primary recruiter from the Seminoles informed his high school coach that they were rescinding his scholarship offer and he was no longer welcome on the FSU campus. The story gets a little mucky here. The FSU camp said that he started verbal spouts with FSU fans, while he claims that he was the victim of Seminole taunting as he wore Gator clothes and was booed when he came out into the stadium but never responded to the jeers. Either way, I guess you could say he’s a solid Gator commit and it’s kind of laughable that once again a Gator recruit got the better of the Seminole staff.
Another recruit expected to announce very soon is offensive tackle Trenton Brown. He made his final official visit this past weekend to Oklahoma, and is down to Florida, Florida State, and Oklahoma. Florida State got in on his recruitment way late in the process, Oklahoma is considered a long shot as distance likely plays a factor there, and it is expected he will choose the Gators when he finally announces.
“Florida is still in the lead right now,” Brown said. “They have been faithful to me, they have always been honest with me, and they have a big need at offensive tackle.”
He is expected to announce around the middle of December as he will graduate from Georgia Military College in December and will enroll at his school of choice in January with three years to play two seasons.
4 star linebacker Daniel McMillan from First Coast high school in Jacksonville, a Gator commit for some time but has been listed as a “soft commit” on Scout.com took an official visit to Ohio State this past weekend. Not much to tell except it was very cold for a Florida kid. All indications are he is still very much committed to Florida as he always mentions being part of the 904 Crew which includes Gator commits Nick Washington and Ahmad Fulwood as well as Crimson Tide commit Demarcus Walker. He still wants to take one more visit to Alabama just to
“see what it’s like at those schools, according to McMillan in a story by Chad Simmons on Scout.com. “I am still a strong Florida commitment though.”
4 star cornerback Jalen Ramsey from Brentwood Academy in Brentwood, Tennessee is a guy the Gators have been high on for some time. He’s a current USC commit that is the teammate of Gator quarterback commit Max Staver. Ramsey came down for an official a couple of months ago and left impressed but still committed to USC. While many Gator recruitniks held out hope of getting Ramsey to flip, he is a great athlete in the Loucheiz Purifoy mold, it looks like that ship has sailed. Ramsey took an unofficial to USC this past weekend and came away sounding more committed than ever.
“I’m 100% committed to USC, that’s where I’m going,” Ramsey said. “I’m as solid as can be.” Adding, “I have no doubts at all about it.”
With the firing of Gene Chizik at Auburn the question opposing fans always seem to ask is, “do they have any recruits we might could poach?” In this case not likely. The closest might be wide receiver Jaquay Williams who mentioned a top five which included Florida when he announced his decomittment yesterday. With four receivers already committed in the Gators class, it’s not clear if the staff is interested or if they would take a fifth wide receiver. I’d take a wait and see on this one, as both Georgia and Texas A&M fans feel good about picking up this prospect.
Some 2014 names to keep an eye on moving forward are running back Duke Dawson from Dixie County high school in Cross City, Florida who will be one of the top running backs in next year’s recruiting class and Will Grier a top flight quarterback from North Carolina. Dawson has listed only two schools in the running for his services Florida and Florida State ever since he received their offers at camps over the summer. Dawson has been to the Swamp a number of times this season to watch games and took his first visit to Tallahassee this past weekend for the Florida-Florida State game. He has listed Florida as his leader and that has not changed for him. This is one that would likely commit early for the Gators.
Will Grier is a 6’3″ 185 lb 4 star quarterback from Davidson, North Carolina who recently set a national single game record for passing yards with 837 and ten touchdowns in a 104-80 victory over Harrells Christian. He recently named a top five of Florida, North Carolina, Tennessee, North Carolina State, and Oregon with the Gators leading. He did come down earlier in the season with his family to take in a game in the Swamp and this one looks like it could be over with early for the Gators as well. Stay tuned.
Wide Receiver Johnnie Dixon from Palm Beach, Florida Dwyer high school is another 2014 standout to keep an eye on as the 2013 recruiting cycle winds down. He will be one of the top players in the state next season and likely in the nation and Florida is real high on this kid. He has offers from everybody who is anybody and has yet to name any leaders or narrow down the list. Some recruiting analysts like the odds for Florida in this one, but they will have stiff competition from Florida State, Alabama, Ohio State, and local team the Hurricanes. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that Dixon is at the top of Florida’s wide receiver board, a position of high priority in the next recruiting cycle.