Sunday was supposed to be for football watching. The NFC and AFC championships were supposed to be the only things football-related that I would care about. Sure, there were three official visitors in Gainesville over the weekend, but there wasn’t supposed to be much noise coming from any of them.
Defensive end Ronald Powell was — and still is — as solid a Florida commit as they come, and this visit wasn’t going to change any of that.
Tight end commit Michael McFarland hadn’t gotten much attention this year in the recruiting world, but there was little doubt he’d be looking at any other school other thanFlorida.
And Tyler Murphy was supposed to be a project recruit coming in to talk with coaches.
Talk about going 1-for-3.
Powell was the only prospect that didn’t hinder my NFL football viewing Sunday. And this blog was supposed to lead with me bragging about how I picked the Colts and Vikings to meet in the Super Bowl.
Talk about going 1-for-4 …
But hey, this is recruiting and there never is a dull moment.
Sunday brought Florida its 26th commitment of the 2010 class when Murphy, a quarterback from Wethersfield, Conn., committed immediately after receiving an offer Sunday morning. The thing about Murphy is that he’s a tremendous athlete. He’s probably the most athletic quarterback Urban Meyer has ever gotten a commitment from. He runs and cuts like a wide receiver. I’m still not sure what I think about his arm. I’ve only seen a little video on it, while I’ve seen a ton on his feet. I sure know he can run with the best of them. But if quarterbacks coach Scott Loeffler personally went up there to recruit him, then I guess he really will come to Gainesville to play quarterback.
The Gators need the depth and he will provide a nice change of pace in the backfield opposite John Brantley.
McFarland’s situation is a win for all parties involved. He sounded so down at first about grayshirting, but the more he talked about it, the more he mentioned how he can take this time to really get his body right. When I saw him over the summer working out at Florida’s camp, he definitely looked too small to be a tight end. He’s got the height, but he’s skin and bones. He also has to work on his routes. It looked like he was running through sand with the way he moved his legs. He knows his faults, and this is a perfect chance for him to totally transform himself in the next six months. Extreme Football Makeover!
McFarland’s January 2011 enrollment also helps Florida make more room in this class. Florida now has three more spots to reach 28 for 2010. The staff still wants a linebacker, receiver and offense lineman. Oh wow, what a coincidence! There are still a handful of prospects with the Gators near the top of their lists that meet those exact needs!
- Delray Beach Atlantic receiver James Louis made that surprise visit to Gainesville last week, and even though he’s committed to Ohio State, rumors are flying that he could be switching to Florida as early as this week. His coach came out and denied that and said Louis is very firm to Ohio State and was done with recruiting. Well, it’s recruiting and I still like Florida’s chances. He’s wanted to be in this class since the summer and he might get his shot (again).
- Tampa Catholic’s Christian Green told me last week that Florida made up ground and that the Gators are even with Florida State and Georgia. But his brother just committed to Florida A&M and he has too many ties to FSU. The Seminoles have the edge.
- Baltimore, Md., City College’s Adrian Coxson is someone that I’ve heard could commit any day now. But he hasn’t. The longer he stays uncommitted, the harder it could be for him to be a part of Florida’s class. But he might just be looking to find what’s really right for him. Georgia has gotten into the mix, and it looks like the Bulldogs are creeping to the top of his list. Notre Dame is also a team to watch.
- Tampa Catholic offensive lineman Chaz Green has Florida on his (very) short list. He was a heavy Florida lean, then a heavy Tennessee lean and now he’s up in the air. Tennessee could be out of it now that Lane Kiffin is at USC. But USC could now replace Tennessee. He’s visiting Southern Cal this weekend, and his decision should come down to Florida and USC.
- St. Paul, Minn., Cretin-Derham Hall offensive lineman Seantrel Henderson is the guy everyone wants but only one team can have. I’ve heard about him secretly being a Gator lean and that Florida has a great chance of snagging him. While I agree Florida has a chance, I think Meyer’s situation really stunned Henderson and turned him away a bit. Ohio State really sticks in my mind when I think about where he could really end up.
- West Chester, Ohio, Lakota West linebacker Jordan Hicks is the hardest guy to read. Oh, that’s because he doesn’t talk about recruiting with the media. There are plenty of rumors about him being silently committed to Florida. Some even think that Ohio State has the advantage. And I don’t know why people are already counting out Texas. Regardless, Texas, Florida and Ohio State have a chance to land him, and one school will be very happy — and exhausted — come Signing Day.
- Winter Park Lake Howell’s Christian Jones has come out of nowhere to become one of the hottest Florida recruits at the moment. He was influenced by current Gator commits to visit unofficially a week ago, and it looks like Florida has made up some ground on FSU. He was supposed to commit to FSU, but he’s still open. I like the Gators’ chances, but FSU will have coaches lining up to speak with him before NSD.
- Homestead’s Darrin Kitchens is a guy I like for Florida’s class. He’s very athletic and he’s got the talent. He might not be a Hicks or Jones, but he’s a Meyer-type athlete. If he wants to be a Gator, he’ll have to do some waiting on Feb. 3.