January 3rd, 2011 12:03am

DE Chickillo is Muschamp’s No. 1 target


LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — For Anthony Chickillo, he’s just happy to be back in football pads.

Now that his career at Tampa Alonso is over, the four-star defensive end is showcasing his skills one last time this week at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex in preparation for Wednesday’s Under Armour All-America Game.

At 6-foot-3, 240 pounds, Chickillo was one of the more dominant defensive linemen during Sunday’s practice. He consistently ran through and around opposing tackles with relative ease.

While he’s making his competition look silly, Chickillo is having a little fun too.

“It’s been a great time out here going against these great guys,” Chickillo said. “Everybody’s good. There is nobody bad. You wouldn’t be here if you were bad.”

Though Chickillo, whom Rivals.com ranks as the No. 6 defensive end in the country, is working this week to bring home a win for Click-Clack (Red), he’s also dealing with a little recruiting.

Though he’s committed to Miami, Chickillo said he’ll take official visits before he makes his final decision on National Signing Day (Feb. 2). He’s already visited North Carolina and said he’ll visit Florida next week, followed by Miami and South Florida. Four schools — Tennessee, USC, Florida State and Alabama — are battling for his final visit.

Chickillo opened up his recruitment after Randy Shannon was fired at Miami. The two developed a very strong relationship, something he hopes to develop with new coach Al Golden. Chickillo admitted he didn’t know much about Golden when he was hired, but has been studying up on him ever since and says he’s impressed with him so far.

“He’s had success everywhere he’s been,” Chickillo said. “He’s going to do great things at Miami.”

Being on the Red team, Chickillo is teammates with three Florida commitments. All three have had fun so far, and those commits have been slowly trying to lure him to their side with whispers in his ear and Gator chomps in his face, especially Oviedo Hagerty quarterback Jeff Driskel.

“He’s a great guy,” Chickillo said of Driskel. “Me and him are good friends. We always talk and text. He always tells me to come to Florida with him.”

Florida’s chances seemed much greater when Shannon was first fired, but losing defensive line coach Dan McCarney, who was in charge of Chickillo’s recruitment, and the resignation of Urban Meyer hurt Florida.

That’s why new Florida coach Will Muschamp made an effort to immediately get in front of Chickillo by visiting him the day after he was hired and told Chickillo he was “the No. 1 guy he wants.”

What will also help Florida’s chances is the addition of former Miami receivers coach Aubrey Hill. Chickillo said he and Hill had a strong relationship when he was on the Hurricanes’ staff.

Chickillo was impressed, but he’s always been impressed with Muschamp.

“He’s had great success at Texas,” he said. “You know if you’re the defensive coordinator at Texas you know your stuff.”

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  1. January 3rd, 2011 1:04 am

    What’s so special about this kid? I could understand if he was #6 overall in the country, but #6 rated weakside defensive end when the top four aren’t committed? Is this lip service, or is this guy really Muschamp’s #1 priority?

    by matt

  2. January 3rd, 2011 8:32 am

    Sounds like Chickillo is still a heavy lean to Miami. I hope the visit to UF will open his eyes.

    by gimme3steps

  3. January 3rd, 2011 11:10 am

    Chickillo isn’t much different than the guys we already have. Trattou and Lemmens are extremely similar to him. William Green too. If we get him, ho hum. If we don’t, ho hum. I think Aaron Lynch was better. As far as DE’s go, it’s Clowney, then everybody else. There is a second tier with guys like Drew, but Chickillo isn’t on that level

    by Andy

  4. January 3rd, 2011 12:12 pm

    If Chickillo is “ho hum” then why would Muschamp make him his top target? Is the new Gator head coach and former Texas defensive coordinator that unable to evaluate talent?

    by LT

  5. January 3rd, 2011 12:29 pm

    Chickillos dad was a legend at UM. His grandfather also played for the Canes. There must be something really wrong with Um for him to even consider going somewhere else.

    by Speedy

  6. January 3rd, 2011 3:25 pm

    You got it. THERE IS something wrong with Miami.

    by lakesidegator

  7. January 3rd, 2011 7:49 pm

    Will and Urban both coveted him…………..good enough for me.

    by JM

  8. January 3rd, 2011 8:22 pm

    Yeah Andy, I think I’ll trust the opinion of experts who actually work in the business.

    by Scooterp

  9. January 3rd, 2011 8:31 pm

    this guy is a beast! J.Clowney said he was the best DE there[besides himself] and he is nothing like trattu or lemmons! they were lucky to get a scolorship at florida[notice we didnt have any kind of passrush this season], and they came in weighting about 210 a peice, this guy is a grown man[245lbs] and just wait till micky morrati gets his hands on this dude!he could be a monster.

    by tom k

  10. January 3rd, 2011 10:58 pm

    Yeah, Trattou was “lucky” to get a ‘ship at UF, even though Meyer went through months of pursuing his commitment and finally swaying him from Notre Dame. “Lucky”, uh-huh. :roll:

    by Todd

  11. January 4th, 2011 12:45 pm

    Trattou was the #4 ranked DE comin gout his senior year, if I am right, Dunlap was #5. Hmmm.

    by g8ter27

  12. January 5th, 2011 1:14 am

    Andy………… The guy is 6’6″ (may not be down growing) Duke and Green are 6’3″ and Justin is 6’4″…..he has way more room to put on weight. Please tell me how he is LIKE Duke?

    by Sambizle

  13. January 5th, 2011 1:20 am

    My bad I mixed him up w/the other DE (#1 Recruit) …but to call him a Duke “No sacks EVER” Lemmens is ridiculous!!!!!!!!!!!!

    by Sambizle

  14. January 5th, 2011 1:24 am

    And another thing, have you ever seen any of these guys even play…..and if so 3 highlight plays MEANS NOTHING!!!!

    by Sambizle

  15. January 5th, 2011 11:12 pm

    Andy,,,Chickillo only had 4 hurries in the allstar game you were right he isn’t good…Silly Goose you know nothing about these guys you have barely seen.

    by Sambizle

  16. January 6th, 2011 12:33 am

    Chickillo would be a great pick-up for Florida. Remember that we are talking about 17-18 year old kids, and they have to make the choice that best fits them. I we (Gators) get him… that would add one huge piece to a soon to be great defense (don’t forget last years class has been in the weight room). If he goes to Miami, please give the kid a break and knock off the negativity. Wish him the best of luck and move on. Just my thoughts.

    by JerryO

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