by Jeff Barlis
UPDATE: Look for updates at the bottom of the list right up through Friday, July 22.
Emerging from the haze of a nice, long summer vacation, there is one thing looming at the forefront of my mind — Friday Night Lights.
Friday Night Lights (also known as FNL) is a one-night summer camp, or showcase, for high school football players from around the country. It was the brainchild of Urban Meyer and his inaugural staff at Florida in 2005, and it has grown into a monster.
Within a few years of its inception, FNL became the best-known on-campus summer showcase in the nation. It benefits most from being among the last camps of the summer, so as to maximize the number of elite recruits who can attend. It also benefits from the atmosphere of Ben Hill Griffin Stadium at night with music blaring and videos of Gator exploits on a massive TV screen.
As the years have gone by, FNL has attracted more and more top prospects. And while there were some questions about how new Florida coach Will Muschamp would embrace and continue FNL, all signs are pointing to this year’s event being the biggest yet.
With about a week and a half to go, this blog will serve as the updated list of who is planning to attend. The Gator coaching staff has to be overjoyed to see so many players (and so many at important positions of need) expected to be on hand.
I will not be surprised if UF picks up a commitment or two or even three. In fact, as spots begin to fill up in the Gators’ Class of 2012, some of the battles on Florida Fields this July 22 could actually have an impact on who makes it into the class. This year’s edition of FNL very well may be its most competitive.
So without further adieu, here is the latest list with a disclaimer that recruiting (as always) is an ever-changing, fickle and unpredictable mistress.
Brice Ramsey (2013 Georgia commit)
Hunter Boyett (2014)
Matt Jones (Florida commit)
Mike Davis (Florida commit)
Brandon Sturdivant – fullback
Derrick Henry (2013 Georgia commit)
Kelvin Taylor (2013)
Raphael Webb (2013)
Tarean Folston (2013)
Greg Bryant (2013)
Daryl Chestnut (2013)
Sony Michel (2014)
Latroy Pittman (Florida commit)
Danterio Fowler (2014)
Mike Heuerman (2013)
D.J. Park (2013)
Travis Bennett (2013)
JaFar Mann (Florida commit)
Quinteze Williams (Florida commit)
Dante Phillips (Florida commit)
Carlos Watkins (may not work out)
Jay Ellison (2013)
DE/LB HYBRID (BUCK)
Dante Fowler (may not work out)
Jeremi Powell (Florida commit)
Lorenzo Phillips (Florida commit)
Darren Hambrick (2013)
Reuben Foster (2013 Alabama commit)
Nigel Harris (2013)
Damonte Jones (2013)
Jamonte Jones (2013)
Marcus Davis (2013)
Marcell Harris (2013)
MAY BE ATTENDING
QB – John Wolford (2014)
RB – Lorenzo Woodley (2013)
WR – Kwinton Smith (South Carolina commit)
WR – Demarcus Robinson (2013)
OT – Jessamen Dunker (Florida commit)
WR – Dionte Taylor (2013)
DE – Jhaustin Thomas
DT – Monty Nelson (2013)
July 13 – Moved S Marcell Harris and LB Reuben Foster from maybe to attending; removed DL Danny O’Brien, who will not attend but reportedly hopes to schedule an official visit.
July 14 – Added WR Raphael Andrades
July 15 – Added WR Stefon Diggs
July 18 - Moved CB Tracy Howard, QB Hunter Boyett (2014) from maybe to confirmed; removed S Marcus Maye and RB Adam Lane (2013), who will not attend; added OL Travis Bennett (2013)
July 20 – Added RB Jamie Gilmore, RB Daryl Chestnut (2013), WR Devonte Mathis, DT Dante Phillips (Florida commit), DE/LB Tyriq McCord, and LB Darren Hambrick (2013); moved WR Malcolm Lewis from maybe to confirmed; moved OL Jessamen Dunker (Florida commit) from attending to maybe; removed OT D.J. Humphries, who will not attend; removed LB Kaiwan Lewis, who visited UF on Wednesday; removed TE Colin Thompson (Florida commit), who will not attend; removed CB Willie Bailey (Florida commit), who will not attend; removed LB Trey Johnson (2013), who said it was very unlikely he would attend; removed CB Chris Bivins, who will not attend.