February 19th, 2013 10:18am

Junior Day delivers again for Florida


For the second consecutive year, Junior Day was a great success for Florida coach Will Muschamp and his staff.

The Gators landed three commitments and positioned themselves to pick up some more soon.

The obvious prospect is defensive end Justin Thornton (Prichard, Ala./Vigor), who said UF increased its lead for him and he could commit “at any moment.”

Jackson favors the Gators and plans to decommit from FSU. (Photo by Zach Abolverdi/The Gainesville Sun)

Despite their pledges to ACC schools, FSU cornerback commit J.C. Jackson (Immokalee) and Miami receiver commit Travis Rudolph (West Palm Beach Cardinal Newman) each said Florida is now their No. 1 school.

Rudolph is still committed to the Canes for the time being, but Jackson already has his mind made up in regards to the Noles.

“I haven’t flipped yet, but it could be coming soon,” Jackson said. “Florida is my number one choice now. The academics here are way better than Florida State. And it’s the SEC, where you play against the best. I’m not making any decision yet. I’m just gonna sit on things, but I know I’ll be decommitting from Florida State soon.”

The Gators offered and took the lead for Opelika (Ala.) tight end Jakell Mitchell, who also hold offers from Auburn and Vanderbilt.

Pittman is high on UF. (Photo by Zach Abolverdi/The Gainesville Sun)

Defensive tackle Jamiyus Pittman (Moultrie, Ga./Colquitt County) received an offer from UF as well. He is from the same high school as Florida offensive guard signee Octavius Jackson.

“We’re pretty close, so he might have a little impact,” Pittman said of Jackson. “He talks to me about Florida every time I see him. We grew up playing rec football together so we’ve known each other since we were 7.”

UF also gained the early edge for 2015 running back Jacques Patrick (Orlando Timber Creek), who already has 16 offers from schools such as Alabama, LSU, Ohio State and Southern Cal.

Patrick ran for 2,100 yards and 31 touchdowns in 2012. (Photo by Zach Abolverdi/The Gainesville Sun)

“Florida is the early favorite right now,” Patrick said after his trip. “It’s one of the schools I’ve visited most. I just have a good feeling about them. It’s a place I feel comfortable. I like the offense style they run and I like the coaching staff.”

The Gators didn’t become the front-runners for linebackers Dillon Bates (Ponte Vedra) and Raekwon McMillan (Hinesville, Ga./Liberty Co.), but they made a strong impression on the Rivals100 members at Junior Day.

Bates’ recruitment is wide open right now, but he said Florida will be one of his finalists when he narrows his list down. McMillan told ESPN’s Kipp Adams that he is building a close relationship with defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin and views UF as a national championship contender. However, the Gators still trail Ohio State and Clemson for his services at this time.

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  1. February 19th, 2013 10:47 am

    how many prospects attended this time?

    by james

  2. February 19th, 2013 10:52 am

    I would say about 50, but these were the biggest names on campus to my knowledge. Rivals100 defensive tackle Khairi Clark didn’t make it in.

    by Zach Abolverdi

  3. February 19th, 2013 10:59 am

    Muschamp has his program running on full throttle. I just hope “stupid disease” does not grab hold of any more players before and after spring practice.

    by Tampa Gator

  4. February 19th, 2013 11:12 am

    I would love to get Rudolph as he goes to my old high school.

    by npgator

  5. February 19th, 2013 1:30 pm

    It is nice to see that one of these young men recognize the outstanding academics at UF in comparison to the Tallahassee school.

    It is already understood that the level of competition in the SEC has it all over the ACC.

    by GR8R_G8R

  6. February 19th, 2013 4:55 pm

    @npgator – It would be awesome to see a former crusader in Orange and Blue.

    by Andrew

  7. February 19th, 2013 6:20 pm

    Zach do we have another junior day this weekend?

    by Real gator

  8. February 19th, 2013 8:41 pm

    Real gator,
    No there’s not one this weekend. I’ll keep everyone posted if I hear of another, but they may only have one this year.

    by Zach Abolverdi

  9. February 19th, 2013 11:10 pm

    Wow Zach,
    I thought for sure you would take a month or two off after the kick ass job you did keeping us all informed on the 13 class.
    U DA MAN.

    by GaToRcHomP

  10. February 20th, 2013 4:19 am

    Zach’s blogs are in high demand. No long breaks for the great ones. The machine beckons. lol

    by J

  11. March 1st, 2013 12:40 am

    [...] Junior Day in the rearview, Florida won’t have many more visitors coming to campus until spring practice starts on March [...]

    by Gators offer Rivals100 RB | Gator Prospectus Gator Prospectus - Gator Sports - Gainesville, FL - Archive

  12. March 1st, 2013 11:59 am

    [...] offer Rivals100 RB March 1, 2013 Gainesville No Comments With Junior Day in the rearview, Florida won’t have many more visitors coming to campus until spring practice starts on March [...]

    by Gators offer Rivals100 RB | Florida News Feed

  13. April 8th, 2013 3:21 pm

    [...] Cook now in the fold and UF leading for top 2015 RB Jacques Patrick, who already has 33 offers to date, the future looks bright for Florida’s [...]

    by What Cook's commitment means for Florida | Gator Prospectus Gator Prospectus - Gator Sports - Gainesville, FL - Archive

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