June 23rd, 2013 10:07pm

Recapping an eventful recruiting week

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The last eight days have been quite eventful for Florida football recruiting.

UF added a pair of commitments and hosted several major prospects on campus.

Here’s a look back at everything that took place over the past week.

Saturday, June 15

A day after hosting two of the nation’s best defensive ends, five-star Lorenzo Carter and ESPN150 member Lorenzo Featherston, the Gators had more than a dozen notable recruits on hand for the final mini camp of the summer.

The top visitor was five-star linebacker Raekwon McMillan (Hinesville, Ga./Liberty County), who named his Top 5 and raved about Florida‘s coaches and players. Lewisville (Texas) Hebron safety and consensus top-5o recruit Jamal Adams was the second biggest name in town. The godson of receivers coach Joker Phillips, Adams was blown away at UF and the Gators are currently the favorite to land him when he announces his commitment in August.

Four Florida pledges — tight end C’yontai Lewis and offensive linemen Travaris Dorsey, Benjamin Knox and Joesph Paul — made their presence as well as Vanderbilt tight end verbal Montez Sweat (Stone Mountain, Ga./Stephenson) and offensive lineman Andrew Shofner (Woodberry Forest, Va.).

The 2015 recruits were highlighted by Apoka offensive tackle Martez Ivey and Glen Saint Mary Baker County defensive end CeCe Jefferson. Both are five-stars according to 247Sports. Stephenville (Texas) quarterback Jarred Stidham took part in the camp along with defensive ends Michael Barnett (Ridgeville, S.C./Woodland) and Garrett Williams (Orlando, Fla./First Academy). The latter two earned UF offers.

Sunday, June 16

Official visits concluded for JUCO defensive linemen DaVonte Lambert (Milledgeville, Ga./Georgia Military College) and Abu Lamin (Fort Scott, Kan./Fort Scott C.C.), and both prospects named Florida their No. 1 school.

However, each one took another official this weekend and switched things up. Lambert has Tennessee tied at the top with the Gators following his trip to Knoxville, while Lamin visited South Carolina and now gives the Gamecocks the edge.

Monday, June 17

Orlando Timber Creek running back Jacques Patrick made his seventh visit to UF, and this one was the most in-depth of them all for the 2015 prospect. He had a half-hour conversation with coach Will Muschamp and running backs coach Brian White, met with academic advisors and then spoke to White for an additional 30 minutes.

Patrick had previously listed Florida and Florida State as his favorites, but with summer trips scheduled to several out-of-state schools, he prefers not to name leaders at this time. That being said, the Gators definitely improved their chances with his latest stop in Gainesville.

Tuesday, June 18 

The recruits continued to roll in with GHS running back Tony James, St. Petersburg Lakewood offensive lineman Isaiah Wynn, 2015 Seffner Armwood defensive end Byron Cowart, 2015 Jacksonville Trinity Christian defensive tackle Kendrick Norton and 2015 Jacksonville Trinity Christian linebacker Jeffrey Holland, a future Under Armour All-American.

Other than Holland, who is considering a summertime commitment, none of the visitors plan on making a decision anytime soon. But the Gators are believed to be near or at the top of all their leaderboards.

One recruit Florida does publicly lead for is Washington D.C. cornerback and consensus top-30 recruit Jalen Tabor, who announced Tuesday that he will reveal his college destination at the Under Armour All-American Game.

Wednesday, June 19

Plant City three-star offensive guard Montel McBride visited UF for the second time this year and Winter Park defensive end Trent Harris named his six finalists.

McBride has an offer list that includes Alabama, Auburn, Florida State and Louisville, but there’s not one from the Gators. That could change if he attends Friday Night Lights or a Florida coach catches one of his games this fall.

Harris still has UF in front followed by Georgia, Ohio State, Alabama, Florida State and Vanderbilt. He plans to decide in July.

Thursday, June 20

Before the Gators could get their 2015 class going, Naples 2016 athlete Tyler Byrd pulled the trigger for Florida less than a week after receiving an offer.

Muschamp isn’t fond of accepting commitments this early. Heck, there are plenty of 2014 recruits he wouldn’t take right now. So the fact that he welcomed a rising sophomore with opens arms shows just how strongly he feels about him.

After watching his freshman season highlights (HERE), it’s easy to understand why.

Friday, June 21

The Gators played host to Oxford (Ala.) running back Racean Thomas and Plainfield (Ill.) South linebacker Clifton Garrett. Both top-100 recruits were in the Sunshine State for the IMG 7-on-7 National Championship and stopped by prior to the tournament, as did Lewis for his second trip to UF in a week.

In-state offensive tackles Delroy Baker (Ocala West Port) and Denzel Ward (Bradenton IMG Academy) committed to Indiana and Purdue, respectively.

Baker to the Hoosiers was a surprise, but he was another sleeper prospect that Florida could afford to miss on. As for Ward, who had the Gators leading for most of 2013, the UF coaches were not as high on him as he was them. He’s played less than a year of football and also has academic concerns. And Ward might have seen the writing on the wall after getting zero visits from them during the evaluation period.

Fortunately for Florida, it appears to be in great shape for Jacksonville Providence OT David Sharpe, who is ranked No. 12 overall in the ESPN150.

Saturday, June 22

Khairi Clark‘s sudden commitment wasn’t the only good news for the Gators.

McMillan was back in Gainesville for the second weekend in a row, this time with his parents in tow. They reportedly liked what they saw with their son, who plans to return on an official for the Florida State game.

Plaquemine (La.) defensive end Davon Godchaux also visited and will do so again in July. But with LSU offering him Wednesday, UF is facing an uphill battle with the Rivals250 member.

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Comments

11 Comments

  1. June 24th, 2013 8:52 am

    Zach hard at work. Thanks man!

    by gatorseverywhere


  2. June 24th, 2013 11:46 am

    Excellent work Zach!

    by KG


  3. June 24th, 2013 1:15 pm

    McMillian can come in at the same size Bostic was as a senior. That would be a great get.

    by Homer J


  4. June 24th, 2013 7:50 pm

    Good Times fellas maybe just around the corner.

    by J


  5. June 24th, 2013 8:16 pm

    Racean Thomas? How’d that visit go Zach? He’s probabally my favorite running back this year! That dude is a complete animal!

    by Gatorbait-1


  6. June 24th, 2013 9:02 pm

    If distance is the determining factor, UF is roughly 3 hours from Hinesville while Athens is 4 hours away.

    by ga gator


  7. June 24th, 2013 10:48 pm

    Go get champ, go gators

    by Ralph


  8. June 25th, 2013 3:32 pm

    Looks like only one casualty in the incoming class so far. That’s a pretty darn good average if you ask me!

    by Delray Mike


  9. June 25th, 2013 10:13 pm

    A bunch of bigguns coming. 7 recruits over 300lbs. Champ is building a Goliath. He keeps building the big strong powerful foundation along both lines of scrimmage.

    With fl as its recruiting home speed and talent at skill positions will flow. Lets go gators

    by Ralph


  10. June 26th, 2013 1:04 pm

    Zach you are the best in the business man. Really appreciate the work you are putting in. Thanks man, Leggo Gators!!! Building a strong foundation.

    by Mike c


  11. June 26th, 2013 2:59 pm

    good job as always ,zach!

    by python


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