Florida Defensive Duo Visits Tempe This Weekend

When former University of Florida assistant coach Bill Miller was hired as ASU's defensive coordinator, one benefit that was brought up was his ability to recruit the talent rich sunshine state. Sure enough, just a month after his hire two of Florida's top prep standouts will make the trek to Sun Devil country in a couple of days. Devils Digest sat down with Gerald Williams and Vladimir Richard and got their thoughts on their last recruiting trip of the year.

Gerald Williams, a four-star prospect from Lauderdale Lakes, Fla., has been a University of Florida commit ever since July. However, his verbal was always considered a soft one due to the fact that he kept on taking official visits to schools such as Tennessee and North Carolina State. Ironically enough, he was supposed to trek to Gainesville this weekend for an official visit.

Naturally, his then verbal commitment to the Gators was in large due to coach Miller. "He was the main reason I committed there, " said the 6-5 225 linebacker/defensive end. "When he left Florida, he still kept in contact with me. He told me that Arizona State is a great place and that I should come over and take a look." Williams admitted that he didn't automatically consider the Sun Devils because of Miller's new assignment, but obviously Miller was able to convince him to make the trip.

With just less than a week before signing day, Williams is still sounding like a player that has truly not made up his mind. "Once I get there," He said, "I'm gonna check it out and see how it is. Once the coaches at Florida were gone, everything changed there. I want to see if Arizona State is the place for me. It's a whole different atmosphere."

The Anderson high school standout, who also participated in the CaliFlorida All-Star game, collected 135 tackles, 15 tackles for a loss, nine sacks, and three interceptions during his senior year. "I'm a good all-around player that can cover sideline to sideline," he said as he described his skills. "I do want to get faster and stronger. You can never be too fast or too strong for the game of football."

Williams said that he scored a 940 on his SAT and carries a 2.5 GPA. While this is enough for him to qualify, he would like to improve his test score.

Vladimir Richard, Williams' close friend and fellow four-star prospect, has also given Florida a soft verbal. He actually accompanied his buddy to the Tennessee and North Carolina State trips a couple of months ago. The Piper high school star from Sunrise, Fla. also referred to Bill Miller as the main influence behind his Florida commitment, as well as his visit this weekend to the Valley of the Sun.

"I built a good relationship with coach Miller," said the 6-4 255 Richard. "I heard that Arizona State is a great place, and I like what coach Miller has told me so far about them. It's different scenery. I've never been to that side of the country, and the campus looks beautiful in the brochures. Looks like a different style of life, but I'm open to play away from Florida."

Richard finished his senior season with over 100 tackles and three sacks. The defensive lineman considers himself as a quick player who has "a great first step and good instinct. I do need to stop and try and make every play, and let the game come to me." Richard is still waiting for his test score, but with a 3.8 GPA he probably won't have to sweat out qualifying. However, the suitors for both of these fine players will have some anxious moments between now and signing day.

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