Then Phil Prince, who is heading the fundraising efforts and a member of the 1949 Gator Bowl team, asked the former players and their wives to donate $5,000 or $10,000 if at all possible.
One former player did step up big time as at the end of the first quarter, Michael Dean Perry presented Bowden with a check for $100,000, which drew a large ovation from the estimated crowd of 17,500.
"It ain't no big deal," Perry told CUTigers.com. "I just wanted to do something special. It's for a good cause."
With Perry's donation, the WestZone Project is now $25.5 million short.
Gaddis Leaves Impression
After getting burned deep by Rendrick Taylor early in the first quarter, cornerback C.J. Gaddis played the rest of the contest like an all-ACC player.
First he forced running back Demerick Chancellor to fumble behind the line of scrimmage with a big hit. Then he intercepted a pass and raced 35 yards for a touchdown. He followed that up with the hit of the day, when he flipped Chancellor just as he crossed the goal line.
"All of my comments since he has been here is he has had tremendous potential, and his performance had not matched his potential to this point," Bowden said. "But I think, potentially, you can see what he is capable of doing. Now consistency is his next step."
Starting weakside linebacker Nick Watkins and backup free safety Roy Walker were suspended for Saturday's game due to academic reasons. It was only a one-time suspension and will not carry over to August.
While there were plenty of recruits on hand to take in the game, there were also a gathering of players that signed to play for the Tigers in February. Some of those at the game included: running back C.J. Spiller, linebacker Kevin Alexander, kicker Richard Jackson, safety Darius Gaither, quarterback Michael Wade, offensive lineman Chris Hairston and cornerback Byron Maxwell. A pair of 5-star players for the 2007 class were also in attendance in QB Willy Korn and DE Allen Bailey. One of the top sophomores in the state, Blythewood receiver Marquan Jones.