Offense/Defense All-American Bowl UF Targets

It is bowl season and not just for college teams. It's also high school all-star game time and many of America's future college stars will be on display. In this three part series we'll be taking a look at the many prospects the Gators may be targeting with a new coaching staff. We start with a look at the Offense–Defense All-American Bowl and the prospects new UF coach Will Muschamp may target.

The Florida Gators are looking to sign a full football class in 2011 and that could mean signing as many as 28 prospects in this class. In his short time as head coach, Will Muschamp has been able to steady the recruiting ship as the Gators prepare to turn over the reins of the program.

His first chore was to solidify the early enrollees that were committed to Florida and it appears that almost all of them have decided to remain pledged to the Gators.

However, there are still at least 10 slots left in the class of 2011 and looking at the talent in the all-star games coming up and the first one is the Offense/ Defense All-American Bowl, which will be there to cover.

Here is a look at the game and the possible prospects Florida may target.

What: Offense–Defense All-American Bowl
Where: Myrtle Beach (SC)
When: December 31, 2010 (4 p.m.)

Florida currently has three prospects in the game that are already committed to the Gators. Venice (FL) defensive end Clay Burton is the brother of current Gator and offensive star Trey Burton. Clay is probably a really good match for a Will Muschamp type defense and may very well play linebacker unless he puts on a lot of weight. Burton would be a sturdy strong side linebacker with the ability to pass rush in what Muschamp likes to do on defense. At 240 pounds, he also could grow into that big defensive end once he gets on the weight training program at Florida. Burton is an early enrollee and will be starting school at Florida on January 5.

The second Gator commitment in the game is cornerback Loucheiz Purifoy of Pensacola (FL) Pine Forest. Purifoy is a talent that Muschamp will want to keep in the fold at Florida with Alabama hot on the trail for the speedy and tall corner. At 6-1, he has the prototypical size any team is looking for at cornerback and he has the speed to be a big timer.

Purifoy is a big time talent and it will be interesting to see how his recruitment plays out. Punter Kyle Christy of Brownsburg (IN) is the last of the three committed Florida prospects. Christy won the punting scholarship this summer while at Florida's camp and has a serious leg. With the graduation of All-American punter Chas Henry, after this season, he is a serious need. Christy will be enrolling in January to compete this spring for the position.

Other big time offensive prospects in the game that the Gators may go after include running back Marlin Lane (6-0, 205) of Daytona Beach (FL) Mainland, receiver Kelvin Benjamin (6-6, 210) of Belle Glade (FL) Glades Central, and tight end/offensive lineman Cameron Clear (6-6, 260) of Memphis (TN) Central.

Lane is a big back and made late season visits to Gainesville despite having committed to Clemson a long time ago. He is a powerful runner that has versatility and is definitely someone the staff would look at.

Benjamin has been the subject of big time recruiting wars already between Florida, Florida State, and Miami. With his size, he is something maybe none of the teams already have on their roster. Glades Central is normally a hotbed for Florida recruiting so this one promises to play out big in the end.

Clear is a very interesting prospect indeed. The Gators are always looking to sign dominating offensive linemen, but with a new pro-style offense expected in Gainesville this year, clear may very well be a target at tight end where the Gators really lack a tight end that could double as an extension of the line of scrimmage.

The Offense/Defense Bowl also has its share of defensive stars and three prospects really stand out that the Gators may end up pursuing before all is said and done. Lake Butler (FL) Union County defensive tackle Lonnie Gosha (6-3, 245), Williston (SC) Elko outside linebacker Dexter Staley (6-2, 220), and Lauderdale Lakes (FL) Boyd Anderson linebacker Kent Turene (6-3, 225) are all prospects that should be on the radar in January.

Gosha is an interesting one as he doesn't seem to have a chosen college destination just yet. He has played his high school football just 25 minutes north of Gainesville and so there are plenty of folks around him that would want him at Florida. Reportedly he grew up a Florida State fan. At his size and quickness, he could make a pretty good strong side end in a Muschamp defense.

Staley showed big time interest in Florida during the early part of this recruiting cycle. The Gators want to add at least three linebackers in the class, so he will definitely have to be someone to watch.

Turene really favored Florida early on as well. The USC commitment has great size for this stage in his development, plus he would bring some of that south Florida swagger with him. He has shown a renewed interest in Florida. So again, this is a prospect to keep an eye on.

It should be an interesting game with some recruiting ties to the University of Florida. There is little doubt that as a new Florida staff arrives even more of the kids in this game will be a part of the Florida recruiting landscape. Next, we will look at the possible Gator targets in the Under Armour All-American game.

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