Bullard Expected Good Visit and Had It

He's one of the top defensive line prospects in high school and so making big impression on defensive end Jonathan Bullard is something the Florida Gators wanted to do. Bullard was expecting a lot from Florida and according to him, he got it when he and teammate Rhaheim Ledbetter visited Gainesville for a Junior Day this Saturday.

Jonathan Bullard knows a lot about Florida and he understands a lot about the tradition and that the Gators have a big time college football program. The bar was set high for the trip, so it isn't surprising that the entire visit was a real positive and nothing really stood out more than any other.

"It was pretty good and what I expected," Bullard said Sunday night, a day after his Florida visit. "I expected it to be nice and it was. I really enjoyed it and it was a good experience for me to get down there and see it."

"It was just an overall nice place, facility, the people. Nothing in particular was better than the rest."

One little note of interest was the presence of star rookie NFL linebacker Brandon Spikes on the Florida campus. The Gator Great All-American and two time national champion linebacker attended Shelby (NC) Crest high school, where Bullard and Ledbetter attend. He is also a cousin of Ledbetter and someone that Bullard has met, but doesn't know very well.

"That is Rhaheim's cousin and he went to the high school I go to," Bullard said of Spikes. "He told us 'there is nothing better than playing in The Swamp', but he wasn't pressuring us to do anything."

Bullard is being recruited by Gators' assistant coach D.J. Durkin and has apparently really hit it off with the linebacker coach.

"DJ" is recruiting me," Bullard said. "He is a real cool guy. I talk to him a lot. We got to the point where we have a really good relationship, we don't just talk about football… we talk about everything. I know him well as a person and he shows he knows a lot about me too, it is good to get to know him."

During the visit, he got to spend time with defensive end coach and defensive coordinator Dan Quinn. Quinn has spent the last ten years coaching in the NFL and made sure to show Bullard some of the moves and techniques of players he has coached in the past, including all pro defensive end Jason Taylor.

"I went to the defensive end meetings with Coach Quinn. He took me into his office and he and I watched some film of players that he coached. He was trying to give me tips on how to do some things."

It is still early in the process for the junior and he has a lot of places left to visit. Right now, he doesn't want to name any leaders, but Florida is a place he is seriously considering.

"No favorites right now, I am still wide open," he said. "Florida has my high interest, but I haven't seen all the places I need to see so I have no top schools right now."

So, what is it going to take to earn a commitment from this highly prized defensive lineman?

"I think after you go see a place and return a second time, that's when you will get that feeling that it is where you want to be," he said. "I also want to build that relationship with the coaches and want to like their personalities and how I would fit in. I also want a place that will push me academically in case I don't get to play football after college."

There is only one visit set on his calendar right now and that is the spring game at South Carolina. Bullard also says he will likely visit Auburn next, but doesn't know when and has no other visits planned.

Jonathan Bullard will be one of the highest recruited prospects in America for the 2012 class and getting him on campus as often as possible will be key in his recruitment. Florida will try to make that happen again as soon as they can.

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