Simmons on Southeast Gator prospects

With national signing day about three months away the recruiting of uncommitted prospects is heating up. With that in mind has asked different regional and national scouts to talk about their ideas on the prospects that they cover that are looking at Florida. National Recruiting Analyst Chad Simmons joins us to talk about a few high profile prospects in the Southeast.

The top defensive end in the country in our Scout rankings resides in Norcross (Ga.). Norcross High School super athlete Lorenzo Carter would play the BUCK position at Florida. Simmons says that Carter has been working hard to improve his craft.

"He has improved his moves off the ball as the year has progressed, but at the same time, he still has to improve in that area as well as his play against the run," Simmons says of Carter. "He is a big athlete with so much potential, but with his hand down, he has become better at reacting to the offensive lineman and he has shown more than just a speed move to the outside."

The Gators have been rumored as the leader of late, but the signals have been mixed. Simmons chimes in with his thoughts as to where Carter stands.

"Some think Florida leads and I wouldn't argue with that," Simmons said. "He is playing things close to the vest, but he loved both trips to Gainesville, as did his parents. Alabama and Georgia are Florida's biggest competitors."

Raekwon McMillan was possibly the biggest name in the Southeast a year ago and although the middle linebacker may not get top billing among all prospects, he is one of the more recruited prospects in the region and colleges are all over him. Simmons likes the way McMillan has improved his body for the game.

"He has slimmed down since the summer and he is playing a little faster and with more consistency," Simmons said. "McMillan is playing a lot of offense this season, so he is in better shape and he is moving better than he did a year ago. He reads and reacts well and he is at his best when moving north-south. He still needs to improve his angles and his quickness laterally."


The Gators will have to work hard to get past two big time programs if they really want to land McMillan.

"Ohio State leads here with Alabama being second," Simmons said of McMillan. "The Buckeyes had McMillan on their campus last weekend for an official visit and the Buckeyes did not hurt their chances. Florida is in this, but with Ohio State leading, 'Bama in second place, and Clemson in the middle, Florida is with Georgia on the bottom half at this time."

Strong side defensive end Gerald Willis is another highly coveted prospect. The 5-star from New Orleans (La.) Edna Karr HS has a lot of intangibles that colleges desire.

"This kid has all the tools you look for in a strong side end or even a gapper at the three-technique," Simmons said of Willis. "He has a good first step, but he is at his best in pursuit and when closing down the line. He can control the line of scrimmage, play the run and rush the passer. The biggest area of improvement has been his consistency. He has been known to take plays off, take his head out of the game, and slow down a bit, but he is better in that area this season."


Simmons has paid visits to Louisiana on a couple of occasions this season and has his hand on the pulse of things with Willis in terms of recruiting. Willis has Florida on the list and has visited Gainesville a few times for unofficial visits in the last three years.

"Florida is scheduled to have Willis on campus the second weekend of November and it will take a game-changing visit for the Gators to become a true contender here," Simmons said. "Willis has been at LSU the last two weekend and many feel he is already a silent commitment. LSU leads big right now with Texas A&M next late in October."

We will continue this with other recruiting areas and prospects, so stay tuned to

Fightin Gators Top Stories