Gators UnderArmour Notebook: Day 1

With a bevy of prospects looking at Florida and participating in the Under Armour All-American game, the news comes fast and furious. With over 20 content pieces about Gator prospects from the event from Scout.com on day one, we decided to narrow down some of the highlights from the day. Here is a breakdown from day one.

OFFENSE Miami Central star Dalvin Cook is the only running back Florida is really pursuing right now. The Florida commitment has remained committed to the Gators for quite some time, but has danced around a little bit in terms of keeping his options open. On Sunday, it was no different where we first heard he would not have an announcement this week as far as his recruitment, and then later in the day he mentioned he would have some kind of announcement during the week. Regardless, we all know that Cook is an extremely good talent and he did nothing to dissuade the experts at Scout.com of his ability as a five-star with his production on the field Sunday.

"He's an amazing physical talent with a burst, the ability to run with power as well as make a defender miss in the open field," the scouts said when mentioning him as one of the top performers of the day. "He catches the ball out of the backfield and competes very hard as well."

With Florida and Florida State competing for Cook, the media circus has been quite a show in itself. Cook is having a good time at the Disney / ESPN complex and says that there isn't any pressure about any decision any more.

"I'm done with my recruitment, I know where I'm going, so it isn't really any pressure for me," he said following practice Sunday.

Scout.com recruiting reporter Amy Campbell weighed in on our message boards about Cook and Campbell has been following Cook as close and as much as anyone of the last two years.

"The buzz all day has been about Dalvin's announcement - will it happen this week on tv? ESPN will not allow him to announce if he's staying with Florida, Campbell wrote in the afternoon on Sunday. "The latest buzz I've heard around is that they are NOT having him announce during the broadcast.

"I've heard some other things that I can't exactly repeat here, but I will say that I'm officially changing my FSU prediction to Florida for Dalvin and am reiterating that I believe Ermon will stick with Florida. And I feel VERY good about that."

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5-star receiver Ermon Lane is Cook's good friend and the two have been inseparable during the early practices. Like Cook, Lane showed off on Sunday.

"Lane is easily among the top handful of receivers in the country and showed why on Sunday. He has a great frame and is very physical but also has the speed to get deep and very soft hands," our experts on hand said. "He's basically without a weakness as a receiver and should be an immediate contributor at the next level.

National analyst Chad Simmons piped in on Lane on our message boards…

"Lane caught the ball very well with his hands and he showed great extension," Simmons said "He is sneaky fast down the sideline and he did get behind the defense a couple of times. It was a VERY good secondary he was going against too."

As for his recruitment, Lane also has been committed to Florida for quite some time, but Florida State is still in his ear as well.

Amy Campbell was able to get some tidbits about what the star receiver thought of Florida's new offensive coordinator Kurt Roper.

"I watched him at the old college, but I haven't really sat down and talked to him," Lane told Campbell. "I know he spreads the ball around, gets it to the playmakers. All playmakers like a coach like that."

He did say that Florida State would likely get a visit in January.

"They're getting a visit because the last couple of months, they've been recruiting me hard, harder than any other colleges," he said. "I'm still committed (to Florida), it's like eighty-five percent committed."

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The Gators seem to still be in it for star offensive tackle Damian Prince. The massive lineman from Forestville Maryland is probably not a guy that anyone should count on being in the class, but there is some hope.

"(Florida) is a great school Coach (Will) Muschamp is a great coach," Prince told Scout.com. "They've been a little down this year, but last year they were still two wins away from a national championship. Talent is still definitely there. They had a lot of season ending injuries, but next year, with or without me, I expect Florida to be a really good team."

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DEFENSE

4-star DT Thomas Holley is a Penn State commitment and has been bombarded with questions about Penn State coach Bill O'Brien possibly heading to the NFL and what that means to Holley's commitment.

For now, Holley is remaining strong with his commitment, but does admit that things could open up seriously depending on how all the coaches shake up at the school.

This is definitely one to keep an eye on moving forward.

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5-star DE Lorenzo Carter seems to be down to Georgia and Florida right now and some will tell you that LSU is making a serious push. There is a lot of mixed talk out there about the relationship the parents have with the two staffs, but there is no denying that he and his family has visited Georgia more often during the last season than they have Florida.

Still, there is something there not letting him make that final leap of faith for one team or another.

This is another one to watch.

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5-star DE Gerald Willis is an intriguing prospect. From the state of Louisiana where most of the star players usually end up signing with LSU. But Willis has an older brother in Landon Collins that jilted the Tigers and signed with Alabama.

This go around his last two schools are LSU and Florida. He talked about trying to pick between the two.

"Coach [Derek] Lewis (Florida) and Coach [Frank] Wilson (LSU) are both from New Orleans, they have known my parents for a long time, and I really like both coaches," Willis told Chad Simmons. "They are the same type of guys, they act a lot alike, and it will be hard to tell only one of them yes."

"My parents want me to be happy, so they are OK with either school I choose," said Willis. "They do not have their favorites, they just support me. I know they are there for me."

Looking at various scouts that watched Willis today it appears he has started off well in the Under Armour practices. Some in attendance would also tell you that Florida is a much bigger player here than is advertised.

Yet another one to watch and he will be making his selection on Thursday at the game.

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5-star safety Jamal Adams also had a great day of practice on Sunday.

"Not only was the five-star one of the top defensive standouts on Sunday, but he was the undisputed trash-talking champion on either field," noted our analysts after watching him practice. "He backed it up, getting his hands on several passes while keeping everything in front of him. Adams also held his own against wide receivers in 1-on-1 competition, a rarity on Day 1."

There has been a consensus that Adams is leaning to LSU lately and that very well may be true. Florida was the longtime favorite here with Adam's Godfather being Gators' receiver coach Joker Phillips.

Adams decides on Thursday during the game.

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Florida cornerback commitment J.C. Jackson continues to make big noise with his this season and did so again on Sunday.

"If Adams was around the football the most, Jackson was a 1A in this category," the national analysts said. "He was aggressive early in the routes of opponents, and he crashed the football all morning long."

JC Jackson had a big SR season and he will see a bump in the final rankings," added Chad Simmons. "He is thicker and he closes on the ball well. He shadowed some good wideouts today and showed loose hips and good anticipation."

Jackson has talked about looking around a bit even though committed to the Gators. The talk on Sunday is that most feel he is still in the Gator camp.

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The lack of speed on Florida's roster has never been so apparent than in the last two seasons. With that in mind, one of the fastest guys in the country is being pursued hard by the Gators. 5-star CB Adoree Jackson started off great Sunday much like the others mentioned above.

"Adoree Jackson has been best cover corner for Red team, closes so well on the ball," tweeted national analyst Greg Biggins and added the following. "Another pass breakup for Adoree Jackson, hasn't lost a rep yet."

Florida, LSU, USC and a few others still seem to be in the mix, but the Gators are up there for sure on his list. One huge reason is the nationally acclaimed track program in Gainesville.

"Honestly, track is just as important as football for me," Jackson told Biggins. "It's a 50-50 decision for me. Out of all the schools, I probably have the best relationship with the track coaches at Florida. I talked with the LSU coaches on my visit as well and I need to connect with other track coaches on my list as well."

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A couple of prospects seem to be off the map for Florida after Sunday. 4-star cornerback Jalen Tabor is now down to Alabama and Arizona and will decide between the two on Thursday. He will also enroll in January at the school he chooses. 4-star receiver Travis Rudolph looks to decide Alabama and Florida State and the Gators don't appear to be in contention heading into his pick on Thursday. He says he may still visit the Gators in January, regardless of who he chooses.


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