Gators recruiting notes from Under Armour

The number of prospects isn’t as high as usual for the Gators, but there was still a lot of things going on to keep track of for the players on the board.

Quarterback Deondre Francois

Francois has had a terrific week, rain or shine he has been particularly sharp and our scouts have rated his performance as one of the best two among quarterbacks in attendance.

“It’s hard,” Francois sad shortly after Wednesday practice. “I don’t feel like I’ve been killing it. I am not focused on killing it, just want to have fun. I just want to enjoy my last high school game.

Francois says UA teammates Derwin James, Byron Cowart, and George Cowart have really performed well this week and says Gators’ prospect Cowart has been a little too good.

“He’s hit me too many times,” he said.

High school teammate Tyree St. Louis joined a day late but has caught on fast.

“Tyree St. Louis, he’s doing pretty well,” Francois said. “He’s a very big physical guy. He has the potential to do great things. Whatever position he plays at offensive line, he will do well. He played left tackle for me at IMG and did very well.”

Francois is committed to Florida State and he has a ton of guys in his ear about the Noles while here, but says he has lad low on the recruiting front and has not talked to any college coaches during his time at Under Armour.

RB Ray-Ray McCloud

Things changed up a little upon arrival for Tampa Sickles star athlete Ray-Ray McCloud. He will not enroll at Clemson in January as he was supposed to do. That of course opened the doors up for many questions bout his commitment. The Gators will remain on him pretty hard.

“I am not enrolling early,” but I am 100% committed to Clemson,” McCloud said Tuesday.

McCloud says he talks to coaches from a few schools, but the talk is all personal and not about his recruitment.

“I keep my relationship with coaches, but we don’t talk any recruiting,” he said. “I have talked to the Florida coaches but don’t say much.

The Gators have just one commitment in the game and he is doing his est to work on McCloud.

Tyler Jordan is the only one here trying to recruit me to Florida,” he said.

OL Tyler Jordan

Gator commit and offensive lineman Tyler Jordan got a big surprise a couple of hours before the first practice session. Slotted to play guard since he was invited months ago, Jordan was told he would be lining up at center this week, the position he will play in college. Day one was a learning experience, but day two, even in the rain went well and he progressively got better during the week.

“I felt better, the weather was better,” Jordan said about his second day out there.

He is going after some big men inside and just the fact they can come from both sides is a little different.

“I would say Daylon Mack is the toughest to block, Jordan said. “He is bigger than anyone I have faced. He’s just burly and difficult to move. You have to get your pads under him and try.”

Wednesday, Jordan heard about the likely hire of Randy Shannon on the other side of the ball. He’s been very interested in the staff that had coach Jim McElwain puts together.

“I like the hire, he is a great recruiter down in South Florida, Jordan said. “I think he could keep that South Florida pipeline coming.”

Jordan is also eager to talk to new offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier.

“I haven’t had a chance to talk to Coach Nussmeier,” he said. “I will probably get a chance to call him when I get home. I hope Coach Summers stays, but it isn’t a problem at all.”

OL Tyree St. Louis

St. Louis showed up on day two as a late addition to the Under Armour game. He has really impressed this week with his size, quickness, and general strength.

A commitment to Miami, St. Louis will now visit Florida and likely Tennessee. A Tampa native, there are several players and prospects that can likely work on this young lineman.

OL Christian Pellage

Pellage is committed to South Carolina but says he will visit Florida and maybe another school or two before signing day. The Brooksville (Fla.) Nature Coast massive lineman doesn’t have dates set, but really likes Coach McElwain and offensive line coach Mike Summers who is expected to be retained.

DE Byron Cowart

Five-star defensive and Byron Cowart wanted to commit at the game Friday but he postponed any commitment and says he will take his time. He has had an incredible week of practice.

The Gators are expected to be his favorite by many, but he will also look at Florida State and Auburn heading down the stretch.

Cowart heard about the likely addition of Randy Shannon as an assistant at Florida and although he doesn’t know the former Miami Hurricane head coach, he wants to see wat he has to say.

“I have to meet him,” Cowart said. “Now that I know he is the linebacker coach I will meet him, talk to him, and see if he sees me playing outside.

“I don’t know him. He is from Miami, so obviously he believes in speed off the edge.”

DT Kendrick Norton

Not great news on the Kendrick Norton front. The Jacksonville (Fla.) Trinity Christian two-way star wants to play defense in college and isn’t ruling out the Gators, but they are on the outside looking in and behind at least four other programs.

Norton says he does not know Randy Shannon and so the reports that he will be hired don’t seem to help at this point in his recruitment.

LB Jeff Holland

Norton’s high school teammate is a huge target for the Gators and the bg story lin is that Auburn is the other team he is looking hard at. Of course former Florida head coach Will Muschamp is now the defensive coordinator at Auburn.

He wasn’t planning on visiting the Gators officially but that looks to have changed with the likely hiring of Randy Shannon. The Tigers were in the lead to start the week, but he intimated that getting Shannon will make it a little tougher for him to rate the two.

“Me and him had a good bond when he was at Arkansas,” Holland said of Shannon. “He coached Ray Lewis so I know he’s a great coach. He said I would be playing two outside linebacker spots like the BUCK, so he can teach me a lot of stuff for the next level.”

“It’s tough, because Coach Shannon is a great guy. I used to talk to him a lot. It is going to be tough.

He answered “probably so” when asked if he would now take an official to Florida.

Holland says that Muschamp is the coach he has talked to the most lately, but he likes what he hears from new defensive coordinator Geoff Collins.

“He says I can come in and make big plays, play early, he needs players like me and stuff like that,” Holland said of Collins. “He says he wants me as a pass rusher and stand up.

Adonis Thomas

The long and athletic linebacker from Central Gwinnett in Georgia is committed to Alabama and not coming off of that commitment. He is however contemplating visits to both Florida and Auburn. Collins and McElwain have really gotten after him.

“I am going to give my final decision later,” he said about maybe taking visits. “I need to talk to my mom about it and see what she wants to do. It will be after the game.”

Thomas is rooming with Tyler Jordan and the two have gotten along great.

“It’s pretty cool, we aren’t really talking about it much, just talking about college football, not about the recruiting stuff,” he said.

LB Richard McBryde

McBryde is an Auburn commit from Troy, Alabama and recently said he would be visiting Florida on the last weekend of the cycle.

Coach McElwain has been on McBryde since he showed up on campus and wanted him to come in.

“I am just going to tour around the campus and see if I like the defensive scheme they are running,” McBryde said of McElwain. “He just wanted me to come visit and see how I liked Florida.”

In contrast, Muschamp wasn’t very responsive with McBryde when he was at the helm in Gainesville.

“I was trying to get in touch with Florida with Coach Muschamp there,” McBryde said. “He was talking to me a little, and he just stopped. I never tried to keep it going.”

McBryde said that Coach Shannon never really recruited him for Arkansas, but Collins has been on him good.

>[?“The head coach messaged me first and we started talking,” McBryde said. “Then Coach Collins messaged me on Twitter and asked if I would like to come, so we set up an official visit. So I am just going to check out the scheme.”

LB Roquan Smith

Smith is from The Peach State and was very high on the Gators under the previous staff. Since Muschamp was let go, his interest in Florida faded quickly.

Geoff Collins got involved in his recruitment very quickly and now it seems that Smith is looking at the Gators again and said as much early during the practice week.

A nice and fluid inside linebacker, Smith seems likely to visit the Gators now and give them a chance.


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