The state of Florida will remain the top priority for UF in May and includes some top prospects in the major areas of Jacksonville, Orlando and Miami. Larry Fedora, UF's Offensive Coordinator, will continue to handle Jacksonville where he has had great success the last couple of years. Jacksonville will once again provide some top prospects for UF to recruit including another Ed White player in Bryan Evans. Former Ed White Coach and new Secondary Coach Dan Disch will recruit the panhandle this spring. His teams often played schools from the gulf coast and he has a good feel for the coaches and players in that area. One thing is for sure Ron Zook will be on the road in the spring. He has changed the way many head coaches attack spring recruiting. It used to be time off for the head coach while the assistants gathered data for the fall. But because of Zook's enthusiasm and work ethic don't be surprised if you see other head coaches out and about during the spring.
What can coaches accomplish with spring recruiting?
First, spring is about making contacts and building relationships. Whether it's with the high school coach or the guidance counselor the coach looks to gather as much information on the recruit. He also will watch practice or a spring jamboree to get an eyeball on the player. Coaches will develop relationships with the head high school coach even if the school does not have a top recruit this year. He may be looking for names for the next recruiting year. A coach can visit as many as 60 schools in a one month period. The recruiting coach must document each one of his visits for NCAA regulations and the recruiting coordinator will file all the information. As the coach gathers information on each of his schools he must leave with two important things. Number one is a transcript to gauge the progress of the student academically and secondly, game tape of the prospect he is recruiting. It is a lot of work but is also fun for many coaches as they have the opportunity to get on the board and talk ball with various coaches who they have developed relationships over the years with in recruiting.
Snippett and Tidbits
There are a few guys in this incoming freshman class who the coaches need to keep an eye on come graduation time and finishing up there work with the NCAA Clearinghouse. UF has had some problems including defensive end Johnny Dingle last season who ended up on campus then had to leave before the season. Dingle eventually ended up in West Virginia where he could help the Mountaineers. Defensive backs Dawayne Grace and McIntosh Nicolas are on track to be ready for the fall and could provide some depth at corner and special teams. Both guys have not officially been cleared but as you know school has not officially ended. UF will likely lose Cornelius Ingram to basketball once there practice begins as he is expected to redshirt. Also, tight end Tate Casey, who is expected to be a redshirt, could get drafted in this summer's June baseball draft.
Current UF players will finish up the spring semester and get ready for the summer workouts and it looks to be another strong participation for the team once again. The key to getting the guys to reach their potential is for Rob Glass and his staff to not let workouts get monotonous and stale. Glass will mix things up with drills and running to keep guys motivated and working towards there goals. Guys who could add some weight in muscle size this summer: Julian Riley, Earl Everett, Dallas Baker, MacKenzie Pierre, Jarvis Moss and Ron Dowdy. Guys who could shed some weight and tighten up this summer: Carlton Medder, Mo Mitchell, Travis Harris and Eric Holcombe.
The word on the street is that Anthony Roberson is leaning towards returning. While he has a good relationship with Coach Donovan and likes UF he still may test the waters on May 10. Peep who has been attending classes has to get it done in the classroom. His financial situation may also be a factor in going pro, but he would need to be a first rounder to guarantee himself a contract. If he can find the money and pay his way he could attend the Pre Draft Camp in Chicago if he declares. It looks like the 5/8 rule is going to be abolished by the NCAA and that is good news for Billy Donovan. Part of the reason he quit recruiting players like Kwame Brown so hard was the fact that he could not replace that scholarship if they went straight to the pros. With the transfer situation over the last two years, Donovan could go and sign another player this season if the rule is taken off the books. He could also go get a player should one of the transfer players has some academic issues. Donovan and his wife recently spent some time in Jamaica getting away before Billy gets back on the road with an important summer of recruiting. Top player JamesOn Curry who was released from his scholarship offer from North Carolina has listed UF as a school he would be interested in. Curry was arrested with many other students in a raid that busted them for dealing drugs. He probably will not end up at UF but he was one of the top prospects in the country and the fact that UF was on his list shows that Billy still has some presence with top recruits. Finally, one thing that may continue to help UF ‘s visibility as a basketball school is the postseason success of Mike Miller and Udonis Haslem. Haslem and Miami definitely have a chance to go to the next round while Miller appears to be on the outs in round one. Both guys look very good and Miller after a slow start finally got it going in the third quarter of game two against the Spurs. With Donnell Harvey finishing the season with the Phoenix Suns that gives UF three NBA players from the 2000 team on NBA Rosters with two in the postseason. It was UF"s most talented team in history and it's like I always say with football it's all about the Jimmy's and Joe's.