RECRUITING: Atkins remains committed to Gators

Tourists are a dime a dozen in Daytona Beach. Before February 2, you can expect quite a few visitors to stop in for a few moments at Mainland High School before taking in the view of "The World's Most Famous Beach." Just Tuesday, the school hosted a pair of visitors from the Greater Gator Chamber of Commerce.

Florida coaches Charlie Strong and Chuck Heater visited All-American defensive back Avery Atkins at the school yesterday.

"He (Heater) said that he was glad that I committed and was looking forward to working with me" Atkins said. "I spoke to Coach Meyer last week. Basically, he just said that he's looking forward to meeting me. He said that he'll be back after the bowl game. I'm taking my visit (to Florida) the 21st of January"

When asked what he hopes to see on his Florida visit, the 5-11, 185-pound mainstay of the Buccaneer running game said, "I want to spend some time with the other players. I'd like to go out with the guys and see how they interact with each other. I also want to talk to the coaches and see their plans."

While Atkins remains verbally committed to the Gators, he is going to check in on the Miami Hurricanes.

"I'll visit Miami this Friday. It is the only other visit that I have." Atkins said. "I think that Eugene Hayes, the linebacker from Madison County will be there. Basically, I just want to see the depth chart there"

Atkins remains good friends with several players who participated in the Florida Rising Seniors camp last summer. The group included the likes of Demetrius Morley, Bryan Evans, O.J. Murdock, and Louis Murphy.

"We haven't talked lately," he said of his buddies. "I think that we've all just been too busy."

He was foolishly left out of the U.S. Army All-American bowl game as some of the voters obviously forgot to do their homework. However, his talents were not lost on everybody. Atkins will continue to stay busy as a participant in the CaliFlorida All-Star Game. He said that the team will practice at Washington High School before the January 2 game in the Orange Bowl.

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