Confident McFadden Has Gators In His Final Three

One thing you noticed right away about Walter McFadden at the Florida camp last summer was the confidence. It didn't matter who he was matched up against in passing drills, he wasn't going to lose the battle and he told everyone before the play during the play, and after the play. McFadden and 20 or so of his high school teammates attended the regular portion of the Florida camp and observers couldn't help but be impressed with him.

McFadden's Pompano Beach Ely team lost in the state semifinals to Orlando's Edgewater High School. It wasn't as far as they were hoping to go, but nonetheless a very successful season. With McFadden's reputation as a ball hawk, he didn't get a lot of balls thrown his way this season, but when he did he took advantage.

"I had seven breakups, four interceptions, three kick returns for touchdowns and one punt return for touchdowns," he said.

While confident in his skills, he isn't arrogant. He will gladly share the good and the bad about his abilities.

"I am confident in my coverage skills," he said. "I am kid of shifty. I can run with receivers, speed-wise.

"I need to work on everything to make myself better. My weakness is probably coming up on the run."

That weakness is probably a reflection of his physical build. He is listed at 6-0, and 175 pounds on the database. The height is very close to accurate but the weight might be just a tad generous. Still, couple his ability and confidence with a strict regimen of strength and weight training and McFadden may have what it takes to be a star at the next level. College coaches around the eastern part of the country are thinking and hoping so.

McFadden has narrowed the list of schools interested in him to three that he will actually consider.

"I'm looking at Auburn, Florida, and Michigan State," he said. He has already visited Auburn and Michigan State officially. He said that all three have offered him a scholarship. The visits to Auburn and Michigan State will act as a barometer for his upcoming visit to Gainesville.

"I have been to Auburn and Michigan State," he said. "They were great family wise. They showed me everything. I will compare them to my visit with Florida and break them down and see which one has the advantage."

He hasn't been a stranger to Gainesville.

"I've been to Florida about three times," McFadden said. "I am going to be up there on January 28th for an official visit."

Florida should be his last visit, although he may take one more.

"Just Florida so far," he said. "I may take a visit to USF, but not sure."

Academics are important to him. He's quite serious about getting a college degree, but academics are just a part of what it will take to land him.

"I want to see if I can come in right away and play, that is a big factor," he said. "Every school has a good business program and every school is going to make sure I get that (degree) and study hard and all of that.

"Right now I am knocking it down to if I'm going to play, am I going to enjoy it? Is it like a family? Does everyone on the team get along with each other? What does a team do as a team, as a family? That is how it was done with my team."

Florida has some advantages in it's recruitment of McFadden. His old high school teammate is a redshirt freshman on the defense right now. McFadden has kept in touch him and he's been curious to see how things are done on the college campus as opposed to his high school campus.

"I'm going to get with Brandon Daniels soon; he tells me about everything," he offered. "What kind of DB's they have. He tells me how they do things. He doesn't understand it all, but he tells me about their stances compared to ours."

He had a lot to offer up about the personnel he thinks is currently on the team in Gainesville.

"They have great DB's," he said. "I feel like there is a new coach and he doesn't know what he has on the team. If I can come in and shine, then that will be my spot. A new coach won't know until they go to spring practice. Hopefully, I can come in the new system and be able to step in and play."

He knows he will have to work when he gets to the next level. There are obstacles wherever that course may lead.

"These players are a lot bigger and stronger," he said, but there was an air of confidence. "I have confidence in my speed and my ability to run with people. I feel with my talent I can come in and take a spot."

This confidence is something any coach would admire. Coach Urban Meyer is certainly not one short on confidence and it is hard to believe he wouldn't want 80 Walter McFaddens running the sidelines in orange and blue. The coaching staff has been in contact with McFadden. He has talked to Coach Meyer and secondary coach Chuck Heater.

"I have been talking to Coach Heater a lot," he said. "They are pretty open. They tell me about a few things, what all is going to change. Basically, the same thing coach (Bill) Miller was telling me."

Although he's not flamboyant, he doesn't lack for confidence.

"I'm like another Deion," speaking on the All-Pro and flamboyant Deion Sanders. "They may run my way a little bit, but they aren't going to throw it my way too many times."

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