Here is a look at a few the Gators are expecting and a few more that might come:
With the loss of five offensive linemen this year and another five next year, the Gators have a priority to sign at least a handful of linemen this year. In our recruiting update about offensive linemen we said the Gators wanted to sign five to seven offensive linemen. Set to visit January 7-9 are two huge linemen from Georgia. Duke Robinson of Atlanta Washington and Chris Scott of Lovejoy HS are both expected to make their official visit starting this Friday.
The 6-5, 325-pound Robinson played offensive tackle in high school but will probably be a guard at the collegiate level. Florida is recruiting him as a guard. New offensive line coach John Hevesy has been in touch with Duke and apparently the two have hit it off well. Although the word on the street is that he is a lean to Georgia, he claims lately to be torn between Oklahoma and Georgia with Florida making up some ground. Coach Mike Locksley has been recruiting Robinson for the Gators from the very beginning and he is still working hard to make inroads with this big guy, but it will take a superb, perhaps even spectacular visit to bring the Gators at least even with Georgia and Oklahoma.
Scott is a 6-4, 315-pound tackle that is a member of the Scout.com, US Army All-American team. His quick feet and huge frame have him ranked as the tenth best offensive lineman in the country according to Scout.com. The Tennessee Volunteers seem to have the inside track to Scott at the moment. Just last week he was favoring Tennessee and LSU, both schools he has already visited. With the loss of Coach Nick Saban at LSU, Tennessee looks to have an advantage. When Scott sees Florida's depth chart and visits one on one with Coach Urban Meyer while on the Florida campus, the Gators could be in a position to make up a lot of ground.
Linebacker is a critical need for the Gators and it may be even greater if Channing Crowder decides to take his game to the NFL. Even with Crowder, the Gators will have only six scholarship linebackers in spring practice and on the 2005 opening day roster. Darryl Gresham of Roanoke, Virginia will be in this weekend. He's 6-3, 230 and a soft commit to Virginia, but Florida may have an advantage here since he is a Gator legacy. His dad, Daryl Sr., played basketball for Coach Norm Sloan and the Gators in the 1980s. He's been talking about this visit for the past couple of months, and when it was announced that Coach Locksley would remain on the staff, Florida's chances improved dramatically. Given Florida's acute need at this position and his willingness to be recruited by the Gators, there is a good chance Gresham could change his commitment to Florida after this weekend.
The last confirmed visitor, at least at this point, is defensive end Lawrence Wilson of Akron (Ohio) St. Vincent-St. Mary. Florida's defensive line board is quite thin although that could change in the next four weeks. There aren't many planned visitors so Wilson will be a priority even though Florida likely will sign only two or three DL. Wilson told Gator Country's Leo Isaak last week, "Well, basically, I'm a speed rusher"I can fly to the ball. I run a 4.6 (in the forty), so I can really fly to the ball. I kinda feel like Jevon Kearse, where I explode up the line and attack the quarterback. If you expect my speed, I get you with my power." Wilson originally committed to Notre Dame, but the 6-5, 228-pounder has backed down from that. Right now Ohio State is the front runner, but the negative publicity about problems with boosters and a weekend of expected warm weather could go a long way in changing his opinion.
There are a few other recruits that could still visit this weekend although we have not gotten confirmation that they will be coming in. As soon as we have confirmation, we'll let you know.
Here are two more that we think could make their trip to Gainesville this weekend:
Curtis Crouch of Fayetteville (NC) EE Smith just began showing interest in the Gators a few weeks ago. This 6-6, 316-pound offensive lineman is rated four stars by Scout.com. He's got Clemson, North Carolina State, Virginia Tech and Oklahoma recruiting him hard. He's told some callers that he could be visiting Florida January 7.
LaVar Lobdell, a four star wide receiver from Christian Brothers Academy in Syracuse, New York could be coming in this weekend. He is another player who became interested in Florida after Coach Meyer named his new staff. Miami is his current leader although Southern Cal is also in the mix. Even with a Big East school in his home town, he's apparently set on leaving home. .
Running backs James Davis and RJ Jackson and wide receivers OJ Murdock and David Nelson were originally scheduled for January 7, but all four have re-scheduled their visits to another weekend in January.