RECRUITING: Boateng will commit on Saturday

SAN ANTONIO --- The hot news for the Florida Gators this week at the US Army All-American Bowl Game is Nyan Boateng of Brooklyn (NY) Abraham Lincoln. He's been teasing the Gators for two weeks and his visit last weekend to Gainesville was a huge success. He'll end the suspense about his college commitment Saturday during the football game, and the Gators have reason to believe the news will be good.

Boateng is from New York, but the name is African although he's not sure of its meaning. His farther is a native of Ghana, West Africa. His parents have lived in the US for more than thirty years.

Nyan Boateng broke his ankle before his senior football season began and he's still limping noticeably.

"I missed the entire season," he said. "I broke my right ankle. It isn't 100 per cent. I'm not explosive like I used to be. It will just take some time."

The rehab is going well, however, so he doesn't anticipate that it will take much longer to regain his speed.

"By next month I should be back to my old form," he said.

Prior to the injury, Boateng was a real burner.

"Last year I played basketball and football," he said. "so I didn't have time to run track. I ran a 4.39 in a league combine."

The focus of the offense at Abraham Lincoln before the injury, the team suffered in his absence in 2004.

"Last year, when I played, we were undefeated," he said. "This year we were 4-6 and missed the playoffs."

With just a couple more days before he announces his college decision, he's talking freely about the things he finds attractive at the University of Florida.

"I like the location, the coaching staff, and the history of the school," he said. "It is a big time school. Florida is something you want to look at if you are a player."

Boateng had the interest of the former Gator staff, but somehow he fell through the cracks. When Coach Urban Meyer and his new staff arrived in Gainesville, they once again opened up the relationship with Boateng.

"Coach Meyer is a winner and a good guy," he said emphatically. "I saw Coach (Billy) Gonzalez and he came by to visit with Coach Meyer and we spent about 8-10 hours together. We talk on the phone almost every day, so we can really try and get to know each other."

He also bonded well with the man who could help him to elevate his game.

"Chris Leak was my host on my visit," he said. "We had good conversations and I have spoken to him on the phone for a long time."

In conversations he's had with the coaching staff, he's gotten a pretty good idea where he will line up in the Urban Meyer offense.

"I will play the X position," he said. "They said they won't redshirt me if my ankle is ready, that I can play right away. By the fall I will be ready to go."

While Florida is the school he talks about continually, he has yet to rule out Nebraska. The Cornhuskers are closing in on an outstanding recruiting class. Husker fans think the addition of Ryan Boateng would be a real bonus to what is already a very good class. He finds there is much to like about Nebraska.

"Their coaching staff, I can't say enough about them," he said. "They are a pro staff. They have a great program. They have always been a great program.

"The thing that separates Florida is the location, it is kind of far. But, they have a good situation there."

Nebraska Coach Bill Callahan has also paid an in-home visit with Boateng.

"When Coach Callahan visited it was a good visit with my mother and my brother," he said. "They don't have a wide receiver coach right now, they fired him."

The Huskers have also told him that if it's playing time he seeks, they've got plenty to offer from day one.

"I'm their guy, I can come in right in and play and start," he said.

As a junior, Boateng played both wide receiver and corner while doubling on special teams to return punts and kickoffs. He has a willingness to catch passes and return kicks at Florida, but insists that defense isn't part of his college equation. He is a four-star rated wide receiver by Scout.com, so his addition to a Gator recruiting class would be a huge plus.

The U.S. Army All-American Bowl is played in San Antonio, Texas., at the Alamodome on Jan. 15, 2005, and broadcast nationally on NBC at 1 p.m. EST. Scout.com is a sponsor, the official selection partner and exclusive on-line partner of the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, as well as the associated U.S. Army Combine for underclassmen.


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