RECRUITING: Ely's Devan James On UF Radar

Like most years, there is no shortage of talent at Pompano Beach (FL) Ely where I had a chance to visit earlier in the week. The Tigers are expected to be an offensive juggernaut in the fall of 2005, headed up by a three-pronged monster at tailback that includes Devan James, a 5-10, 175-pounder who appears on the University of Florida recruiting radar.

James, who has been clocked at 4.5 in the 40, says the Gators have been a favorite since he was a kid. He's a fan of the new spread-option offense that Coach Urban Meyer has brought to Gainesville and he has the kind of skills that seem to fit the Florida offense perfectly.

"I like the Gators and their offensive system," James said. "As a running back I have good vision. I can see the holes open. I also have good speed and quickness."

James is one of several Ely players that will camp at the University of Florida this summer. The skills camp will feature teams from around the southeast and they will be able to do battle in seven-on-seven games. James thinks the Florida camp will help prepare the Tigers for a deep run in the state playoffs in the fall.

"We are a good team," he said. We have a strong defense and have three running backs returning."

While school is going "all right" for him, he needs to improve on his test score. Last week he took the SAT for a second time.

Spring football practice just concluded but the recruiting process is only beginning to heat up. He gets letters by the dozens each day and among the suitors are some very big names in Division I football.

"I am getting letters if interest from Florida, FSU, Auburn, NC State, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Wisconsin and a few more," he said.

He wants to major in business when he goes off to college so he's starting to make a priority list for the schools that are recruiting him. As he begins to learn more about the schools that are talking to him, the list of what's most important will grow, but for now, it's pretty basic.

"First is academics," he said. "Location of the school and then athletics are also very important."

REDMAN REACTION: Devan James has Division I ability. He's got speed and he plays for a top South Florida high school program which will get him a lot of notice. He's sure to be an asset wherever he signs. The Gators are showing interest but if UF offers it is likely that it won't be until he camps at UF or afterward. Devan is a very polite and engaging young man with the kind of personal priorities what will make him a positive influence on or off the field for any team.

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