RECRUITING: Rickerson Enjoys Unofficial Visit

With cornerback a critical position for the Florida Gators recruiting class of 2006, Coach Urban Meyer doesn't have far to go to find one of the nation's best. St. Augustine's Jacques Rickerson is on everybody's radar, especially Florida's. Rickerson was in Gainesville for an unofficial visit along with about 20 of the top rising seniors in the country over the weekend.

Florida hosted an all star cast of recruits that included Rickerson, quarterbacks Tim Tebow of Jacksonville and Jarred Fayson of Tampa, running back C.J. Spiller of Lake Butler, offensive linemen Sam Young of Ft Lauderdale and Carl Johnson of Durham, North Carolina, and linebacker Brandon Spikes of Shelby, North Carolina. Carl Johnson liked what he saw enough to commit to the Gators.

"It was great. Yesterday I went to the University of Florida," said Rickerson when asked about his weekend. "It went great. I got to meet with most of the top players (in the country). Myron Rolle (defensive back from New Jersey) was there although I didn't get to talk to him much."

More than just a get together of the top players in the eastern half of the US, it was a time for these players to get to know the University of Florida and what it has to offer. The current Gator team got involved.

"I got to talk with most of the players on the team," Rickerson said. "I chatted with Dee Webb, Josh Portis, Chris Leak, Brandon Siler … a bunch of them actually. We had stuff like ice cream and hamburgers. They told us about the school and how workouts will be."

Rickerson is being recruited by Co-Defensive Coordinator Greg Mattison, and Mattison is working hard at trying to make Rickerson a Gator signee come February. It will take the whole staff to rake in the players of his caliber.

"Greg Mattison, he is a great guy," Rickerson said. "The difference between him and the others is he doesn't stop talking about the great things at Florida. Coach Heater is cool too … he told me he wants me bad. They said these were like the top prospects that they really wanted. It would probably be Florida and Penn State that are recruiting me the hardest."

Gator Head coach Urban Meyer will play a huge part in the parents and kids signing with the Gators to play ball. Rickerson likes that Meyer can get down to his level and really talk to the players.

"Urban Meyer, he was great, because he will come in there and just chat with you," he said. "He wants to know more about you as a person than as a player; he thinks about that last. He really wants to know more about you as a person than a football player."

He is close to making a final short list of schools and Florida hopes to be on that final list. Rickerson certainly has a variety of choices he can make.

"I will probably narrow my list down in the next few weeks, you can call me back then," he said. "Florida, Penn State, Auburn, Tennessee, South Carolina, Georgia, Michigan, Georgia tech, and Maryland are my top schools right now."

The Gators had a huge weekend this weekend and got it started right with the commitment of Carl Johnson. Jacques Rickerson is just one piece of the puzzle although a major piece that the Gators would like to fit into this recruiting class.

REDMAN REACTION: Jacques Rickerson is a 5-10, 185-pound corner with great speed (4.4 40), toughness and the ability to be an outstanding special teams contributor. He is a tremendous athlete as his 22 points per game average in basketball indicates.

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