RECRUITING: Gators See Eugene at both WR and CB

There is no question that Jai (pronounced Jah) Eugene will be playing football at the highest levels of Division I in 2006. He will play somewhere, but at what position. The 6-1, 185-pounder from Destrahan, Louisiana plays quarterback but it is at cornerback or wide receiver that he's being projected to play at the next level. The Florida Gators are recruiting him on both sides of the ball.

"Most schools like me as a cornerback," said Jai Eugene. "Some … even Florida … are recruiting me as a receiver and a cornerback."

He will be in a passing camp for the next couple of days. This coming weekend Eugene has tentative plans to be on the University of Florida campus for an unofficial visit.

"We are about to go to a 7 on 7 tournament," he said. "I will try and make it to Gainesville this Saturday for camp."

One thing certain, Eugene has an interest in the Gators. He has constant contact with the coaching staff, and in particular, Coach John Hevesy, who recruits Louisiana for the Gators. Even so, he won't name any favorites just yet.

"No favorites," he said. "But, if I had a top ten Florida would be in it. I talk to Coach Hevesy a lot. Probably like once a week, he's a good man."

He also knows about Florida Head Coach Urban Meyer and some of the things he has been able to accomplish in his young career. Eugene can see himself playing for Coach Meyer and the Gators.

"He's a great coach," Eugene said. "He did a heck of a job at Utah. I like the style of defense they play at Florida and if that's where I decide to go, it is a great fit for me. I mainly play quarterback in high school, but most people are recruiting me as a cornerback. I just have overall good coverage skills as a defensive back."

When it comes to the state of Louisiana, it seems the borders have been closed to rival schools since LSU began its outstanding run in 2001 that included a national championship in 2003. Eugene will only say that LSU has an equal opportunity to sign him just like everyone else.

"I think there is 90% chance of me leaving the state of Louisiana to play football," he said.

Recruiters will pull out all stops to recruit these days and sometimes players get the wildest things in the mail. When asked what was the wildest? Eugene went right back to the Gators.

"Florida sent me a card that had my picture on it … Keiwan Ratliff and a few others corners that went to Florida," he said while snickering. "It had my name and said All-American, Thorpe award winner, and some other stuff. "

Redman Reaction: He knows his stuff when talking about Florida football and especially the current staff. He easily names the coaches and ex-players which is a sign of someone who is serious about a school. I think the Gators have an excellent shot at landing this prize kid from Louisiana.

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