RECRUITING: Gator WR Board Is A Who's Who

When it comes to recruiting for the wide receiver position, it's almost a who's who this year for the Florida Gators. Florida will lose six receivers for sure after the 2006 season and there is always that possibility that with six junior receivers, one or more of them might go early to the NFL if they have a breakout season.

Here is a breakdown on the top receivers that Florida has a chance to land for the upcoming recruiting class.

JAMAR HORNSBY, Jacksonville (FL) Sandalwood (6-4, 195): As a junior Hornsby had 720 yards receiving and nine touchdowns on offense, 83 tackles, 10 passes broken up, and five interceptions on defense. Hornsby is a spectacular athlete that plays on both sides of the ball. I went to watch Bryan Evans vs. Maurice Wells last year and Hornsby stole the show. At the time I didn't know who he was, but was calling people that I contact to let them know. Recently he told Allen Wallace of "I like the passing offense at Florida. It would be great to be a part of what they're going to be doing over there. Coach (Urban) Meyer is a great coach and I think that he could get the best out of me. I also like how it's close to home, but I've really got no problem leaving the state." Too many offers to list.

JAMERE HOLLAND, Woodland Hills (CA) Taft (6-1, 180): As a junior Holland was on the receiving end of 34 passes for 911 yards and 15 touchdowns. The man throwing the ball was Florida freshman quarterback Josh Portis. Holland has run a blazing 10.2 100 meters. His combination of speed and size make him one of the most highly recruited wide receiver prospects in the country. From what I have heard he is one of the two fastest high school players in America. He recently told Johnny Curren in a video interview, "Florida, USC, Arizona, Tennessee, and Cal … I am looking for a school that passes the ball a lot." Florida has another good shot at landing a California kid.

VIDAL HAZELTON, Staten Island (NY) Moore Catholic (6-4, 200): During his junior season Hazelton caught 39 passes for 780 yards and 17 touchdowns. He intercepted four passes and returned two of them for scores. He was the offensive MVP of the 2005 Elite Combine in New Jersey. Hazelton has some freakish attributes that make him a prize college coaches want to win. He told Bob Lichtenfels, "Florida has offered me a scholarship, The coaches that are recruiting me are Coach [Steve] Addazio and Head Coach [Urban] Meyer. I got the same interest in Florida that I have for the other schools, and I also love the location … it's hot and what football player doesn't like the heat." Too many offers to list.

TIM HAWTHORNE, Homewood (AL) Homewood (6-2, 192): Hawthorne's junior numbers were 84 catches for 1,360 yards with 14 touchdowns. With his long legs he has deceptive speed and quickness. Hawthorne is not afraid to go up and get the bal in traffic. He recently told Scott Kennedy "I talked to Coach (John) Hevesy Sunday night. He told me what I wanted to hear. He told me about the system Coach Urban Meyer is going to run down there and how I would be able to get the ball in a lot of different ways. I could end up receiving, rushing, and possibly playing a little bit of defense. He said all they were recruiting were pure athletes. Coach Hevesy said they are going to try to sign three receivers in this year's class. He said they only have seven right now, and three could be leaving after next year. Everyone thinks they are loaded at the wide receiver position, but they don't have a lot of numbers. They are going to find ways to get you in the game. Florida is going to be a passing offense, and that will give me a really good chance to get the ball," Offers from all the SEC schools and more.

PERCY HARVIN, Virginia Beach, (VA) Landstown (5-11, 182): As a junior, he had 58 catches for 950 yards and 26 rushes for 690 yards. Harvin recorded 32 touchdowns and was named first team all-state at receiver. Harvin is another one with exceptional skills. He has an amazing burst of speed from being at a dead stop and good strength. He recently told Gator Country, "I like the warm weather and they send a lot of receivers in the NFL. Coach (wide receivers Coach Billy) Gonzalez keeps in touch with me. Coach (Urban) Meyer is a real outgoing guy … he is pretty cool."

DAMIAN WILLIAMS, Springdale (AR) (6-0, 177): As a junior he hauled in 45 passes for 530 yards and four touchdowns; rushed for another 130 yards and two touchdowns with one kick return and one punt return for touchdowns. He is part of the Springdale Five, a group that may just be the best five players in the whole state on one team. Williams is one of the favorite targets of quarterback Mitch Mustain. He recently told, "I'm going to take an unofficial visit to Florida in two weekends (6/18). They're one of those schools that I've wanted to go and check out again. I really want to go and see their new coaching staff and the facilities," This is very noteworthy that someone tours Gainesville twice on their own dime in the same summer, all the way from Arkansas.

MELVIN PATTERSON, Alachua (FL) Santa Fe (6-3, 205): As a junior, his high school team opened things up and Patterson flourished, catching 35 balls for 710 yards and seven touchdowns. Patterson is somewhat of an enigma. He was an unknown until the last few months when his name began appearing on offer lists. Only a few miles from Gainesville, Florida would seem like a likely destination possibility. He told Jamie Newberg last week, "With Florida, I love Coach (Urban) Meyer and he is going back to what Florida football should be with lots of hard work… that's the bottom line. He is instilling that, hard work, back into the program and the focus of the game. You just can't waltz into Gainesville and expect to win and you just can't win on talent. You have to work and work hard and that is what Meyer is bringing more than anything and I like it." He claims offers from UF, FSU, LSU, Miami, UCF, West Virginia, East Carolina, NC State, Indiana, and South Florida.

RICKY DIXON, Reserve (LA) East St. John (6-2, 205): As a junior he had 66 receptions for over 1,200 yards and 16 touchdowns. He was the beneficiary of many passes from All-American quarterback Ryan Perriloux last year. Perriloux went on to sign with LSU. It seems very improbable to pull him away from the clutches of the home team, but he insists that the Gators are on top of his list with LSU. Time will tell for this all-star receiver,

TONY WILSON, Daytona Beach (FL) Mainland (5-10, 172): As a junior, Wilson posted over 1,000 all purpose yards with over 600 receiving. On defense he had roughly 20 tackles and one interception and on returns he averaged close to 100 yards a game. He also returned two punts for scores. Although Avery Atkins, his high school teammate will be a freshman at Florida this fall, he recently seems like he is leaning towards Georgia. Nonetheless, he recently told Allen Wallace, "I've been to Florida's campus multiple times just to see it and visit it. They've got great facilities there and I really like their coaches. There's a slight chance that I could stay in-state and go there, but I've been around them and all the other Florida programs for so long that I think I might want something different for college."

DAMON MCDANIEL, Virginia Beach (Va.) Landstown (5-11, 192): As a junior, McDaniel had 68 catches for 1,125 yards and 16 touchdowns. McDaniel also added 300 yds rushing and four rushing touchdowns. He is a teammate of Percy Harvin and an exceptional talent in his own right. He recently told Allen Wallace, "I like how Florida uses their wide receivers as primary targets in their offense. They use a lot of 4 or 5 wide spreads with basically every formation. And it's great how they throw the ball so much."

There are many more top flight receivers the Gators are recruiting right now. Unfortunately we can't get all of them in a single update. As of now, we feel like these are the receivers that best stand a chance of being Gators in 2006.

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