Newest Gator Commit Always Wanted To Be At UF

The latest commitment to Coach Urban Meyer and the University of Florida just went from anonymous to well known. Markihe Anderson of Ft. Myers (FL) Dunbar was pretty much flying under the recruiting radar until he camped at Florida a couple of weeks ago. Now he is the sixth commitment for Coach Urban Meyer for the Class of 2006.

The 5-10, 175-pound lock down corner impressed Meyer and the Florida coaches when he was in Gainesville. In Gator Country's camp overview, he was listed as a sleeper since he was relatively new on the recruiting scene. His low profile is now high profile, and it's ironic that this new Gator always wanted to be at Florida.

"Thursday I got a call from (Dunbar) Coach Bologa that they [Florida coaches] were interested," Anderson said. "I called Coach (Steve) Addazio and he said they wanted to make it work. Then, Coach (Chuck) Heater wanted to talk to me and he said the same and that he needed to find Coach Meyer and told me to call back in 20 minutes. When I called back, he found Coach Meyer and he said they watched my tape again and the more they watched it the more they liked me, so they were going to offer the full scholarship. I told them they knew my love for Florida, so they knew the answer. I told them thank you for everything because that was my dream. They were loving that person that really wants to be there, someone whose heart will be at Florida."

When he left Gainesville after the Florida camp, Anderson had a good feeling that he had done everything necessary to make a favorable impression. He was confident that he had done well, but he was still on pins and needles as he waited further word from the Gator staff.

"After I left camp they told me they would keep in contact with me," he said. "As the week progressed I called to see how they were doing and to find out what they were thinking and I left my highlight tape up there. Then I got a call from Coach Bologa and he said 'they loved you' and they were going to make it work. They said I could be one of the ones that help Florida out. They just wanted to make sure the decision was right as the week went along."

Anderson grew up a Gator fan so the time spent in Gainesville only affirmed everything he felt before camp. Because of his low profile, he knew that he needed an outstanding camp since the coaches would be watching him closely.

"It was a great experience … I loved the camp," Anderson said. "The facilities and everything …the coaches and players treated me like family. I just had to find out something that would separate myself, because there are a lot of guys that are faster. They liked the way I attack the ball and my personality toward the coaches and they liked the way I speak to people and stuff like that. They told me they like me not just as a player, but as a person too. That is where my heart was. I came to camp hoping to get the offer and I ended up getting it. I loved the whole Gainesville atmosphere. I really can't explain what it was like."

On his Gainesville agenda was to get to know the Florida coaching staff. His previous contacts had been brief, but this was a chance to spend extensive time with them. By the time he left, he felt very comfortable with everyone on the Florida staff.

"I talked to Coach Addazio and Coach Heater at camp," he said. "I love their personalities. I love them because they loved me, and not someone as just a football player, but someone that is like family and people I can talk to.

"Coach Meyer Is great. I like the way he just sat back and watched. He loved to see the best go at the best. He actually separated me and the best receiver right in front of him, Then I I locked the guy down on back to back plays and he got excited."

His camp plans were altered a bit once he got the news that Florida was offering. Miami, FSU, Auburn, Tennessee, UCF, South Carolina and Georgia were all recruiting him hard. Central Michigan and Rutgers offered. There were other camp plans in the making, but now that he's going to be a Gator there is no need to go anywhere else.

"I was going to go to Florida State and Miami camps, but since I got offered at Florida I didn't need to go to those because I knew that is where I wanted to be," he said.

His relative obscurity may be because he grew up playing on the other side of the ball. He is a wide receiver but now he's found a home on defense. It stands to reason that Anderson has a big upside once he really learns the position more.

"I play wide receiver too, so I really liked Randy Moss," he said. "I was always a receiver through school and just started playing defensive back last year. I was able to dominate on both sides of the ball.

Anderson has never been to a Gator game even though he grew up a Gator fan. He came to Gainesville and the campus at Florida for the first time and was blown away by what he saw. The coaching staff was mutually blown away by Anderson's skills and competitive nature. He is a welcome addition to a growing class of commitments. The Gators will probably be going after five defensive backs this year and Markihe Anderson is very happy that he will be one of the five.

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