RECRUITING: Florida Halfway To Goal At DT

There's an old football adage that says you can't ever get enough good defensive tackles on your football team. Because they're embraced in a combat situation on every play from scrimmage, defensive tackles are a premium to any team which is why the Florida Gators are hoping to fill a big need by signing as many as four in this recruiting class. The Gators are halfway home to their goal with two public commitments.

Florida has offered a lot of outstanding tackles, but now that the Gators have two of their targeted players committed, they can afford to be a bit selective with the final two. Here are the players to watch as Florida continues to build recruiting momentum for a class that has the early look of a top five:

COMMITMENT: Corey Hobbs, Oviedo (FL) (6-5, 310): A four star-rated lineman, the Father's Day commitment really surprised no one with his decision but it was a welcomed event. Hobbs is a lifetime Gator fan and Florida is the team that he has had on his mind for a long time. His huge body and toughness will be huge in the middle of the defense.

Hobbs told Scott Kennedy of, "They've been recruiting me to play the three technique at defensive tackle. That's what Coach (Greg) Mattison has told me about coming in. I think Florida is the best choice for me. I'm real excited about seeing them this year. They're on the rise, and I want to win a national championship. I think with Coach (Urban) Meyer, Coach Mattison, and the rest of the staff they can do that. I love Florida, and my whole family is behind me on this one."

COMMITMENT: Terron Sanders, Bradenton (FL) Southeast (6-2, 298): Not rated yet on due to lack of good film on Sanders, he will inevitably be listed very high. At Florida's camp in mid-June, Sanders was unblockable. His performance wowed the staff and led to his offer. He committed almost immediately.

When Ryan Jordan of broke the commitment, Sanders said, "I just recently got an offer from the University of Florida and I committed to them last Saturday. Since I was a toddler I always liked them and I went to their camp on June 12 through the 15th and I called Coach (Steve) Addazio on Saturday and he gave me a full ride offer to come play for them. I discussed it with my parents and I chose to commit. I like their enthusiasm and how the players succeed on and off the field. They have one of the top academic programs in the country,"

Kenrick Ellis, Greenacres (FL) John I. Leonard (6-5, 320): A four star- rated defensive tackle from south Florida, Ellis was another player who played big at the Florida camp. Ellis plays in a very competitive environment in South Florida and he's being recruited by Coach Doc Holliday. He uses his size to his advantage, throwing his weight around in the middle where he disrupts everything. Ellis recently cut his list of schools to Florida, Miami, FSU, South Carolina, LSU, and Oklahoma.

He mentioned in a recent interview with Gator Country, "Coach Meyer is a good coach. When I was up there I felt welcome. With Urban Meyer, Florida is going to be a powerhouse."

Tom McEowen, Langehorne (PA) Neshaminy (6-4, 280): Another four star recruit that is high on the Gators. Network scout Bob Lichtenfels says, "If there's a kid with a better work ethic than McEowen, I'd like to see him. He dedicated himself to the game and to making himself better; he gained 40 pounds in a little over a year. He is one of the best big athletes you'll find in the country this season."

McEowen recently trimmed his list to two schools and Florida is one of them. The Gators are scheduled to get a visit from him during the big junior camp weekend of July 22. He recently told Lichtenfels, "Coach Meyer is the new big deal. I love how Coach Mattison makes me feel when he talks about how I could fit in their system. I can't wait to go down there and see everything."

Phillip Taylor, Brandywine (MD) Gwynn Park (6-4, 340): Taylor is an absolute beast in the middle of the defensive line. He is rated four stars and number 16 among defensive tackles by He is another player who uses his size to his advantage. He's almost unstoppable in the middle of the line.

Taylor is keeping his options wide open but he will be tripping to Gainesville for the Junior Day in a couple of weeks. Earlier in the week, he told Gator Country, "I've heard so much about playing inThe Swamp and the atmosphere that they have down there so that's a definite plus, Coach (Urban) Meyer is a great guy who has accomplished a lot in very little time so I look forward to continue keeping in contact with him."

Brandon Antwine, Garland (TX) (6-0.5, 271): Rated four stars and number 14 in the nation among defensive tackles, Antwine is a contrast to the huge tackles that seem to dominate the Florida recruiting board. He makes his presence know with athleticism, explosion and his intensity on the field.

When Antwine recently cut his list of schools to two, his home state was shut out. Florida and Southern Cal are the final choices for this bigtime disruptor. He recently told Gator Country, "Well the University of Florida ... I wanted to be a Gator ever since I was a little kid. I was just always a fan because they were pretty good. There is a whole bunch of NFL players from Florida that have made it to be what I want to be. (Offensive Coordinator) Coach Mullen is a real cool guy. He is funny at times, but when it is time to get down to business he is real serious about it. They tell me I just need to come and prove myself and be hungry."

Jared Odrick, Lebanon (PA) (6-6, 285): He is listed as a four star on as an offensive lineman, but the Gators are recruiting him at defensive tackle. Currently, he lists Florida, Penn State, Minnesota, Georgia and Virginia as his leaders. Odrick is a hoss on the line. He recently told Allen Wallace of, "I like what Florida has going with their new coach, Urban Meyer, and the staff there. They've always been a top-notch program and it's a really nice place there. They didn't recruit any defensive linemen last year, and they're going to have a lot leaving soon. I've got a good opportunity to play early there," he said.

Bruce Campbell, Hamden (CT) Hyde Leadership School (6-6, 270): Although he plays offensive tackle and defensive end in high school, Campbell is being recruited by the Gators as a defensive tackle. rates him as a four star offensive line recruit. Although he hasn't talked much about the Gators, he continues to list them in every update.

Leslie Stirrups Tampa (FL) Hillsborough (6-1, 275): This is another underrated player that should move up the ratings system quite soon. Like Antwine, Stirrups relies on his quickness to get the job done. He is able to get into gaps before offensive linemen can react. He is a teammate of dual threat quarterback Jarred Fayson, who is also high on Florida's recruiting board.

Stirrups recently told Jamie Newberg, "With Florida, I like the Swamp and the coaching staff. They treat everyone like family."


Reggie Odom, DeLand (FL) (6-2, 295): He isn't listing Florida, but he plans on visiting Gainesville for the July 22 Junior Day. He has a bunch of offers, but none currently from the big three Florida schools. Odom's chance is to shine that weekend and make an impression on the Gator coaches. He is a great kid and a four star player.

He told Gator Country in April, "I went to the Florida Junior Day (in April) and it was really nice. The coaches showed a lot of love and everything. It was real nice. They taught us about the (school) environment and how all the other students are basically lost on their first day. But, all the football players during the summer, they will show you to every one of your classes. So, you, being a freshman, will know where you are going and not look like a chicken with his head cut off. I met the whole coaching staff. Coach (Billy) Gonzalez is the recruiter for this area, so he and I talked a lot. Coach Mattison, the defensive line coach and Coach Meyer, we all talked. I've gotten a lot of mail from Coach Gonzalez."

Fightin Gators Top Stories