RECRUITING: Jarred Fayson has a new leader

Last week, All-American athlete extraordinaire Jarred Fayson of Tampa Hillsborough butted heads with the top-ranked school (Lakeland) in the USA Today poll, a 21-12 loss for the Terriers in the Kickoff Classic. One week later Fayson jump-started his team to a 21-20 victory over Seffner Armwood, the top-ranked team in Class 4A.

(Jarred Fayson profile)

"It meant a lot to break the streak but we'll them again in the playoffs," Fayson reasoned. "Anytime that you can beat the back-to-back state champions it means a lot. They hadn't lost since 2002.

"I went six for eleven with one touchdown pass and one interception. I had an eight-yard touchdown run. I'm not trying to make excuses, but it had rained just before the game and the ball slipped out of my hand on the pick."

Fayson scored the first touchdown of the game on an eight-yard run. It would be the only score in the first half. Armwood scored two unanswered touchdowns in the third quarter before Fayson brought Hillsborough back with a 58-yard strike to Joshua Sams.

Fayson couldn't wait to share his good fortune with a couple of his close buddies.

"I talked to Jamar Hornsby (Jacksonville Sandalwood wide receiver)," Fayson said. "He had called and told me that and congratulated me. He told me that he did really good with his team. I had left (Tim) Tebow (St. Augustine Nease quarterback) a message because they had played Hoover (Alabama) and he had a real awesome game. He hasn't called me back yet. I'm sure he'll call me back during the week. All three of us talk every week."

The Loathsome Trio would present many sleepless nights for defensive coordinators should they opt to attend the same school. The trio became friends as their stock continued to rise throughout their junior year and into summer camps, including Urban Meyer's Friday Night Lights camp.

Fayson indicated that there have been a couple of changes (since we last spoke) regarding recruiting. First of all, he has a new leader, but only by a hair. The 6-0, 195-pound speedster also seems to be taking a much stronger consideration about catching passes.

"Everyone stands about even right now," Fayson said. "Florida is definitely my leader, right now. Miami is right there. Miami hasn't been recruiting me as hard. I'm sure once the time comes Miami will be recruiting me a lot harder but I like Florida a lot."

"Florida has the edge by just a tad right now. I suppose that I could probably give you a top four. It would probably be Florida, Miami, Iowa, and Oklahoma. They all have systems that could allow me to do a lot."

He is seemingly taking advice from coaches who have told him what his greatest strength would be at future levels.

"They definitely realize that I can play any (offensive skills) position," said Fayson, "but when I went up there for the Friday Night Lights, and I was throwing, Coach (Meyer) said that 'there is no doubt in my mind that you can come here and play quarterback if you compete. May the best man have the position. You can also come here and play as a true freshman at receiver.'

"I'm getting professional opinions from Coach Urban Meyer and other coaches. He (Coach Meyer) told me that I can play quarterback at any college in the nation, but the team would have to use my talents correctly. If I come to Florida or anywhere else, I can be a third or fourth round draft guy. But, if I come in as a receiver, I can be a first round guy.

"He talked to me about H-back," Fayson continued. "He talked to me about lining up in the backfield and running the option and also splitting out to catch passes and using me all around the field. I'm definitely the type of guy that wants to see it on a lot of film. It's crunch time."

Players with Fayson's athleticism always have options. One option that I'm fairly certain is that Fayson and Hornsby have discussed the merits of catching passes from Tebow. What are the chances The Loathsome Trio will take up arms in Gainesville?

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