RECRUITING: Wenger Not Ready To Name Favorites

Dan Wenger just might be the best center in the country and he's playing on what is most likely the best high school offensive line in the nation at Ft. Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas. He's got a who's who list of callers offering scholarships but the 6-4, 285-pounder isn't quite ready to start naming favorites.

(See Daniel Wenger profile)

"No favorites really," he said. "There are more schools that are a little bit ahead right now and they are Florida, Duke, Oklahoma, Purdue, Notre Dame, Pitt, Penn State, and Boston College. With all of those I am pretty open but they are all the ones that are probably recruiting me the hardest."

The newest contact period started September 1, and coaches from universities are allowed to call the recruits once a week. Penn State made the first call but the Florida Gators weren't far behind.

"The first to call was from Penn State Coach (Tom) Bradley," he said. "(My first call from Florida) was (offensive line) Coach (John) Hevesy, he just wanted to see how I was doing and playing. That was really it. The next week, coach (Doc) Holiday and Coach Hevesy talked to me and checked in and said they needed me and stuff like that."

Wenger made it to Gainesville over the summer and had a good time on his trip. He certainly came away with a very favorable impression of the Gators and the University of Florida.

"I took an unofficial up there over the summer and I really liked it a lot," he said. "I liked the whole atmosphere, where it's located, and everything about it. I just really fell in love with the place. I talked to Coach Meyer and all the other coaches on the staff, Coach Hevesy, and Coach Holliday and the strength coach Marotti."

Wenger likes the way the Florida coaching staff has raised expectations for the team and for each individual. He thinks the Florida coaches are dedicated to helping the players reach lofty goals.

"It's just they are very disciplined and hard nosed and always know what they are talking about," he said. "You know they will always be there for you. You know its going to be hard but it will be fun at the same time too."

The Gator coaching staff was hoping to have Wenger visit this weekend for the matchup in The Swamp of sixth-ranked Florida and fourth-ranked Tennessee. It promises to be a memorable football game but unfortunately, Wenger won't be able to make it to Gainesville.

"I would love to (be there) but I can't make it this weekend," he said. "I am definitely going to make it up there sometime. I have seen them a little bit already. The two games have been on pay per view, but I will definitely be watching the Tennessee game."

Wenger has helped Aquinas get off to a fast start this season. He's doing the job on the field and in the classroom and that is music to the ears of the coaches who are recruiting him.

"We are off to a 2-0 start,' he said. "We beat Cardinal Gibbons 35-3 and Plantation 31-12. I did pretty good. There are still some things I need to work on, but all in all pretty good. My classes are going very well and my hardest class is marine biology."

Wenger teams on the offensive line with Sam Young and Marcus Gilbert, a pair of big, mobile tackles that the Gators are also recruiting very hard. If Florida pulled off this recruiting trifecta in February, it is likely the Gators would have the most highly regarded incoming offensive line recruits in the nation.

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