RECRUITING: Who's Recruiting Whom For UF

With a little over a month left in this 2006 recruiting season, let's take a look at the different coaches and how they are doing recruiting their particular areas for the Florida football staff. It has been a fast paced recruiting effort so far and an unprecedented number of early recruits have made a verbal commitment to the University of Florida, the earliest in memory and a testament to a very hard working staff.

A look at the areas the coaches recruit shows where the Gators are landing the top prospects but may not be indicative of how well a coach is doing in that area. Truth be told, there are certain spots in the talent rich state of Florida alone that are having a down year in recruiting. South Florida is one of them. Normally with a dozen or so high Division-I caliber players, southeast Florida seems to have only a handful this season.

A look at the recruiting also does not show the amount of time position coaches and the head coach put into recruiting a prospect. One thing it shows right now, especially with the early commitments, is that a great amount of time and effort was put in early on these prospects and the fruits of the labor are the commitments.

Here is a general look at the each assistant coach and the prospects in his recruiting areas.


Recruiting Area: Addazio recruits the northeastern U.S. (New York, New Jersey, etc.), plus the southwest area of Florida, and a small section of Georgia.

Verbally Committed Prospects: Addazio was partly responsible for UF's first public and the only current running back commitment in 5-11, 185-pound dynamo, Chevon Walker of Ft. Myers Riverdale. Addazio was able to get two more southwest Florida recruits to visit camp where they earned scholarship offers --- 5-10, 175-pound cornerback Markihe Anderson of Ft. Myers Dunbar and 6-2, 298-pound defensive tackle Terron Sanders, both of whom committed after summer visits. Addazio convinced Augusta (GA) Josey defensive end Lawrence Marsh to attend the FSU game for an official visit. The 6-5, 250-pound strong side end committed a couple of days later.

Still Recruiting: Addazio still has a couple of more recruits on the hook. He is still after Miami commitment and Immokalee running back Javarris James. Middleton (NJ) running back Knowshon Moreno is still looking at the Gators and is being recruited by Addazio.

Big Fish That Got Away: Myron Rolle


Recruiting Area: Mullen is responsible for recruiting most of Texas and Arkansas and the area directly south of Gainesville.

Verbally Committed Prospects: Mullen was able to convince Springdale (AR) teammates Ben Cleveland and Damian Williams to come to Florida for an unofficial visit in the summer before their senior season. Cleveland (6-5, 235) is a fleet footed tight end who will go after the ball in flight. Williams (6-0, 177) could possibly be the best of Florida's fine recruiting class of receivers. Both committed in August. Garland (TX) defensive tackle Brandon Antwine visited for the Mississippi State game. Mullen was able to pinpoint this four-star lineman as a lifelong Gator fan and make sure he stayed that way when Antwine committed earlier this month. Zephyrhills safety Bryan Thomas is one of the better athletes in the entire state of Florida. The 6-2, 199-pounder did everything for his high school and committed after unofficially visiting Florida for the FSU game.

Still Recruiting: Mullen has two more big time players remaining on the horizon. Four-star running back Mon Williams of Mesquite (TX) Horn is a beast of a back. Five-star offensive lineman Ian Symonnette of Houston (TX) St. Pius is the top rated player in the entire southwest according to He was being recruited early in the process and some new interest from Symonette has allowed the Gators to get a better look at the mammoth offensive tackle.

Big Fish That Got Away: Jevan Snead


Recruiting Area: Drayton has recruiting responsibilities in the Tampa area and in and around the Atlanta (GA) area. He also has portions of California and the southern part of Texas.

Verbally Committed Prospects: The prospects in Drayton's area were a little slow getting started but he had a big end of November and December. The first to climb on the Gator train was five-star receiver Jarred Fayson of Tampa Hillsborough, who committed directly after the Florida-FSU game. Fayson is a US Army All-American. Jeremy Shockey clone Trent Pupello of Tampa Jefferson is a burly 6-3, and 250-pounder who committed three days after Fayson. A punishing blocker, he has good hands and has reportedly never missed a ball that could be caught thrown his way. Less than one week after Pupello committed, Tampa-Berkeley Prep offensive lineman Jim Barrie decided he wanted to publicly commit to the Gators. The 6-5, 305-pound Barrie, could project to be a guard or a center for Florida. Defensive end Jermaine Cunningham of Stephenson (GA) was the next to publicly commit to the Gators from Drayton's recruiting areas. The four-star, 6-4, 210-pound pass rushing demon is the lone weak side defensive end expected to be signed in the recruiting class. Athlete Riley Cooper of Clearwater Central Catholic went public with his commitment to Florida a little over a week ago. The four-star and two-way standout was first team all-state at both wide receiver and safety.

Still Recruiting: Drayton definitely still has his work cut out for him with recruits not committed yet in his areas. Four-star linebacker A.J. Jones of Tampa-Middleton has been to Gainesville numerous times and has family in Gainesville. He favors the Gators currently over Alabama. Four-star Tampa-Jefferson offensive lineman Daron Rose has his list trimmed to Florida, South Florida, FSU and Michigan. Four-star safety Reshad Jones of Atlanta (GA) Washington, will visit the Gators on January 13. There are also rumblings of a renewed interest from five-star Los Angeles (CA) Dorsey running back Stafon Johnson, another US Army All-American. .

Big Fish That Got Away: DeMarco Murray


Recruiting Area: Hevesy's recruiting area is a little different than most. He has the immediate area north of Gainesville in Florida. He also has parts of Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana. However, he has mainly concentrated on offensive line recruiting and so he has been the main contact for offensive linemen all over the country.

Verbally Committed Prospects: Hevesy can add two notches to his belt for sure this recruiting season so far. Four-star linebacker Dustin Doe of Live Oak Suwannee committed way back in June after the Florida camp. The 6-0, 205-pounder has remained strong in his commitment despite insistence that he would jump ship from another site. Offensive lineman Maurice Hurt of Milledgeville (GA) Baldwin is a 6-4, 344-pounder Hurt committed to Florida directly following his official visit for the Tennessee game back in September. Hurt is scheduled to start classes at Florida in January and participate in spring drills where he projects as a guard.

Still Recruiting: Hevesy still has his hands full in helping sway some big time prospects to announce their intentions for the Gators. Right now it looks like an uphill battle for all three, but the Gators would love to get a hard look from the likes of Birmingham (AL) Huffman offensive lineman Andre Smith who is rated the number one offensive lineman in the country. Running back C.J. Spiller lives only 20 miles from the Florida campus but his well known affection for Florida State makes this a tough battle. The five-star US Army All-American is a blazer and the only one of his type the Gators would likely sign. Five-star offensive lineman Antonio Logan-El of Forestville (MD) is big tackle that has Penn State and Maryland at the top of his list, but he will be visiting Florida January 13.

Big Fish That Got Away: Matt Carufel


Recruiting Area: Strong is another one with different recruiting area responsibilities. He has the Orlando vicinity in-state and most of South Carolina. He also is another that will have specific duties recruiting linebackers (his position)

Verbally Committed Prospects: Lifelong Gator and US Army All-American Corey Hobbs was one of the Gators first verbal commitments. The 6-5, 310-pound defensive tackle from Oviedo could compete for playing time early. Five-star junior college all-American linebacker Larry Grant of the City College of San Francisco has already signed and faxed in his letter of intent to Florida. The 6-3, 225-pound Grant will participate in spring drills where he is expected to compete for Todd McCullough's starting strong side linebacker spot.

Still Recruiting: Strong is also recruiting Georgia Military Academy linebacker Josh Johnson. The big linebacker prospect is a four-star prospect with three years of eligibility to play two years. Johnson originally signed with Georgia in 2004.

Big Fish That Got Away: Akeem Hebron


Recruiting Area: Gonzales has the Daytona Beach area south to Sebastian inside the sunshine state. He also recruits Maryland, Virginia, and the Washington DC area.

Verbally Committed Prospects: Gonzales was off to a slow start before coming through in a big way last week.'s number one wide receiver Percy Harvin and his four-star teammate Damon McDaniel from Landstown (VA) committed on national television a week ago. The touchdown machine Harvin is a US Army All-American who is also the Virginia sprint champion. McDaniel is a confident route runner who is extraordinary with the ball in his hands.

Still Recruiting: Highland Springs (VA) linebacker Jarrell Miller is an Army All-American who can play either strong side or middle linebacker. Miller had a great visit to Gainesville and is said to be seriously considering the Gators. Brandywine (MD) Gwynn Park defensive tackle Phillip Taylor is another big time defender the Gators are bringing in the big recruiting weekend of January 20th. Running back Keiland Williams of Chatham (VA) Hargrave Academy visited Florida and by all accounts had a great visit. It seems like it may be an uphill battle at this point to land Williams.

Big Fish That Got Away: Chris Bell


Recruiting Area: Mattison recruits the Jacksonville area and the southeast corner of Georgia. He also has some of the Midwestern states because of the time he spent at Notre Dame.

Verbally Committed Prospects: Mattison landed five-star athlete Jamar Hornsby of Jacksonville Sandalwood, who has become a relentless recruiter for this incoming class. Hornsby was tabbed as one of Meyer's top targets when he visited Meyer the day after signing day 2005. The 6-4, 195 pound safety is also an Army All-American but will miss the game due to an ACL tear that required surgery. Days after Hornsby publicly committed to Florida in November, four-star athlete Justin Williams of nearby Folkston (GA) Charlton County jumped on board. The 6-2, 184 pound Williams also plays on both sides of the ball but will most likely end up on defense for the Gators. Half-brothers Brandon James Jacques Rickerson of St Augustine decided they would become Gators shortly after the Florida-Florida state game. Rickerson is a 5-10, 180-pound corner who is rated four stars. He has a chance to play immediately. James is a dynamic return man who was heavily recruited by UF for that reason. The 5-7, 175-pound dynamo also figures to be a multi-purpose back/receiver. The biggest fish of all for Mattison was five-star quarterback Tim Tebow of Ponte Vedra Beach Nease. The US Army All-American will enroll early at Florida and compete for the quarterback spot in the spring. Meanwhile, he's joining his buddy Hornsby in recruiting for the Gators.

Still Recruiting: To my knowledge, Mattison has pretty much solidified all the recruits in his area and isn't recruiting any more. He can now concentrate on keeping up with the commitments and recruiting the rest of the defensive linemen on the board.

Big Fish That Got Away: Jared Odrick


Recruiting area: Holliday recruits southeast Florida (Broward, Palm Beach, and Dade Counties). He also recruits North Carolina, and Mississippi.

Verbally Committed Prospects: A huge pickup early for the Gators and someone that has been solid and recruiting for the Gators for a very long time is offensive lineman Carl Johnson of Durham (NC) Southern. The 6-6, 335 pound, US Army All-American is another early enrollee that has been working hard to help the Gators land some other top-rated offensive linemen.

Still Recruiting: With only one recruit committed, Holliday still has a lot of work to do. It all starts down south with Ft Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas teammates tackle Sam Young (five stars) and tackle Marcus Gilbert. Young is the Army All-American and more highly publicized of the duo, but Gilbert is playing in the CaliFlorida Bowl. Four-star defensive back Darin Baldwin of Homestead South Dade has been to Gainesville numerous times and lived in Gainesville for a couple of years as a child. Miami-Gulliver Prep defensive back Patrick Robinson (four stars) is sort of new on Gator radar screens but someone Holliday has been targeting for quite some time. Army All-American Linebacker Brandon Spikes has been to Gainesville numerous times and is scheduled to announce his final decision in San Antonio at the Army game. Four teammates from Olive Branch, Mississippi round out Holliday's recruiting list --- safety Allen Walker, athletes Anthony Summers and Markeith Summers, and defensive end Victor Thomas. Walker hits like a ferocious linebacker. The Summers brothers play on both sides of the ball, but would likely play defense if they become Gators. Thomas is another big defensive end and a good run stopper from that position.

Big Fish That Got Away: Dan Wenger


Recruiting Area: Heater has Gainesville, the panhandle, and up into Alabama. He also specializes in cornerback recruiting mainly because he has to do a lot of the coordinating of the entire recruiting process.

Verbally Recruited Prospects: Gainesville PK Yonge's Derrick Robinson is a blazing cornerback that most likely won't see the field for the Gators. He is rated one of the best baseball players in the country and is expected to get drafted high in the first round of the next Major League Baseball Draft. The 5-11, 168 pounder with 4.25 speed in the 40 earned a scholarship at camp and would be a great surprise for the staff if he actually enrolled in the fall.

Still Recruiting: Cornerback Jai Eugene of Destrehan (LA) is rated's number one cornerback in the country. Eugene visited Gainesville for Friday Night Lights and seems earnest about his willingness to get away from Louisiana.

Big Fish That Got Away: Hard to call here, with the limited territory.

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