US ARMY GAME: Fayson Solidifies Friendships

SAN ANTONIO --- A hamstring pull may limit how much Tampa Hillsborough's Jarred Fayson can play in the US Army All-American Game on Saturday but it can't prevent him from making a lot of new friends. He's rooming this week with Percy Harvin and the two five-star Florida commitments are discovering they have plenty of things to talk about.

Harvin is the number one rated wide receiver in the nation by while Fayson is rated number three. They first met up when Florida played host to Tennessee back in September and now that they're going to be teammates in Gainesville, they're using this week in San Antonio to solidify the friendship.

"I knew Percy from the Tennessee game," said Fayson Monday afternoon. "He's a real cool dude … real down to earth. He's my roommate. He is a cool and a real funny dude. We are getting to know each other real well and building a relationship. We will be real tight in the future."

Because he is nursing the hamstring pull, Fayson spent most of Monday's East team practice watching his roomie show what he could do.

"They can't jam him," Fayson said. "He is fast enough to run the post and the deep routes. You give him the ball and let him do his thing. He and I talked today about us being back on punt returns like they do at Ohio State … and let people contemplate who they want to kick it to."

Their conversations range from football to the Gators to girls.

"We just talked about our girlfriends," he said about the first night as roommates. "We also talked about when he was going to Florida and about our teammates."

Last week, Fayson was in California to play in the CaliFlorida Bowl, a game won by the Florida team, 20-0. He tweaked the hamstring last week and then hurt it again Monday. The injury has caused the East coaching staff to re-evaluate what they can do with him in this, his second all-star game in two weeks.

"I just pulled my hamstring," Fayson said. "It's like the third time in less than two months. I didn't practice the second practice but in the first practice I caught a little out route and came up lame. They are looking at me as a quarterback out here so I don't have to do so much running. That's fine, I came out here because I want to play in the game, but I have to be smart about the situation."

Fayson was among several future Gators on the Florida team in the CaliFlorida Bowl. Florida commitments Dustin Doe, Jim Barrie, Bryan Thomas, Marcus Gilbert and Jacques Rickerson were on the Florida team and they spent the week forming a strong bond.

"I had never been to California before so it was a lot of fun but I didn't play," he said. "I had a great time with my future (Florida) teammates."

As luck would have it, he'll be playing in this game with a few other future Gator teammates. He and his future Gator buddies are using the time to help a few of the Army game's undecided's make up their minds. There's nothing they would like than convince one or two players to join them in Gainesville. The uncommitted prospects see a group of future teammates that are growing closer and closer.

"I will have a lot of time with some friends and my future teammates Corey Hobbs, Carl Johnson and Percy Harvin," Fayson said. "(Tim) Tebow and I have been working out together for a few couple of weeks now. I will be having a good time being with a lot of the best players from around the country that I read about all the time playing with all these guys."

There will be a little down time for the players in between practices and meetings and short field trips. Fayson will spend a lot of that free time in front of a computer.

"Last night was our first night here, so we got a snack and went to bed," he said. "Tonight after about nine, I will probably go to the lounge and play some play station."

He missed the Gators big Outback Bowl win over the Iowa Hawkeyes on Monday. The east team was in full practice mode when the Gators won 31-24. Fayson got the news from the Gator coaching staff.

"I got some text messages from the coaches and heard that Dallas Baker got the MVP," he said.

As his East teammates are finding out, Jarred Fayson is one of the most personable and likeable players on the team. While his on the field role may be limited because of injury, he's a Gator all the way and he is making his presence felt in a big way.

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