Markihe - Gators are a family of champions

Gator commitment and cornerback Markihe Anderson visited the University of Florida this weekend and came away even more comfortable with his commitment to the Gators. The Ft. Myers Dunbar speedster chose Florida because of the trust he placed in the staff and coaches and that trust was reaffirmed this weekend.

(Markihe Anderson profile)

By all counts, Markihe had a blast. "I enjoyed every minute of it. They have a big family up there," he said while on his way back home.

The family atmosphere was the theme of our conversation as Anderson made it a point to note that football does not always work out for everyone as a professional career when they've graduated from college. As a result, Anderson thinks he made the only reasonable choice for himself.

"I am looking forward to a relationship with the coaches and getting on the field," he said. "I just look forward to the way the coaches are going to treat us as a student-athlete. I am also looking forward to graduating from the University of Florida. I might do sports medicine, or anesthesiology, or radiology as a major."

Academics are a major concern but it is the coaches interests in the players off the field that lured Anderson to Gainesville. There were no limits or high expectations placed on him from the get go. He feels that they want him to show up on campus and mature as a person and football player.

"Coach Heater, Coach Meyer, all of them make you feel like you are one of their family," Anderson said. "I am just looking forward to building that relationship not only on the field, but in the classroom and in life. I love Coach Heater and have a good feeling that he and I will be real close."

"They didn't give me any expectations, they just told me about what's going to happen with academics and that it isn't only going to be about football at the University of Florida, they will be close and have a family relationship."

Avery Atkins, possibly starting at cornerback next season, was Anderson's host on the visit. The freshman from Daytona Beach has been a popular host for recruits and seems to relate well to all that he hosts.

"Avery Atkins was my host," Anderson said. "We have some of the same interests, and share some of the same personalities. He is a great guy to be around. I am looking forward to hanging out with him as someone to be around and get close to. We hung around a lot. We rode around and ate a lot. I got to be around a lot of the players like Brandon Siler and Reggie Nelson. I can't wait to get up there in June."

Although the expectations are not set for Anderson, the motivation is there for him to come in and play early at Florida. Florida loses both starting cornerbacks from the 2005 season. With only four scholarship cornerbacks returning and three of them seniors with little playing time, an opportunity to play early in his career is staring at him right in the face.

"It is a big motivation thing for me," he said. "I know if my performance is up to par I can get on the field my freshman year. I am ready for it. I am going to work hard and try and get on the field and help the Gators win SEC Championships."

We keep hearing about these championships from members of the 2006 recruiting class. It is something they are already communicating about and are set on building a new era for Florida football. These prospects seem to want to be champions on and off the field.

"We set the goal already for the next few years to win some championships," he said. "Failure is not an option at Florida, it's just like academics. They had 30 players with a 3.0 G.P.A. that is something I am looking forward to doing myself."

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