RECRUITING: Hornsby's visit was special

Jamar Hornsby has been to the University of Florida campus plenty of times in the past. He's camped at Florida, been to plenty of Florida football games and he's had other unofficial trips to Gainesville to check things out. The 6-4, 200-pound five-star rated safety/wide receiver from Jacksonville Sandalwood made an official visit to the Florida campus this past weekend and this time things were different than ever before.

(See Jamar Hornsby profile)

When Hornsby committed to the Gators back on November 14 he was excited about the future of Florida football and he felt good about the coaches and the players who will be returning to UF for the 2006 season. Now that he's visited the campus and spent a weekend hanging around with coaches and players, he feels more confident than ever that he has made the right decision and he admits he even got a couple of surprises.

"I did not know that they were as family oriented," said Hornsby, a Gator commitment since November 14. "The coaches know every player and treat them all the same."

This was the first time that Hornsby has been to Gainesville at a time when the coaches and players weren't preparing for the next game. That presented a totally new atmosphere and new opportunities.

"It was pretty cool," he said. "I got to meet some of the players I had not met before."

The visit included a full campus tour, a chance to meet academic advisors and opportunities to talk with Florida football staff, particularly position coaches Billy Gonzales (wide receiver) and Doc Holliday (safeties). The visit also included a fun outing at Lake Wauberg. Some of the players went out on the lake on canoes but not Hornsby.

"I did not go canoeing because there are alligators out there," said Hornsby.

Hornsby had surgery on his knee back on December 19. He is currently rehabbing and though he isn't cleared to run yet, he is power walking. Doctors say he is well ahead of his rehab schedule. He should have no problems being physically ready to go when the freshman recruits report to Florida for the start of Summer B in late June.

He has incentive to get his knee fully rehabilitated and to be ready to go full speed in June. The Florida coaches told all the recruits this weekend that they should come prepared to work hard for some early playing time.

"They told us to come in ready to fight for a position next year," he said. "I have the mindset that my name is on the starting chart. I will be the long snapper if I have to. I just want to get on the field my first year."

Hornsby's GPA and SAT score meet the qualifying limits by the NCAA. He will, however, be taking the SAT again to raise that score.

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