The prospects, who are coming in from as close as Orange Park and as far away as New Jersey, pay their own way for a day that includes a trip to Lake Wauberg, a tour of the football facilities and an academic presentation that is geared to help their families see the support structure in place to help Florida football players succeed in the classroom.
The Gators are bringing in a pair of offensive headliners in running backs Armando Allen of Hialeah Miami-Lakes and Noel Devine of North Fort Meyers. Allen ranks in nearly everyone's top 10 among the nation's running backs. Devine? Just about everybody has him either number one or number two. Also coming in is little known Brian Sumlar of nearby Orange Park, who's trying to make a big time impression on the Gators staff.
The Gators are bringing in only one wide receiver prospect and that's D.J. Donley of Folkston (GA) Charlton County. Donley could end up on the other side of the ball. He's got the size to be either a safety or a linebacker at the next level. His former high school teammate is Justin Williams, who was a prominent member of Florida's 2006 recruiting class.
There are four very prominent offensive linemen expected in headed up by Georgia commitment Trinton Sturdivant of Wadesboro (NC) Anson. The Florida staff is hoping for a big impression, one that might cause Sturdivant to re-think his commitment to Georgia. James Wilson, the big tackle from Ponte Vedra Nease, will get a chance to visit with his old high school teammate, Tim Tebow, who is already on the Florida campus. Fort Meade's Micah Grimes will be in for junior day and then he will be staying for the camp, hoping to get a Florida offer. Mike Iltis of Sarasota Riverview isn't well known but his recruiting stock is on the rise.
A couple of Orlando-area defensive linemen are scheduled to visit. Jerry Howard of Orlando Jones is already committed to the Gators. His good friend Ian Williams of Longwood Lyman, who is a favorite on the Gator Country message boards, will be joining him. They have become good friends on the recruiting trail.
Two linebackers are expected in. One is Brandon Hicks of Jacksonville Forrest, who already has a Florida offer. The UF staff wants to make a big impression with Hicks and his family. Sturdivant's teammate, Barquell Rivers, is talented enough that he could become a serious possibility on the linebacker recruiting board.
Because the Florida roster is low on cornerbacks, it's very important for the Gators to make a big impression on some of the talented kids coming in for the weekend. The headliner among the defensive backs is Woodny Turenne from College of the Sequoias in California. Jamire Williams of Jacksonville First Coast is expected in. He's been working out in Jacksonville with current Gator cornerback Reggie Lewis, who is a First Coast alum. Rudell Crim of Tallahassee Rickards has offers to play running back but the Gators are interested in him as a corner. Michael Bowman, a teammate of Sturdivant and Rivers, expects to make it in along with Ahmad Black of defending national champion Lakeland. Black will be staying for camp where he hopes a strong showing will result in a commitable Florida offer.
There is a possibility Florida won't be taking a safety in this recruiting class but Morgan Burnett of College Park (GA) North Clayton and Evan Rodriguez of North Bergen (NJ) will be coming in just the same. Both have SEC-caliber ability.
Gator Country has learned that the Florida staff intends to sign a punter in the 2007 recruiting class, so Chas Henry of Dallas (GA) East Paulding will get plenty of attention. Eric Wilbur, who has handled the Florida punting chores the last three seasons, will be graduating after the 2006 season so finding a replacement is a priority.
There are a few more prospects expected in and if they make it, we will be here to share that with you. It's a busy week for the Florida coaching staff. Following the junior day, camp will be in session for the next ten days. It promises to be an exciting time in Gainesville for hundreds of football prospects.