RECRUITING: Is Cuff On UF's Radar Screen?

National signing day is more than seven months away, yet recruiting classes are being filled at a faster rate than ever before. While for some prep football stars, that's a good thing, there are others that have been overlooked by college recruiters and scouting services. Vance Cuff, a cornerback from Moultrie (GA) Colquitt County is one of those late arrivers on the recruiting scene.

(See Vance Cuff profile)

While he's still somewhat of an unknown, Cuff is starting to gain a lot of interest, particularly since he turned in an outstanding performance at a combine that was held in Gainesville back in May. Since then, several top tier football programs have been expressing interest in this 5-11, 175-pounder with 4.35 speed in the 40-yard dash.

"When I went to the combine in Gainesville, the coaches like the man coverage I played," he said.

Most of the top programs in the country had at least one coach at that combine and some of them sent their well-known head coaches. It's obvious from the growing attention that he's receiving that Cuff made a very good impression.

"I am interested in Florida, Ohio State, Georgia, Miss State, Auburn, and a few other schools," he said. "I have a written offer from Ohio State and South Carolina."

The combine was held on the same practice fields the Florida Gators work out on and most of the UF staff was there to evaluate more than 400 athletes. Even with so many high school standouts, the Florida staff picked Cuff out of the bunch. They've been in contact ever since and they want to see more.

"I am going down there on July 21st with a couple of my coaches," Cuff said. "My coach talked to (offensive line) Coach (John) Hevesy and he said there is a big possibility when I come down there I will leave with an offer. That would put Florida number one on my list."

He went on to talk about the schools he is highly interested in now.

FLORIDA: "I just really liked the Gators ever since I was young. I want to play in Gainesville. I would like to play for the Florida Gators. When I was younger I never thought I would have that chance, but now that there is a chance, I would like to."

OHIO STATE: "After the combine, it was still late May and they called and came down. They came in the picture late, but they offered and I want to go to school and want to play football when I go to school."

GEORGIA: "I am going to Georgia next Friday. It is kind of the same deal with Florida where they think they will offer me."

MISSISSIPPI STATE: "They were the first to call me. They called on May 1st. They came to school on the last day of school and he met my coach."

AUBURN: "We went as a team to the camp at Auburn. I had a lot of good games. After that they showed me around the school. They called me before the camp and had some general conversation. My coach had me playing a lot of man and they said I did well at the camp."

When it comes time to make a decision, Cuff has a couple of ideas of what will drive that decision. He also has a strong family influence to help guide him through the decision process.

"I want to come in and play," he said. "I also want my family to come see me play My father will help me in the decision. He got me started from day one playing football. He isn't about football --- he wants me to play, but he wants me at a good school."

And the classroom is also very important he had a good junior year in the classroom and recently took the ACT where he feels he did well. He also flourishes as an athlete in other sports.

"I run track and play basketball," he said. "I won my region in the 100 meters and we won in the 4x100. I came in third in the high jump in my region. We came in third overall in state in 5-A."

He also loves the weights and power cleans 260 pounds.

Like a lot of kids that will be attending Friday Night Lights on July 21, Vance Cuff is coming to Gainesville with the hope of earning a scholarship offer. Another performance in Gainesville like the one he had back in May and he will no longer be classified as a sleeper.

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