Weekend Recruiting Guide

The Gators are sitting at 20 verbal commitments with the recent addition of cornerback Adrian Bushell. Head coach of DeSoto High School Dave Meadows confirmed that Bushell did indeed call Urban Meyer yesterday morning to inform him of his decision.

The hold up has been that Adrian Bushell and teammate Cyrus Gray would publicly announce on the same day. Bushell told me that he would announce on Wednesday but that did not happen. Today is the day that both are supposed to go public. We will keep an eye on that situation closely.

The Gators are scheduled to bring in a total of 12 recruits this weekend, and there will be a definite connection in some shape or fashion with all 12. They are in no particular order: Ricky Barnum (UF commit), Jeff Demps (UF commit), Lerentee McCray (UF commit), Dee Finley (UF commit), Frankie Hammond (UF commit), Chaz Sutton (UF commit), Burton Scott, Omar Hunter, Ramon Buchanan, Julio Jones, Jamie Harper and William Green.

The first thing that jumps out is the high number of committed Gators (6-of-12). The next thing to note is the number of kids from the state of Alabama (4) with Jones, Finley, Scott and Green.

Then look at the relationship between Demps and McCray - two that have recently gone public for the Gators. McCray was with Julio Jones last weekend when both visited Florida State, and during his ESPN interview said that Jones was an 85 percent chance to Florida. Wishful thinking? Who knows?

The other thing that jumps out is that every recruit coming in this weekend with the exception of Jones has been rumored to be a Gator at one time or another. Lastly, 7 of the 12 visitors in played in the Under Armour All-Star game in Orlando at the beginning of the month - Julio Jones, Hunter, Buchanan, Scott, Finley, Harper and Barnum. Harper and Finley were on the Black/Silver team while the rest were on the Red/White team.

I have said since Orlando that Hunter is 100 percent Gator, and I still maintain that he is going to be a Gator in the end. I like that his teammate and long time friend T.J. Pridemore announced earlier this week for the Gators. I believe that this one could be over this weekend and that he will never make it to Athens. However, I have also heard that he will not announce until the Saturday before the Super Bowl. Regardless, it will be the Gators on signing day for the nation's No. 2 ranked defensive tackle.

The next possible commitment from this weekend in my opinion is Buchanan. He has said to every media outlet that he is still a 'Cane. I know what he is saying behind closed doors and that's not it. In fact, I hear that he is telling other committed Gators that he can't wait to become one himself. I guess we will see soon enough, but like Hunter, I fully expect to see Cookie in the Orange and Blue very soon.

The next logical choice to become a Gator is William Green. I believe that Hunter, Ramon Buchanan and William Green are all silent commitments to the Gators and have been for sometime. Green is under an intense amount of pressure from fans in the state of Alabama. This is one that may not be over until signing day, but I hear good things about him just like Hunter and Buchanan.

Sutton, Barnum, Finley, Hammond, Demps and McCray are all very excited about getting down to Gainesville this weekend and meeting all their future teammates and the rest of the kids in this class (remember eight are currently in school).

That leaves only three to discuss - Harper, Jones and Scott. At one time Burton Scott was a silent to the Gators but something changed a long the way and it remains to be seen if the Gators would even consider him at this late stage of the game. But the fact that he is scheduled to come in may provide the answer. He is a guy that is similar to Joe Haden - played offense in high school and is a weapon every time he touches the ball - but is also a fantastic cornerback prospect. The Gators have three corners in this year's class, which was the goal and I'm not sure they would take a fourth unless something drastic takes place over the final two weeks.

Harper and Jones are interesting stories all together. Harper was rumored to become a Gator at Friday Night Lights, but that obviously did not happen. If Harper would of gone public to UF at that time they would not of taken the transfer of Emanuel Moody from what I am being told. Not saying that Harper would be scared off my Moody, but in the end I think he follows C.J. Spiller to Clemson especially with the recent departure of running backs Coach Stan Drayton.

In my opinon, Harper was never coming all along and now you will see people use the excuse that Drayton left. Again, these are just my opinions and they can certainly be changed depending on what happens this weekend but I still favor the Tigers in this one.

This brings us to the great mystery that is the nation's No. 1 wide receiver Julio Jones. He is a very quiet kid that doesn't say or do anything to tip his hand on where he is going to end up. At one time, I truly believed that Jones would not take/make this visit but the fact that he is scheduled to be in Gainesville this weekend is a good sign. I am of the belief that as long as a kid does make the visit to Florida then the Gators have a chance to land him no matter who it is. When it's all said and done, do I believe that Julio Jones will be a Gator? No. Do the Gators have a shot at landing the top high school wide receiver. Yes?

There some speculation that the Mystery Recruit was scheduled to come to Gainesville this weekend. But while he was trying to make it happen, there just wasn't enough time for him and his family to pull it off, so they are trying to come at a later date.

What does it all this mean? I firmly believe that Omar Hunter, Ramon Buchanan and William Green will be Gators, bringing the total number of commitments up to 23. The last 2-3 spots are up for grabs depending on what happens this weekend. The Gators currently sit at No. 12 in the Scout Team Rankings, jumping seven spots with the additions of Lerentee McCray, T.J. Pridemore and Adrian Bushell. Pridemore has been changed to the 5th best fullback prospect in the nation and Bushell went to the 23rd ranked corner. With the additions of the other three, I expect the Gators to jump into the top five and maybe the top three.

Questions or comments? Contact FightinGators.com's Jason Higdon


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