I have talked to a ton of kids that are showing interest in the Gators, some stronger than others but they are showing interest none the less. Florida is in a position for the first time in a long time to be somewhat patient as they hand pick the ideal players that they want in next year's class. Remember, over the last three recruiting seasons, the Gators have stock piled talent at every single position. The 2008 Gators could end up being one of the deepest and talented teams to take the field for sometime.
With that said, this is the second part of a two part series identifying here 21 names to keep an eye on as we move into the recruiting season.
Stephon Gilmore is another prospect to keep an eye on. The 6-1, 180-pound signal caller with 4.45 speed projects as a corner at the next level. Gilmore was in Gainesville last summer and plans to return this summer. The South Pointe High School star is from Rock Hill, S.C. Gilmore is looking at the following schools, Auburn, Alabama, Clemson, South Carolina, Florida, Florida State, NC State, North Carolina and Tennessee.
The Gators are talking to one of the biggest players in the country with Madison High School offensive tackle Chris Freeman. Freeman checks in at 6-9 and 320-pounds and is from Trotwood, Ohio. He has never been to The Swamp before but has been in contact with the Florida coaches about coming down in the summer. Every Big Ten school has offered with the exception of Michigan and Ohio State. Freeman's first year of football was last season.
One of the top defensive ends in the nation is Justin Chaisson (6-5,260) from Bishop-Gorman High School in Las Vegas, Nev. Had a great U.S. Army AA Combine. He recorded 90 tackles and 24 sacks for 2007 state champions.
"Florida is a school I like a lot! I speak with Coach Mattison on a regular basis. Very Interested in them right now! But I am not picking any favorites just yet. I am going to sit down and decide on 5 or 6 schools this summer that I am leaning to and go from there. I haven't talked to the new DL guy yet but even with coach leaving I still like them a lot. Coach Mattison was telling me everything would play out and I am still very high on the Gators. I don't know any players or have any family in Florida but when I visited I talked to the players and me the coaches and loved it down there, but I am not trying to pick favorites but I will narrow it down in the summer."
Oklahoma might be the sleeper when all is said and done.
Sticking with the defensive end position keep an eye on Craig Drummond. At 6-5, 260-pounds, Drummond is coming off a very impressive junior campaign. He ended the year with 67 tackles and 18 sacks. Drummond is from Morgan Park High School in Chicago, Ill. and is looking at the following. Alabama, Florida, Illinois, Kansas State, Miami, North Carolina, Ohio State and Wisconsin
Perry High School star Johnnie Farms is fast becoming an early fan favorite of the Gator nation. The 6-3, 300-pound offensive line prospect has said that he grew up a Gator fan as a kid and mentioned that head coach Urban Meyer is at one of his favorite schools. This one could be over sooner rather than later. Farms has offers from Florida, Georgia, LSU, Maryland, North Carolina, North Carolina State, Alabama and many more. He has attended junior days at Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Alabama and Notre Dame.
Defensive tackle Jamarcus McFarland, 6-3, 280-pounds, from Lufkin High School in Texas is a dynamite looking prospect. He had 67 solo tackles 18 tackles for loss and six sacks as a junior. Currently, McFarland lists the following schools. Florida, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas and Texas A&M.
Another offensive tackle prospect to watch out for is Fayetteville, N.C. Jack Britt High School standout Xavier Nixon. At 6-6 and 285-pounds, Nixon has played the right tackle spot but looks to move to left tackle for his senior year. One of the top linemen at the U.S. Army All-American Combine this past year, Nixon lists the following schools that has caught his attention - Clemson, Florida, Miami, Tennessee, North Carolina and Notre Dame.
Moving back to the state of Florida and Armwood High School with a couple of former teammates of offensive tackle Matt Patchan is defensive end Ryne Giddins and linebacker Petey Smith. Giddins could be the best defensive end in the state of Florida. He was recently in town for Florida's junior day at the end of January. He is 6-4, 240-pounds and ended his junior season with 16 sacks. Smith is 6-1, 248-pounds and lists the following schools Florida, Florida Atlantic, Florida State, Miami, Ohio State and South Florida while Giddins is looking at Florida, Florida State, Auburn, South Florida and Miami.
Bastrop High School star Rueben Randle from Louisiana is a fantastic looking wide receiver prospect. At 6-3, 195-pounds Randle has great hands and runs nice routes. As well as the Gators he is also looking at Alabama, Georgia, LSU, Miami, Mississippi and Mississippi State.
New names are popping up at a very hectic pace right now and certainly the staff will hand out more offers after the May evaluation period but these are just a slim few that are mentioning the Gators at this time.
Questions or comments? Contact FightinGators.com's Jason Higdon
Rapid Fire Recruiting 2009 - Part II
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