Everyone knows by now that the Gators are looking at prospects like Marlon Brown, Andre Debose and Nick Alajajian, but I thought it was time to introduce you to a couple new names and one that has been talked about over the last couple of weeks. Let's start with one that has been talked about - Plantation High School star Josh Robinson. I caught up with him over the weekend.
"Right now I am 5-10 and 180-pounds and run 4.4," he said. "I have 16 offers at this time with the most interest coming from Florida, South Florida and Central Florida. I would be real excited to play in the Gators offense. I love their offense. And I think that it would be a great fit for me. I love that offense that they run and the love for football that they have. I am a great playmaker that likes to be very aggressive on both sides of the ball. I'm very quick, I can make you miss in the open field. Academics, environment, and early playing time are the three main things that I will be looking at. I will wait until after the season is over and I take my five official visits before I make an announcement. The one thing that I want to work on for my senior season is my defensive cover skills."
Robinson is a fantastic looking prospect on either side of the ball at corner or wide receiver but in this case he is being recruited to play wide receiver for the Gators. Right now he has Central Florida on top but he has yet to visit The Swamp. Once he visits Florida that will quickly change in my opinion. He has great speed and vision and knows exactly what to do once he gets the ball in his hands.
Jaamal Berry, Trent Richardson and Lonnie Pryor have been talked about often at the running back position but it's time to get to know another running back named D.J. Adams. As a former Blue Devil myself, it is nice to see Adams get some attention from the Gators. Adams is from Norcross (GA) Norcross High School.
(Dwayne, Jr.) Adams had 204 carries for 1,465 yards and 16 touchdowns during his junior (2007) season (11-2). He also had three receptions for 96 yards and two scores, helping lead his team to an 11-2 record and the second round of the playoffs; Adams said he can bench an impressive 375 pounds, power clean 315 and squat 565. He also has a 32-inch vertical jump.
Adams has ties to the University of Arkansas with his mother and grandma being alumni but he is looking hard at the Gators at this time and will come to camp over the next couple of weeks to see what they have to offer.
"Currently I am 5-10 and 212-pounds and run 4.48," he said. "I have offers from Florida, LSU, Arkansas, Notre Dame, Cal, Boston College, North Carolina State, Michigan, Wisconsin, Maryland, Clemson, Auburn, Tennessee, Mississippi State, Rutgers, North Carolina, Wake, Georgia Tech, Oregon, Illinois, Vanderbilt, Central Florida, Louisville, East Carolina, Duke, Iowa State and I can't think of the rest. All of them are recruiting me the same as I receive emails from all of them on a daily basis. Arizona State, Miami and Texas are all about to offer. My sophomore season I had 450 yards rushing with 2 touchdowns and finished my junior season with 1,465 yards rushing, 192 receiving, 14 rushing touchdowns and 2 receiving."
"I don't know much about the Gators right now but I know some. I have a lot of family in Florida in Miami, Tallahassee and Orlando. I will make a visit to Gainesville in the next couple of weeks and I am looking forward to checking out the facilities, coaching staff and how the program is run. I think that the things that I will use to determine my decision will be the coaching staff, offensive style, academics and playing time. I was going to make my decision in July but now looks like I won't announce until the season sometime and distance is not a factor for me at all. My mom went to Arkansas, my dad went to Tennessee Tech and my favorite team growing up was Miami because I loved Clinton Portis. I also like Terrell Davis a lot as well."
At the cornerback position we all know the names of guys like Dre Kirkpatrick, Travis Hawkins, Michael Carter, Terry Shankle and Jordan Love. Love will announce after a visit to Florida a week from today. Many believe that Penn State and Georgia are the two teams to beat for his services but he told me last night that he has a real good relationship with cornerbacks coach Vance Bedford and he will visit Florida June 16 then make his decision known.
"Yes we are coming down," Love said. "We are coming down a week from Monday. I will make my choice after I visit." Love said. I still believe that it will be Penn State or Georgia unless he leaves Gainesville blown away.
The player that I want to introduce to you is Joshua Evans. Evans is from Irvington (N.J.) Irvington High School. I was able to catch up with Evans over the weekend to talk a little recruiting and his interest in the Gators at this time.
"I am 6-2 and 190-pounds and the last time I ran the 40 I ran a 4.43," Evans said. "That was back during track season so I should be able to drop my time down a bit. Currently I have 20 offers. Right now they are all showing me about the same amount of attention I think. I was fortunate enough to start varsity during my sophomore year. I was the youngest on the field on defense while the rest were seniors but I stood out the most leading the team in tackles as I won the Hammer Award. The Hammer Award is for the hardest hits of the year. I had 115 tackles and 2 picks with 9 sacks. During my junior year I moved to strong safety and had 80 tackles with 7 picks and two returned for touchdowns."
"I am looking forward to having a great college career and getting my degree, then focusing on getting better at my position and staying dedicated to the sport I love the most. I plan on coming to Florida soon. I know that Florida is a great program and during the past seasons they have had a lot of great athletes. Those are just my defensive stats because I plan on playing defense in college. My brother was a DB as well and made Freshman All-America as he led the Mack in picks but kind of fell off a bit because our mother passed away from being very sick. He couldn't spend time with her while he was in college so he left school to be with her. Now he is a producer and he is looking to be the next big time producer. When my mother passed it messed me up a little as well but now everything is going great."
Another name that keeps popping up is Rontavious Wooten. The Florida Gators have landed two players from the "Muck" in the last 40 years, both coming in the last two seasons with Janoris Jenkins last year and Nu'keese Richardson this year. Might the Gators land another one? Wooten is a 5-10, 166-pound wide receiver from Glades Central out of Belle Glade, Florida. Wooten is keeping a close eye on the Gators.
"I bench 215-pounds," he said. "During my sophomore year I had 24 catches for 624 yards. Last season I am not sure how many catches I had but ended with 700 yards both receiving and rushing and 14 touchdowns. Miami, Rutgers, West Virginia, Pitt, Troy, Georgia, Michigan, Auburn, Arkansas, Florida International, Central Florida, South Florida and Tennessee have all offered. West Virginia is recruiting me the most right now and LSU is the team that is about to offer me next I think. I am real close with Deonte Thompson (Florida) and Travis Benjamin (Miami)."
"The style of offense that the Gators run is the style that I prefer to play in. I love everything about Florida. There is nothing wrong with the Gators and I could see myself playing for them the next four or five years. I went to three games last year - Troy, Tennessee and Florida State - and I really liked the atmosphere down there. The fans and their entire team were electrifying. My game is fast and all about making plays every time I touch the ball. I think my biggest strengths are my speed and ability to make people miss in the open field."
While players like Debose, Brown and Alajajian seem to warrant most of the attention in terms of recruiting, it's players like Mike Gillislee and Jon Halapio that seem to commit out of nowhere and those are the kind of players that you need to be aware of. Joshua Evans, Rontavious Wooten and D.J. Adams are a perfect example.
Speaking of Jon Halapio, he sent me an email last night to update me on how things were going.
"I was going to attend all the Gator camps over the summer but my family and I won't be able to attend," he said. "The reason for this is because I have been in the Island of Tonga to visit my family and villages that I am from and to be with my homeland and get in touch with my roots. I will attend Friday Night Lights. I get back to America on the 17th of June."
Just a reminder that there will be a chat on Monday, June 9 at 10 p.m. Both Chris Chmielenski and I will be in there to answer any recruiting or team questions you may have. -- Join Chat
Questions or comments? Contact FightinGators.com's Jason Higdon
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