Charles: "Florida just had all the speed"

The fourth ranked tight end in the country was at The Swamp Saturday night to watch the Florida Gators dismantle LSU. Orson Charles has been pretty impressed with the Gator offense so far and their propensity to throw the ball to the tight end, but Saturday he saw something he just couldn't believe. LSU looked like no match for Florida as the Gators won by a convincing 51-31 margin.

With the big matchup between two highly rated teams, the Florida Gators had a harvest of great talent in the stands for future seasons. Top prospects for the 2009 and 2010 classes were on hand including Orson Charles (6-3, 215) from Tampa's Plant High School. Charles was impressed like many around the country were when Florida seemed to dominate LSU on both sides of the ball.

"It was very exciting and I was very surprised," Charles said. "I was just shocked how bad they blew away LSU. I think it could have gone both ways, but I wanted to see a hard fought battle and thought it would be closer. LSU showed some skills, and fought to the end, but Florida just had all the speed."

Speed is Charles' niche in recruiting as he may be the fastest tight end in America. Florida usually utilizes a split wide tight end in the offense and tries to capitalize on mismatches from the defense. Aaron Hernandez leads the Gator tight ends with 15 receptions, 145 yards and two touchdowns on the season. John Hevesy coaches them and is recruiting Charles extremely hard.

"I (have seen) Hernandez catching the ball a lot this year and I talked to Coach Hevesy after the game about it," Charles said.

Charles himself is in a dynamic offense and although he isn't always the first read from the quarterback, his numbers are very impressive. He has 22 catches for 435 yards and eight touchdowns on the year. This week is a rivalry game for Plant when they take on Hillsborough and although they are on target for all of their pre-season goals, Charles has one thing he wants to do soon just to make a point. He is looking for his quarterback, Aaron Murray, to spot him on a deep Post or Go route that he can haul in over the shoulder and take it for a touchdown.

"I want to catch a deep ball from Aaron," Charles said before elaborating why. "My receiver coach said something to me and I just want to prove him wrong. He told me I wasn't a deep threat...not a deep threat down the field. I didn't take it bad, I know it is just him coaching me.

It is probably something that is going to happen sooner rather than later. It is just a matter of Murray getting the match up he wants with Charles and throwing it.

"It has happened in practice a couple of times, but not in a game," Charles said. "The majority of our offense (has deep patterns), but Aaron has to go through his reads."

Charles has been adamant about concentrating on his season at hand before moving on to the recruiting part of his life. He has attended a few games and will see a few more before all is said and done, but he is going to put off any official visits until he gets through with his high school season.

"I was supposed to go to Georgia a couple of weeks ago, but I got busy," he said. "I am just going to wait till after the season to take my officials. I am probably going to the Florida-Florida State game, or the Miami-Wake Forest."

The college coaches know that Charles is waiting on making a decision and taking trips, but there is one up start program that seems to be making an impact on his thinking. The North Carolina Tarheels seem to really be pressing to talk to Charles and they also are showing him that he would be a big part of the offense if he chose the Tarheels.

"North Carolina is contacting me the most...tight end coach Steve Hagen," Charles said. "I think North Carolina, and I have seen South Carolina throw a lot to the tight end too. USF showed me what they can do. Alabama also throws it to the tight end a lot."

As we have already discussed, it won't be a quick decision for Orson Charles when he finally does choose a college. However, he has really started figuring out who is going to help with that decision and what the decision should be based on.

"I am going to take it to my pastor and my mentor and uncle and pray about it," he said. "One of the main things is I want to major in Construction Engineering. I need a strong program in that. I also want a school that isn't scared to play freshmen. Some schools want me to get bigger and stuff and if I do that I know I will be better than what they have on campus already. I know schools will say whatever to get me there, I just have to talk to these coaches and see who is serious about it."

Stay tuned to as we continue to follow Orson Charles' commitment.

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