I want to start with the defensive tackle situation based solely on it being one of the most important positions year in and year out. The Gators have a good one on board with Gary Brown and would like to add one more. There has been some smoke with guys like Antwan Lowery, Brandon Moore, Isaac Holmes and Luther Robinson (a current commitment of a non-Southeastern school-Miami) I don't believe that any of those four defensive tackles will be in this years class. As Yoda would say, "No, there is another." In this case there is another that looks like he will set up an official visit.
As many of you know I like to stay in contact with current Gator commitments including offensive guard Jon Halapio. Halapio had this to say, "The coaches have been telling me about a big defensive tackle from Utah and we will both be visiting Florida together in the next couple of weeks."
The defensive tackle that he is talking about is 6-3 and 305-pound four stars Latu Heimuli from Salt Lake City (Utah) Highland High School. Heimuli has offers from Arizona, BYU, Colorado, Nebraska, Oregon State, UCLA and Washington State. If I was a betting man he has a better chance to be the defensive tackle (if not I will be S-H-O-C-K-E-D) in addition to Gary Brown to make two defensive tackles for the class of 2009, the rest are not an option in my opinion at all right now.
I spoke with Heimuli and he had this to say, "We lost in the quarterfinals but we had a good season. I spoke with the Florida staff and they want me to visit so I am going to take my fifth official visit to Florida in a couple of weeks. I think it will be the week after the SEC Championship game." Again, can things change? Sure they can but as of right now I feel pretty strongly on this. If any of the four previously mentioned players do find themselves in this year's class it would be only one of them as the other three don't have a chance but keep an eye on Latu Heimuli.
This is going to sound very strange to some of you based on what many of you like to base your decisions off of with regards to recruiting. That being, actions speak louder than words. In this case I am talking about Denard Robinson. Bob and I talked about this for a long time last night and both feel despite Robinson not making this trip that the Gators are squarely in the mix on this one.
Superstar Andre Debose was at the game and had a great time, he told me shortly before the game that he thought the atmosphere was live even with the rain before the game. I know a lot of people want to say LSU for Debose but do not count out the Gators and the impact that the Percy Harvin role will have with him. He knows that this offense is a picture perfect fit for him and what he brings to the table, which is a fact. This is not a knock on any other team under consideration but the Gators currently run the system that he would flourish in and he knows that. Why go somewhere else that does not or has not proven that they have that type of position? Not to say that a particular team couldn't develop that type of position but the Gators have proven that they can do it and do it effectively even when teams know what's coming it has not been stopped. The visit could not have gone any better for Andre Debose this past weekend.
Jon Bostic was not at Florida this weekend because he and his father were on an official visit to Clemson. I know that it has been reported that Bostic will announce on December 1 but that is or has not been confirmed with his family as of 10:00 p.m. Sunday night. It could take place on December 1 but there are a few details that need to be taken care of before that can happen. Despite some reports that Bostic would take all five official visits don't look for that fifth and final official to happen unless something changes early in the week. They are done with trips and now it is time for the family to sit down together and go over all the pro's and con's of each school and determine the best decision possible for Jon and his family. The conclusion at the end of the day will result in Bostic joining the Gator Nation. Many have thought it or even hinted at it but not many have come out and said that Bostic will be a Gator. That's what I am saying now. I hope it doesn't come back to bite me in the backside!
I traded several messages with the top linebacker in the state of Georgia Saturday and Sunday, Jarvis Jones. It was very important for Jarvis to make this game for more than one reason. He has told me several times that he was going to visit for Miami, LSU and South Carolina. Hey, look at it like this one of three in Major League Baseball makes you millions so I guess it's all relative. Seriously, for whatever reason every time Jarvis was going to visit Florida something came up. Each and every time it did it was something that was out of his hands. Let's just say that this visit was a big visit for Jones.
Florida and LSU have gone head to head in the past for some pretty impressive looking players and this year is no different with Andre Debose, Jarvis Jones, Jon Bostic and Xavier Nixon. A clean sweep would be hard to imagine simply because things always don't go according to plan but three of four clearly looks possible and going three of four in the Major's puts you into the Hall of Fame. A story was written in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution late last week on defensive end Euclid Cummings and teammate David Yankey. Both players are from Centennial High School in Roswell (GA). I spoke with both after the visit and each of these young men were blown away by the atmosphere of The Swamp. I should have stories up with them early this week. Cummings has been rumored by some to be the other defensive end in this class but as of right now I am not sure that is the case.
Enter Nick Kasa, long been rumored to be a Florida lean and that could very well be the case. He is nearing a decision and it could come at anytime. Kasa is one of those players that you want to have in your program and has an incredible work ethic. David Yankey is in next year's class and is a 6-5 and 260-pound offensive tackle.
I don't see any other options at the linebacker position outside of Jarvis Jones, Jon Bostic and Jelani Jenkins. The Gators would like to land two of those three and I don't believe that they would take any other linebackers in the class of 2009. At the wide receiver position the Gators look strong with Andre Debose, Chad Bumphis and Marlon Brown will take an official visit in late January. Would the Gators take Debose and Brown? Yes they would, would they take Debose and Bumphis? I don't think so. Joshua Evans might be the most talented player left on the board and that is saying something with guys like Debose, Nixon, Jones and Bostic still on the table but this kid is a superstar in the making. He plays in the semi-finals on Saturday at 1:00 p.m. and the finals are the following weekend and then he will turn his attention back to recruiting. Evans was blown away with his time spent in Gainesville and will look to visit again later in the recruiting season.
Trent Richardson and James Collins both maintain that they will take official visits to Florida. I get the feeling that Richardson's feelings have changed a bit based on the way the Gators are running the ball as of late. This is one that we will keep a close eye on as the recruiting season winds down.
Again, on the surface it may appear that recruiting is going slow at the current moment but that couldn't be further from the truth. I still feel strongly that the class could get as high as 22 maybe 23 depending on what happens with attrition.
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