Inside Access

The Gators had a huge recruiting haul this past weekend everything that was expected went according to plan and anytime that happens in recruiting you need to breathe a huge sigh of relief. The Gators landed three fantastic players over the weekend with linebacker Jon Bostic, offensive tackle Xavier Nixon and capped it off last night with the addition of wide receiver Andre Debose.

Andre Debose was one of many players in this year's class that was a must-get but to a man he was the "one" the Gators had to have. Despite what many believe this decision was not as close as what many would have you believe. Now how does one truly know what is in the mind of a 17- and 18-year old kid? I think that watching Andre Debose last night as well as Ray Ray Armstrong and Dyron Dye that LSU was never an option when it came down to it for a number of reasons that I wrote about Saturday morning. For those of you that didn't have a chance to read that, the message was simple; Florida is a much better fit than either LSU or Miami. Location, style of offense, direction of programs in the case of Miami as well as the position that the Florida staff will put Debose in once he arrives in Gainesville. Not to say that LSU wouldn't do the same sort of things but Florida has shown what it does within its offense and players of this caliber.

I obviously can't say that this deal was a slam dunk because there is no such thing in recruiting but to say that I felt real good about where Debose would announce this past weekend would be an understatement.

A few things that I wanted to bring everyone up to speed on starting with the defensive MVP Greg Reid. I have spent a lot of time on the phone with Greg over the past few months and the last couple of days have been no different. We talked today about all the different directions that he is being pulled in lately and he honestly doesn't know where all this Georgia talk is coming from. Sometimes that means there are probably more legs to the story with regards to Georgia than he is letting on. However, in this case based off the amount of time that I have spent with he or his mother, I do not believe that Greg will end up anywhere other than the University of Florida. One interesting note from today's conversation, when I asked him about players recruiting him he said that what people don't understand is that he is talking to them about the same things meaning that he was doing a little bit of recruiting on his own. On his comments about Debose, Greg was more curious about where he was going to announce based of the friendship that he has with him. Debose and Reid did spend more than their fair share together in the player's lounge watching a few bowl games over the last week. I will go into more detail on the Greg Reid situation tonight in chat starting at 11:00 p.m. Lets just say that Greg Reid spoke to more than one Gator coach and player first thing this morning.

The Gators have a total of 17 current verbal commitments and look to land anywhere from 8-10 more before all is said and done. Three that are without question at the top of that list regardless of what you read are running back Trent Richardson, linebacker Jelani Jenkins and quarterback Denard Robinson. To give you a little bit of information behind the scenes from Orlando Trent had more than a few good things to say about the running back situation at Florida. He is well aware that the Gators have more than its fair share of great running backs but don't have anyone on the roster to fill that "Big Back" void that the Gators so desperately seek. I have maintained for as long as I can remember that Trent wants to be a Gator but am not sure if it will happen or not. I think that the Gators have a great great shot to land Richardson and I will be very curious to see how his official visit ends up going trying to project how it will go would be next to impossible but I believe that he will have a fantastic visit.

I had a chance to catch up with Mr. Jenkins on Sunday evening before the game and he and his wife took a drive this weekend to Gainesville so Mrs. Jenkins could see Gainesville for herself and she came away very impressed. I think the Gators are in the driver's seat for Jelani and I am not concerned in the least about his up coming official visit to Penn State, a visit that Mr. Jenkins promised the Penn State coaching staff would happen before they decided to make any sort of public announcement.

So with the Gators sitting on 17 verbal commitments at this time here is my own personal watch list with regards to where the Gators go from here. I will include Greg Reid since technically he is not considered a Gator commitment. This is in no particular order and based off my own personal feelings on players that have the greatest shot at being a Gator. I will only include players that have said they are open at this time and even though Trent is listed as an Alabama verbal he has stated that he will not make a decision until National Signing Day making him open to the process. It will not include players such as Luther Robinson and Ray Ray Armstrong two players that maintain they will take an official visit to Florida.

Greg Reid
Denard Robinson
Jelani Jenkins
Trent Richardson
Ryne Giddins
Marlon Brown
Joshua Evans
Jarvis Jones
Brandon Moore
Jawanza Starling
Frankie Telfort


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