Dre Could Play "His" Way at UF

Five-star cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick was on hand for an official visit this past weekend at the University of Florida. Kirkpatrick is one of the more sought after prospects in the country this recruiting season and Florida would like to remain in the thick of that recruitment and pull the 6-2, 180-pound Gadsden, Ala. cover guy on signing day. Kirkpatrick liked the people he saw in Gainesville.

It was actually the third trip to Gainesville for Dre Kirkpatrick who also made it for a football game this season and for the now famous "Friday Night Lights" camp hosted by the Gators in late July. He got an earful and hands on coaching from one of the best in the business with cornerback coach Vance Bedford that night and also heard a lot from him this weekend.

"He was coaching me back at Friday Night Lights," Kirkpatrick said of Bedford. "He will let you do your own thing and won't make you change (your style) up. He will just tweak it a little bit and let you cover it. I just have to change a little technique that is all."

The Gators had a pair of big time cornerbacks play exciting football for them this year and both have earned All-American honors of one way or another in the past two years. The youth of sophomore Joe Haden and freshman Janoris Jenkins isn't an issue to Kirkpatrick who looks at the positives of playing on the same team as those guys.

"Janoris Jenkins showed out," Kirkpatrick said of the All-American. "He has great technique and is real calm. (playing freshmen early) is a good thing in my opinion. It shows me that the staff will let young guys come in and play. They aren't real strict on them about changing the way they play. Whatever they come in with, (Bedford) doesn't change it too much.

There is a lot to like about Kirkpatrick at cornerback and with his size, he is a prototype of what they are looking for at the cornerback position.

"They like my long arms and I am a tall corner," Kirkpatrick said. "I just play ball."

He was hosted on his latest trip to Gainesville by another Alabama native and also got to spend some time with Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow who surprised him with his humility. For Kirkpatrick he really liked the people he met on the trip.

"I really liked being out with the players there and having fun," Kirkpatrick said of his trip to Gainesville. "Dee Finley was my host. He just told me to do my own thing. He was not going to try and recruit me and told me I need to go where my heart is. Tebow is pretty cool, real positive. You wouldn't think he was like that off the field, but he is a real nice dude.

"There was one of the assistant workers, this guy named Joe. We had a lot of fun. We hung out, sat around and played some games a little bit. He showed me around too."

He takes the recruiting show on to Texas now and just wants to see what the people are like there also.

"I don't know what I am looking for at Texas, except it's all about the players...the people I am going to surround myself with," he said. "As long as you are good enough you are going to play so I don't worry about the other stuff."

When asked what he will make his decision based on, Dre Kirkpatrick again intimated that it will be about the people that surround the school and the program. The players, and getting along well with them is very important. As to when his decision will come down, he is leaving that a little up in the air.

"I just want to get along with the players, the coaches may not be there (my whole career)," he said. "Right now the plan is to commit on signing day, but you never know."


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