Stars Coming out for Friday Night Lights

Urban Meyer has set the standard for college football in more ways than one. Not only has his team won two of the past three BCS Titles but are the odds on favorite to win it again this year.

Should that take place, Meyer will join legendary coaches Tom Osborne (Nebraska 1994-95, 97), Frank Leahy (Notre Dame 1946-48), Bernie Bierman (Minnesota 1934-36) and Percy Houghton (Harvard 1910, 12-13) as the only coaches to win the title three times in a four-year span. A truly remarkable accomplishment we have seen only once in the past 60 years.

Meyer is also considered one of the top recruiting head coaches in America. Enter Friday Night Lights, an event that hosts not only the region's top talent, but the best in the nation. Since the insertion of Friday Night Lights other teams such as Georgia, Florida State, Auburn and many more have followed Meyer and Florida's lead.

Held in The Swamp under the lights with the nation's top talent competing against each other, the competition is intense and the atmosphere electrifying. This year, as in years past, the Gators will host not only the top 2010 players, but also some of the best underclassmen from 2011.


Jonathan Dowling
The Gators will have a host of top committed players such as the nation's No. 5 ranked safety and No. 52 ranked overall Jonothan Dowling. Dowling can play a number of different positions at the next level and could even find his way to the offensive side of the ball.

A couple of lock down corners, Jaylen Watkins and Victor Hampton who both committed to Florida will also be in attendance. Watkins is the nation's No. 10 ranked corner while Hampton checks in at No. 15. The Gators are also expecting Jordan Haden, Gideon Ajagbe, Leon Orr, Trey Burton, Ian Silberman and Solomon Patton to attend.

It is unclear at this time if the nation's No. 9 ranked overall player and the top safety Matt Elam will be able to attend. Elam, along with teammate Gerald Christian will be participating in a 7-on-7 camp but will have Friday night cleared if they can make it. Christian is the No. 5 ranked tight end prospect according to Scout.com. At this time it does not appear if Stephen Alli will be able to attend.


Ronald Powell
As many as 14 of the Scout.com national Top 100 could pay Florida a visit over the next few days. Starting things off is the No. 1 ranked outside linebacker and No. 3 overall ranked player in the country Justin McCay. McCay, from Shawnee Mission (KS) Bishop Miege is 6-4 and 205-pounds. The No. 13 ranked player, Hialeah (FL) superstar Corey Lemonier is scheduled to appear. Lemonier is 6-4 and 230-pounds and is the No. 3 ranked defensive end in the nation.

Another top-flight defensive end, Ronald Powell will make his return trip to Florida from Moreno Valley (CA) Rancho Verde. Powell checks in as the No. 7 ranked defensive end and No. 34 overall. McCay, Lemonier and Powell are all five-star prospects. Another five-star prospect that should find his way to Gainesville is one of the nation's top cover corners, Lamarcus Joyner. Joyner is part of the star-studded cast in Ft. Lauderdale (FL) St. Thomas Aquinas and is the No. 2 ranked corner. Two more top ranked players from St. Thomas, Brandon Linder and Cody Riggs will also be in attendance at this year's Friday Night Lights. Linder is the nation's No. 1 ranked center prospect while Riggs checks in as the No. 7 ranked corner prospect.

Port St. Lucie (FL) Treasure Coast middle linebacker Jeff Luc plans to attend on Friday. Luc is 6-0 and 240-pounds and is the No. 1 middle linebacker and No. 4 overall ranked player according to Scout.com. With Lamarcus Brutus and Keelin Smith, two top 2011 players from Treasure Coast scheduled to attend, you will want to keep an eye on these three players. Brutus is a 6-1, 180-pound safety and Smith a 6-3 and 185-pound corner/safety.


Mack Brown
One of the most talked about prospects from the 2010 class is Mack Brown. The No. 50 overall ranked player and No. 7 ranked running back, Brown is 5-11 and 193-pounds with 4.4 speed. He is from Lithonia (GA) Martin Luther King. He is all set for Friday Night Lights.

Another running back to keep an eye on will be Jordon James. James currently the No. 67 ranked player in the national Top 100 is also the No. 8 ranked running back. James is 5-10 and 195-pounds from Corona (CA) Senior.

The last two members on the defensive side of the ball ranked in the national Top 100 that should make Friday Night Lights are defensive end Dominique Easley and linebacker Khairi Fortt. Fortt is the No. 53 ranked player and the No. 5 ranked best outside linebacker. He is 6-3 and 222-pounds from Stamford (CT). Easley, at 6-3 and 255-pounds, is the No. 14 ranked defensive end and finds himself at No. 65 in the Top 100.


Chris Dunkley
Mack Brown isn't the only prospect to tear up the message boards. A couple of wide receivers in Chris Dunkley and Markeith Ambles have seen their fair share of message board banter from the Gator Nation. Dunkley is the No. 14 ranked wideout from Pahokee (FL) and No. 82 overall. Ambles is not far behind at No. 95 in the country and the No. 15 best wide receiver prospect. Tampa (FL) Catholic standout Chaz Green checks in at No. 93 according to Scout.com and is the No. 14 ranked offensive tackle prospect.

If all goes according to plan 10-15 percent of the Scout.com national Top 100 could find their way on the Florida campus over the next several days. It will ultimately depend on how many players can make their way over from Orlando. Several players not sure if they will be able to attend include linebacker Christian Jones, wide receiver Christian Green, defensive tackle Jatashun Beachum, defensive tackle Garrison Smith, defensive end Ray Drew (2011), running back Isaiah Crowell (2011), defensive tackle Gabe Wright (2011), wide receiver Darius Millines, defensive tackle Michael Thornton and defensive end Lynden Trail.

Others likely not make the trip include Nickell Robey, T.J. Stripling, Adrian Coxson, Johnavon Fulton and Corey Grant.


James Louis
Other players to keep an eye on at the event will be wide receiver James Louis, wide receiver O.J. Ross, athlete Ace Sanders, quarterback Marcus Smith, running back Marcus Shaw, defensive tackle Louis Nix, corner Devonta Davis, linebacker Kevin Nelson, defensive end Anthony Williams, defensive end Neiron Ball, cornerback Nick Waisome (2011), cornerback Chris Johnson (2011), wideout Sammy Watkins (2011) and defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan (2011). As we reported earlier, superstar James Wilder will not be able to attend due to a team passing camp in Hoover, Ala. On a side note, one of the top running backs from the class of 2011 is Mike Bellamy and he will attend Friday Night Lights.

If that wasn't enough, running back Shon Carson (2011), corner Jabriel Washington (2011) and linebacker A.J. Johnson (2011) are scheduled to attend. Carson, a 5-9, 180-pound speed demon from Lake City (SC), averages nearly nine yards every time he touches the ball. Washington, a 5-11 and 170-pound corner is from Jackson (TN) Trinity Christian Academy. At 6-3 and 220-pounds, linebacker A.J. Johnson is from Gainesville (FL).

These are only a few players scheduled to be in attendance for this year's Friday Night Lights. We could see players representing Alabama, California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Maryland, North Carolina, New York, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee and possibly even Texas before the night is through.


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