Friday Night Lights; Defensive Plot Lines

As we continue through the story and plot lines for Friday Night Lights we head to the defensive side of the ball where the Gators will be looking to sign a handful of defensive linemen and only have one in hand right now for the recruiting class of 2010. In the back seven it's a different story with only a couple of spots left to fill. Here are some things to pay attention to.

On the defensive line the Gators have yet to commit a defensive end to the class of 2010. Up front and center is Ronald Powell who is making a return trip to Gainesville in less than a month on his own dime. Expect the battle for Powell's services to be between Florida and USC and Powell has been on campus since Thursday and will stay a few days in Gainesville to find out more about it. He is a freak and in my opinion the best defensive end in America.

Three Georgia ends coming in are also headliners in Neiron Ball, Corey Crawford, and Anthony Williams. All seem to want to be Gators at this time and will be in audition mode for the staff on Friday. These will be ones to watch closely, but don't expect a commitment this weekend.

At tackle the Gators are half way home with some real talent coming in. Leon Orr is a big time athlete with little experience at the position. Getting a bona fide and seasoned defensive lineman would seem to be something the Gators would like to do.

New York's Dominique Easley will be on hand showing what he can do. Easley is making his second trip to Gainesville since the spring and is one that is expected to possibly pull the trigger for the Gators this weekend. We will be all over that one.

J.R. Ferguson and Sharrif Floyd are two big time tackles from the class of 2010 that are also going to be working out Friday night. Floyd is already on campus and has more interest in Florida than anyone really knows. Ferguson is the nephew of former Gator defensive tackle McDonald Ferguson and is vying for a scholarship offer. Floyd is a five star talent and Ferguson is rated as four stars on Scout.com.

Don't forget Jacksonville Raines defensive tackle Louis Nix. Nix will be on hand for his second trip to Gainesville in two months and for his second camp. The Miami commitment has seen his star fall this recruiting season, but has made it a point to have the Gator coaches watch his progress.

Maybe the most talented defensive lineman of the bunch will be there, but still has two years of high school to play. Timmy Jernigan is a Lake City prospect that will be one of the top five players in the state of Florida and he will only be a junior in high school in 2009. Jernigan is rumored to be leaning to the Gators at this time.

At linebacker, the star of the show should be Treasure Coast's Jeff Luc. Luc is the number one rated inside linebacker in America and has been to Florida numerous times. He is coming off a two week tour that included a trip to Gainesville, Tallahassee, Alabama, and Southern Miss before showing back up here in Gainesville. Physique wise, there is no one easier on the field to spot that Luc who is built like a body builder.

Khairi Fortt is another big time linebacker that should be in attendance and planning on working out with the rest of the stars. The Gators will be watching him closely as they will want to have a plan if they don't get the promise from Luc they want down the line.

Gator linebacker commitment Gideon Ajagbe will also be on hand and the staff will get to see what he is made of yet again. Ajagbe is a terrific athlete that has room to grow into his body before he shows up on campus.

The Gators are set at safety and two of the nation's finest are already committed to Florida and will be on hand for the event. Play close attention to Matt Elam and his special physical talent. You won;'t see a more imposing safety than Jonathan Dowling. Both are super prospects with tons of ability and the Gators are proud owners of commitments from both.

At cornerback things are halfway home at least. The Gators have three committed corners that will be participating and North Carolina's Victor Hampton is already on campus and chumming it up with coaches and players. It is his first time at Florida and he has been ultra excited to see just what he got himself into. Jaylen Watkins is a big timer from Cape Coral and will also be on hand to show what he can do. Demar Dorsey makes a return trip and the Boyd Anderson defensive back will get a big workout at corner. Dorsey ran the fastest forty of any high school player on the combine circuit this spring.

The nation's second rated cornerback in Lamarcus Joyner will be participating and this is somewhat of a surprise visit. I have always wondered what his mindset might be if he came to camp and was coached by the two best secondary coaches in college football. We should find out tonight.

Joyner's teammate Cody Riggs has seen his stock skyrocket and he will also be participating in the event. Riggs is a late comer to Gator recruiting but the interest from Florida has really turned up in recent weeks and months. This will be a good time for Riggs to see a great coaching staff work with him also.

One sub-plot I want to see is a player from Miami Northwestern in Michaelee Harris. Harris plays receiver at Northwestern and is a threat in high school. He has excellent speed and great hands and has the agility to play multiple positions. I have always thought that Harris while a good receiver,could be a great cornerback. At 6-0, he isn't going to stand out as a receiver with his height. However, he would be ideal height as a corner and something NFL teams would look at harder if he can transition his game to the defense. Look for Harris to play some defense tonight.

As for the 2011 class, we will look hard for nick Waisome tonight at cornerback. Bar none, Waisome has been the underclassman corner that has lit up the combines and camps this spring and summer. Hailing from Groveland Southlake. Waisome has two teammates already on the Gators in Jeff Demps and Jonotthan Harrison. His familiarity with Florida should not be under stated.

There are many more story lines involved with the Friday Night Lights event and we will be there to try and bring you all of them. Tonight at 8, the lights come on in The Swamp and the fun begins for campers and fans alike.


Fightin Gators Top Stories