O'Bryant Possesses Skills Gators Like

When you follow the best of Billy Donovan's recruiting over the years some things you will notice in the players he recruits are the athletic ability and the different skills the players bring to the table. Johnny O'Bryant is a big man that can run the floor, shoot, and dominate in the paint. The third ranked power forward in the 2011 class and No. 7 overall is just what Florida is looking for.

Fresh off a rough weekend for his team in a Houston AAU tournament, 6-8 and 236 pound Johnny O'Bryant gave everything he had, but knows he and his team want to and will have to do better as the summer moves on. Not expecting any major changes, the Cleveland (MS) native believes the guys will have to just pick up the effort a little to progress.

"We had a rough weekend and went 1-3 in Houston and we just have to try harder," O'Bryant said.

While the team struggled. O'Bryant played alright. He used his versatility to make life tough for the he went up against.

"My first game I played well," he said. "I had a very good day two and I think I also finished up well too. I just try and be an all around player."

O'Bryant can be am mismatch in several different ways. You will see him post up and be quicker against centers, he is quicker and stronger than most power forwards, and he even plays some small forward for the Jackson (Mississippi) Tigers.

"I play 3, 4, and 5 on the AAU team," he said. "I can face up against the big guys and back down the little guys. With guys my size I use my athleticism and try and get them to foul me."

School ends this Friday for O'Bryant and he is off to Los Angeles to continue a grueling summer of tournaments and camps. Of course while he is off performing, big time college coaches will be watching the talented big man. It will make it tough to follow through with his plan to trim his school list by the end of the summer.

"The whole SEC is really coming at me pretty hard and a couple of ACC teams," O'Bryant said when asked who was recruiting him the hardest. "I am trying to get it down to five and seven teams right after Peach Jam in July."

One of the programs he is considering right now is Florida and the Gators are going to be replacing three starters in the front court with Vernon Macklin, Chandler Parsons, and Alex Tyus. According to O'Bryant, there is a lot to like about the Gators.

"Florida is a good school, they are real special and Coach Billy Donovan seems like a good coach," he said. "I like that they want to get out and run and that plays to my strengths a lot."

Coach Rob Lanier is the assistant that has been recruiting O'Bryant a great deal and Lanier seems to have a nice connection with Lanier.

"Coach Lanier is pretty cool, kind of laid back," he said with a slight laugh. "He talks about NBA games, my life or recruiting, all of that stuff. He tells me that he likes that I play hard nosed and have skills and can do a lot of things. He said he would want me to come in and work hard because some spots will be open, and because I am a top player."

In the end, when Johnny O'Bryant makes a decision it will be about the people around the program and how they relate to him.

"I just want a place that I will feel comfortable," he said. "If I feel like that school is a fit for me, that is where I want to be at."

Billy Donovan and the staff are trying to revive that comfort factor that was around for two straight national championships just three short seasons ago. It is a little easier getting talented guys with the many skills that O'Bryant has on the roster. Getting him to feel the comfort that the champion group felt with the people in the program would be a good start.

Fightin Gators Top Stories