Florida's Friday Night Lights has been an event over the last five or six years that has drawn national prospects. National recruiting analyst Chad Simmons was there Friday and he shares his thoughts here...
Isaiah Prince (Pictured above), a four-star offensive tackle out of Maryland was down and he turned a lot of heads Friday. Not all were sure if he was working out or not at the camp -- he did - and he was impressive. He was the top offensive lineman performer there and he was likely the top overall performer. He is nimble on his feet, he is a good bender, and he has length coaches covet at offensive tackle. Florida is in the running here and he had a very good night on the field.
On the field in the secondary, Saivion Smith stood out. He is smooth in his transition, he has a burst when he opens up to run with receivers, and he showed very good ball skills. The 2016 corner out of St. Petersburg (Fla.) Lakewood is a Scout 300 prospect and he has legitimate interest in the Gators. He is still in contact with current UF star, Dante Fowler, a former star at Lakewood.
Another junior that shined was Jordan Woods. He is a prospect who has good size and will likely be a strongside end on the next level, but grow into a three-technique. He named Florida his leader Friday night and he was impressive inside The Swamp. He has a good first step, but where he is at his best is, his ability to turn the corner and explode towards the quarterback.
There was a lot of chatter about 2015 offensive guard Jalen Merrick possibly committing to Florida Friday night. It did not happen, but the Gators are still considered to be the leader at this time by some that follow his recruitment closely. He worked at tackle and guard Friday and he again, looked most comfortable, on the inside inside. Merrick anchors well, he has great lowerbody strength, and he has better mobility than some give him credit for. He is an offensive guard on the next level.
A name to know is Jordan Riley. The 6-foot-4, 285 pound 2017 defensive lineman was the best at his position Friday. He has natural size, but he is quick off the ball and he can get skinny to slide by the offensive linemen. He had success against Prince, Merrick, and many others. He is a kid that looked like a national prospect in this setting. Expect to hear a lot more about this young man moving forward.
Marquette Murdock is a 2016 tight end that traveled down from Memphis (Tenn.) Ridgeway and he was a star Friday night. Not great speed down the field, but he got off the ball well, and got immediate separation from the linebacker. He made many catches well down the field because of his quickness. He has a good frame (6-2, 207 pounds), soft hands, and he could get recruited as an H-Back too. Cincinnati has offered.
Florida 2015 commitment Tyler Jordan (Pictured below) did not workout, but he was doing some recruiting. He was seen quite often with UF target, Jalen Merrick, and he was not shy about showing off his future colors. Jordan, a likely center on the next level was dressed head to toe in Gator gear.
Jordan sporting the Gator socks.
Stewart Reese impressed at Florida State last week and at Florida Friday. The Fort Pierce Central junior offensive lineman plays tackle now, but projects at guard. He was offered by Florida late in the spring and he has interest in the Gators. He shoots his hands well, sets his feet, and stands his ground against the big defensive linemen.
Florida 2016 commit Chauncey Gardner was there and he competed. He did nothing to hurt his stock on Scout. Gardner, a star athlete out of Cocoa, Fla. showed a nice burst in the drills and he showed good closing speed in the one-on-one session. Gardner is a defensive back with versatility.
After the camp ended, Will Muschamp offered 2017 linebacker Nate McBride. The sophomore out of Vidalia, Ga. has a lot to like. His frame is ideal, he is very athletic, he is instinctive, and he is a prospect who will see his offer list grow throughout the fall. McBride is 6-2, 210 pounds, and a true sideline to sideline linebacker. One to know moving forward.