Class of ’09 punditry


In honor of the presidential election, I came up with my own cabinet members from Florida’s recruiting class up to this point.

President – Nu’Keese Richardson (Pahokee) – This kid has it all. He lit up pretty much every defensive back he went against at Florida’s Friday Night Lights camp in July and is tearing it up on the field for the Blue Devils at wide receiver and quarterback. He’s even getting carries out of the backfield. But it’s not just Richardson’s athletic ability that has him in the big-boy chair, Richardson is a smooth talker. Every time he’s in Gainesville for a game, he talks nothing but Gators. It’s all Gators, all the time for him. He might recruit harder for the Orange and Blue than their own staff. Once he gets on campus he could be in position to be Percy Harvin-type player. Plus, he’s got the greatest smile in high school sports.

Vice President – Greg Reid (Valdosta, Ga., Lowndes) – Man is he a beast. He was pretty close to being the most powerful man in this class, but being No. 2 isn’t so bad. Reid is set to play in Florida’s secondary next year, but he’s been outstanding at running back this year. He’s already got more than 800 yards (10.44 yards per carry) on the ground and has racked up 12 touchdowns. He’s also got 205 more yards receiving and two more touchdowns. On defense he’s got six interceptions and one fumble recovery that went 102 yards for a score

Secretary of State – Nick Alajajian (Naples) – I’m putting him here because when I say “State” I’m talking about representing the state of Florida. And who better than Mr. Alajajian? He speaks well, he plays well and even though he broke his ankle, he’s still trying to play this season. Talk about heart. As an offensive tackle he just annihilates defensive ends. It’s quite embarrassing sometimes. Just check out his nasty You Tube video (

Secretary of Defense – Dee Finley (Milford Academy in New York) – Finley didn’t make it into last year’s class because of academics and is now enrolled at prep school and plans to attend UF in the spring. In high school he was rated the sixth-best safety in the country and is currently the sixth-best prep school player in the country. He even showed off his hitting ability during the Under Armour All-American Game when he laid out Alabama’s Julio Jones in the spring.

Chief of Staff – Jordan Reed (New London, Conn.) – It’s only fitting that this seat goes to a quarterback. To be honest, Reed didn’t show me a lot at FNL. I had him rated lower than Morgan Newton (Kentucky) and even 2010 commit Trey Burton. But he’s obviously coming into his own as a senior. Reed has led his team to an impressive 7-0 record so far and has been scoring with both his feet and arm.

Secretary of Homeland Security – Jon Halapio (St. Petersburg Catholic) – Halapio wins this seat based on size alone. The offensive lineman stands at a menacing 6-foot-4 and weighs 302 pounds. He could pretty much protect everyone in the backfield by himself. He’s also a great speaker. I’m pretty sure he could negotiate his way out of any ordeal before he has to get physical. He’s also pretty loyal – for now. Halapio was finally offered by Notre Dame a few weeks ago. It was the school he always wanted to go to and his mother still wants him to go there. He’s said he’s solid to UF and probably won’t even visit South Bend.

Secretary of Labor – Mike Gillislee (Deland) –
On tape, I’ve never seen someone work as hard as he does. His team is struggling with a 4-4 record, but he’s not stopping. When talking with him, he always mentions working hard in the offseason and during the season. It’ll be interesting to see how he’s used once he gets on campus.

Attorney General – Kyle Koehne (Indianapolis, Ind., Cathedral) –
Again, it’s another prospect that I wasn’t too high on the first time I saw him. But things change as football seasons start and guys get into game form. His video is pretty impressive and he holds his own well. When I saw him on campus for the LSU game he looked a lot bigger and seemed to fit right in with his future teammates Matt Patchan, Sam Robey and T.J. Pridemore.

Secretary of the Interior – Gary Brown (West Gadsden) – OK. I’ll admit it, again. I wasn’t sold on Brown the first time I saw him. He looked slow and a bit small for a defensive tackle when I first laid eyes on him at one of Florida’s summer camps. Then came FNL. Everything changed for me. He was a monster on the line. His battles with 2010 commit Ian Silberman (6-4, 257) were classic. He had 113 tackles and 26 sacks as a junior. Wow.

Speaker of the House – Jonotthan Harrison (South Lake) – If you hear this guy talk, you’d understand why he’s here. Not only is he commanding on the offensive line, but he’s got the mouth of a leader. He was pushing guys left and right at FNL. He was even very outspoken when asked about the rumors he was wavering on his commitment to Florida and was looking to visit South Carolina. Just to clarify, Harrison is very solid to the Gators.

Secretary of Energy – Desmond Parks (Greer, S.C.) – It’s a weird seat, I know. But Parks has a motor, and in this day and age, we need as much energy and fuel as possible. Sure he’s not putting up great numbers at all, but he’s a hard worker. When I saw him over the summer, he looked pretty impressive but is a bit undersized.

Secretary of Agriculture – Kedric Johnson (Palmetto) – He’s a very athletic defensive end and either plays standing up or comes out of his stance on the line. He gets this seat because of his ability to pretty much move all around the field. He’s either hitting the quarterback before the ball gets to him or he’s dropping back into coverage. He’s definitely the sleeper of the 2009 class at this point.


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