Depth chart tells all


Published: Friday, January 17, 2003 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 17, 2003 at 12:53 a.m.

Facts

AT A GLANCE

  • The Gators are hurting at defensive end, where the departure of starters Marcus Oquendo-Johnson and Clint Mitchell have left the Gators extremely thin on the outside.

  • With 12 defensive prospects scheduled to be on campus the next few days, there's one certainty about Florida's recruiting weekend.
    The Gators coaches are going to have plenty of copies of the depth chart on hand to pass out to the players.
    Florida really, really needs help on the defensive line and at linebacker, and UF has no better method to sell it or illustrate it than by bringing out the depth chart.
    With Ian Scott leaving early for the NFL, the Gators don't even have a two-deep at defensive tackle heading into the spring. The fact is, UF has only two scholarship tackles on campus and one - junior Kenny Parker - has missed the past two seasons with a chronic lower back problem.
    For standout high school defensive tackles looking for early playing time, the opportunity is there at Florida. The coaches certainly will try to get that point across to the four defensive tackles scheduled to visit this weekend - Andre Fluellen, Sian Cotton, Brad Girtman and Xavier Lawson-Kennedy.
    Of the four, the Gators seemed to be in very good shape with Fluellen, who is from Cartersville, Ga., and Cotton, who is from Akron, Ohio. Fluellen is expected to choose between UF and FSU, while it appears to be a Florida-Ohio State battle for Cotton. UF also is hopeful it can sway Girtman, the defensive player of the year in the Houston area, away from an earlier oral commitment he made to Ohio State.
    The Gators also are hurting at end, where the departure of starters Marcus Oquendo-Johnson and Clint Mitchell have left the Gators extremely thin on the outside.
    Two top defensive ends are visiting, but one - Melbourne Palm Bay's Joe Cohen - plans to play running back in college and he's leaning heavily to Florida State, where he visited last weekend. The other is Turk McBride, a highly rated prospect from Camden, N.J.
    UF also can pitch possible early playing time to linebacker Earl Everett from Bushnell South Sumter, Everett is considered the top outside linebacker prospect in the state and has UF at the top of his list.
    The Gators also will be entertaining five defensive backs, including Tallahassee Lincoln cornerback Antonio Cromartie, Melbourne Palm Bay cornerback Reggie Nelson and Reynaldo Hill, a junior college All-American cornerback from Dodge City, Kan.
    The only offensive player expected on campus this weekend is Sarasota Riverview lineman Steve Rissler, who is down to UF and South Florida.
    You can reach Robbie Andreu by e-mail at andreur@gvillesun.com or by calling (352) 374-5022.
    Making a visit
  • The following football prospects are scheduled to visit the University of Florida this weekend:
    PLAYER POS. HT./WT. HOMETOWN/HIGH SCHOOLJoe Cohen DE/RB 6-3/245 Melbourne/Palm Bay Willie Cooper S 6-2/190 St. Augustine Cian Cotton DT 6-4/305 Akron, Ohio Antonio Cromartie CB 6-3/195 Tallahassee/Lincoln Earl Everett LB 6-3/210 Bushnell/South Sumter Andre Fluellen DT 6-4/275 Cartersville, Ga. Brad Girtman DT 6-6/300 Houston/Memorial Reynaldo Hill CB 6-1/185 Dodge City (Kan.)/Dodge City CC LaRon Landry DB 6-2/190 Boutte, La. Xavier Lawson-Kennedy DT 6-3/305 Duncanville, Texas Turk McBride DE 6-4/235 Camden (N.J.)/Woodrow Wilson Reggie Nelson CB 6-0/175 Melbourne/Palm Bay Steve Rissler OL 6-3/310 Sarasota/Riverview

    AT A GLANCE

  • The Gators are hurting at defensive end, where the departure of starters Marcus Oquendo-Johnson and Clint Mitchell have left the Gators extremely thin on the outside.

    FLORIDA:

    About 13 prospects visit

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