Gators pick up two more verbals

Published: Monday, January 27, 2003 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, January 27, 2003 at 2:06 a.m.

Finally, the confusion is over for Groveland South Lake offensive lineman Carlton Medder.

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Head coach Ron Zook and the Gators picked up two more verbal commitments for next season's recruiting class Sunday.

Sun file photo

At least, he says it is. For now.

Two weeks after backing out of an oral commitment to Georgia and visiting Florida, the 6-4, 330-pound Medder committed to the Gators on Sunday. And he says he's not going to change his mind this time.

"I'm a Gator," he said. "(The recruiting process) is over. Florida is where I felt the most comfortable and I've known for a few days that's where I really wanted to go. My decision is final this time. I'm going to Florida."

Medder said he rushed into committing to Georgia, which was his first visit, three weeks ago. He said the decision to decommit and then visit UF and Tennessee makes him feel more comfortable about his decision to sign with UF on Feb. 5.

"Georgia was great and I really liked it up there," he said. "But the visit to Florida opened my eyes and made me realize there were other schools that have just as much or more to offer. I'm glad I took all my visits and then took time to sit down and make my decision.

"I really like the players and coaches at Florida and I feel like I'm going to fit in there. And it's close to home."

The Gators also picked up some help on the defensive side of the ball Sunday, gaining an oral commitment from Miami Booker T. Washington defensive end/linebacker Johnny Dingle, who visted UF over the weekend. Dingle, who likely will be an outside linebacker at UF, was the Dade County defensive player of the year after recording 22 sacks his senior season.

"You can't beat the atmosphere at Florida and I love the coaches," Dingle said. "I've been favoring Florida for a long time and that's where I'm going."

The commitment from Medder likely ends the Gators' recruitment of offensive linemen. UF signed three junior college offensive linemen - Billy Griffin, Tavares Washington and Anthony Guerrero - in December and now has commitments from two high school linemen - Medder and Sarasota Riverview's Steve Rissler, who pledged a week ago after his Gainesville visit.

With the addition of Medder and Dingle, the Gators have 20 oral commitments. UF hopes to sign 28 or 29 players on Feb. 5.

In other news on a busy recruiting Sunday:

  • Mandarin defensive tackle Marcus Thomas returned from his UF visit on Sunday and said he's still committed to Florida State. But, he said he now has a decision to make between UF and FSU and likely won't announce anything until signing day.

    UF has gotten itself back in contention by offering Thomas possible immediate playing time at defensive tackle, where the Gators will have only two scholarship players on the roster this spring. UF has an oral commitment from only one defensive tackle prospect, Oviedo's Clint McMillan, who played middle linebacker his senior season.

  • Seabreeze cornerback Kenny Scott, one of the top defensive players in Florida, visited UF this past weekend and said the Gators are now even with Tennessee and Georgia Tech. He has eliminated Florida State and Notre Dame. He said he will make an announcement at his high school football banquet on Sunday.

    "I'm going to sit down and decide where I'll feel the most comfortable and that's where I'll go," he said.

  • St. Petersburgh Lakewood defensive end Julian Riley will have an announcement at his school today after visiting Gainesville over the weekend. He said he will make a final decision between UF and Pittsburgh after visiting with Pitt coach Walt Harris today.

  • Tampa Wharton linebacker Larry Edwards said he no longer considers himself a North Carolina commitment after visiting Florida over the weekend. He said he'll decide between the Gators and Tar Heels and could have an announcement later in the week.

  • Washington (D.C.) Dunbar tight end/linebacker Vernon Davis is seriously considering the Gators after spending the weekend in Gainesville. He's being recruited to play offense at Florida and Davis is expected to choose between UF and Maryland on signing day. He has slightly favored the Terps throughout the recruiting process.

  • Bushnell South Sumter linebacker Earl Everett, who visited Miami over the weekend, still has the Hurricanes and Gators rated equal and will decide between UF and UM on national signing day.

  • Quincy Shanks wide receiver DeCody Fagg visited UF and now rates the Gators even with his other leaders, Georgia and Florida State. He'll visit FSU this weekend.

  • Citra defensive back/wide receiver Jermaine Thomas is expected to make a visit to UF this weekend and is hoping to get an offer from the Gators. He already has offers from Michigan State, Louisville, Florida A&M, Iowa State, Central Florida and Troy State.

  • Miami Killian defensive back Miguel Scott, who visited UF two weeks ago, could make a decision any day now. He's eliminated Georgia, Ohio State and North Carolina State and will choose between UF and Rutgers. His is considered one of the top cover cornerbacks in the state.

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