Gators Big Weekend Yields Commitments


Published: Sunday, January 11, 2004 at 5:32 p.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, January 11, 2004 at 5:32 p.m.

The Florida Gators hosted their first major recruiting weekend and the results are already coming back a resounding success. First for the biggest news of the day. Offensive linemen Drew Miller, a 4 star prospect out of Sarasota Riverview, confirmed his commitment to Florida per Rivals. He also commented that fellow 4 star offensive line prospect Jim Tartt and 4 star tight end Tate Casey committed to Florida over the weekend. Tartt has since confirmed his commitment per FightingGators.com while Casey's commitment has not yet been confirmed, though it seems only a matter of time before it is. These three commitments should be just the beginning of a strong push for the Gators in the final month of recruiting.

Drew Miller has been a widely sought after prospect that had offers from programs like Miami, Tennessee and Florida State, just to name a few. In the end, it really came down to Florida and Miami for Drew. He will be following former high school teammate Steven Rissler who signed with Florida last year out of Riverview. Jim Tartt is a very powerful interior offensive lineman. He has been one of the strongest weight lifters in the state over the last two years. Wakulla, where Jim is from, is normally a fertile recruiting ground for Florida State. Zook and this staff going in there and stealing a great OL prospect speaks volumes for their recruiting ability. Tate Casey would be the second Texas commitment in this class, Lance Leggett being the other, once Tate's commitment is confirmed. Casey is 6'7, presenting a very large target for Chris Leak. He possesses great hands and is a good blocker. Casey also possesses a 93 MPH fastball and the ability to throw 4 pitches, so the Major League draft is a concern with him. If he goes early enough, he might never enroll at Florida.

Other rave reviews from the visit have come from offensive tackle Jason Watkins and cornerback Dawayne Grace. Both will more than likely take another visit each, with Watkins visiting LSU on the 16th and Grace visiting Florida State on the 23rd respectively. It is very likely that both will be Gators in the end despite continuing with their visits. Linebacker Brandon Siler is another important recruit in this class for the Gators that came away from the visit very impressed, but that will also take another visit next weekend, his to Tennessee. The Vols might represent the only real competition for Siler, but it's highly likely that he too will be a Gator when it's all said and done.

There were some Keith Rivers sightings over the weekend too. One of which was at the 95-57 victory for the men's basketball team over Tennessee on Saturday. Numerous people spotted Rivers with what was presumed to be his parents and Ron Zook. Rivers had on a leather Gator jacket and was having a very good time. His big announcement is scheduled for Monday the 12th, so we will all know his plans soon.

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