UF? FSU? Ingram: `I can't go wrong either way'

But Columbia defensive back George Timmons wasn't thrilled with his visit.

Published: Monday, January 19, 2004 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, January 19, 2004 at 3:40 a.m.

The Gators showed Cornelius Ingram the love he was looking for this weekend, but he came away from his official visit still torn between Florida and Florida State.

"It was a great visit, everything I thought it would be," said Ingram, the two-sport star from Hawthorne. "It's making my decision so hard now between Florida and Florida State. I can't go wrong either way. They're pretty much even right now.

"I'm going to sit down with my family and discuss everything. I'm pretty sure my mind will be made up by the end of the week."

Ingram, however, said he might hold off on announcing his decision until national signing day on Feb. 4.

"I'm going to do what's best for me," the quarterback/basketball player said. "I think I'm going to do it on signing day."

After being wowed by a weekend visit to Tallahassee a week ago, Ingram said he had a similar experience on the UF campus. It was all good, he said.

"I had a chance to talk to the whole coaching staff, and that was nice," he said. "Saturday night was fun. We came from the hotel like we were about to have a game in The Swamp. I got the whole atmosphere, and that was real nice. They called out our names and we got to run on the field, and that was a lot of fun.

"The visit was great. Both visits (to UF and FSU) were great. I've got a tough decision to make. I'll talk it over with my family. I know they'll support me whatever I decide to do, so there's no pressure."

Ingram's father is a Gator fan, and both of his parents made the trip to Gainesville with him. "They were very impressed," Ingram said. "So, I was."

Ingram plans to redshirt his freshman season, and said the situation at Florida would be good if he signs with the Gators.

"I talked to coach (Ron) Zook today, and he laid out that they weren't recruiting any other quarterbacks," Ingram said. "The position might not be wide open right now, but it would be great for me because I could go in and learn from Chris Leak. He'd be a great quarterback to learn from."

Although the trip to UF didn't lead to a decision Sunday night about where he'll sign, the experience, he said, has made it obvious that it's now strictly a UF-FSU battle. Ingram said he probably now will not make his scheduled visits to South Florida and Georgia.

"I seriously doubt I'll make those other trips," he said.

While Ingram had a positive experience on his UF visit, another area player apparently did not. Columbia defensive back George Timmons said Sunday that he didn't particularly like his visit to Gainesville and that the Gators have now dropped slightly below the other teams he's considering - Miami, North Carolina, LSU and South Florida.

Timmons said he didn't receive much individual attention while he was in Gainesville.

"Maybe because they had so many recruits in this weekend. I'm not really sure," he said. "It wasn't a bad visit, but it just didn't feel quite right. We'll see what happens."

Timmons said he has not eliminated the Gators and currently has no leader.

More than 20 prospects visited UF over the weekend, but it was a slow Sunday night in terms of commitments, with UF failing to gain any. Several prospects, however, are not scheduled to return home until today.

The Gators appear close to gaining a commitment from Phil Trautwein, an offensive lineman from Voorhees, N.J., who visited over the weekend. Trautwein has relatives in the area and has referred to UF as his "dream school." He said he'll sit down with his family and have an announcement in a day or two. He's also considering Michigan State and Virginia.

UF also is hoping to turn a top player from Georgia who orally committed to the Bulldogs a week ago. Defensive tackle Michael Brown from Atlanta visited UF over the weekend and said he is now torn between the Gators and 'Dogs and likely won't announce anything until close to signing day.

You can reach Robbie Andreu by calling 374-5022 or by e-mail at andreur@gvillesun.com.

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