Top talent works out for Meyer
Published: Friday, July 18, 2008 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, July 19, 2008 at 12:19 a.m.
In what was Florida's biggest recruiting day until the football season begins, the Gators welcomed a couple hundred of the nation's top recruits to The Swamp for Friday Night Lights.
An event that serves a dual purpose — evaluation of players by UF coaches and a close-up look at Florida by prospects — saw the athletes test themselves against each other in what was essentially a spirited three-and-a-half-hour practice.
"I like going against the best," said Hollywood Hills junior-to-be cornerback Tony Grimes. "That's why I'm here."
The evening began at 6:30 with a pep talk from Gator coach Urban Meyer.
In addition to introducing his staff and pumping up his program, Meyer also told the prospects that no walking, yawning or slacking of any kind would be tolerated.
"If a team comes in here without energy and togetherness, we'll beat them by three touchdowns," Meyer told the assembled players.
Words like that from Meyer's assistants got the attention of one elite quarterback prospect.
"I like the coaches here a lot," said Deerfield Beach quarterback Denard Robinson, who counts UF among his 30-plus scholarship offers. "They are great. I love the facility, too."
Like many players, Robinson said he won't make a commitment until late in the recruiting process, but added he does plan to make an official visit to Gainesville during the season and has UF in his top-5.
One player who has made a commitment is Dixie County running back Rodney Scott, who pledged to Auburn earlier this summer.
He worked out with other elite backs in hopes of gaining a UF offer. After the event was over, he said he hadn't had a chance to talk with coaches, but felt good about his effort.
When asked his favorite part of the night, he said "going 1-on-1 against linebackers."
In addition to Meyer's talk and individual drills, the players watched a video highlighting the Gators' 2007 season and quarterback Tim Tebow's successful Heisman Trophy campaign.
"It was good," said Ocala Trinity Catholic junior-to-be running back Kedrick Rhodes. "I had a good time."
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