Notebook: Volunteers put a dent in Florida's class


Published: Wednesday, February 4, 2009 at 2:51 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, February 4, 2009 at 2:51 p.m.

Florida lost two verbal commitments to Tennessee on Wednesday.

Paris, Tenn. defensive back Marsalis Teague and Pahokee, Fla. athlete Nu'Keese Richardson both waited until National Signing Day to reverse course and sign letters of intent to play for the Volunteers and new head coach Lane Kiffin.

Despite those two late defections, Urban Meyer was clearly pleased with his fourth consecutive top-10 recruiting class.

"We've done a good job recruiting," Meyer said. "Our staff has done phenomenal. The ones we brought in are tremendous."

South seas flavor

One of Meyer's favorite recruits is St. Petersburg Catholic offensive lineman Jon Halapio, who is Polynesian.

"He's from one of my favorite cultures," Meyer said. "About 25 percent of our players at Utah were Polynesian. I wish there were more playing here in the state of Florida. I love the work ethic. Most of all, I love the family, they way they're all together. He's from a real good family."

Meyer said Halapio could play early.

"He weighs 305 pounds and looks like he's 260," he said. "He'll compete for playing time."

Bostic looking good

Four-star linebacker Jon Bostic is already enrolled in classes, and he's already making a favorable impression. For one thing, he passes the eye test, Meyer said.

"Our strength coach says he one of the best looking players on our team already," Meyer said. "He's a high character person. One area where we have some depth is at linebacker. I can't say he's going to come in and play right away. I don't know that. You look at him physically and watch him on video, he has the potential. The good thing is he'll be here for the spring."

Connecticut Gators

Florida's starting tight end (Aaron Hernandez) is from Connecticut. UF's possible future starting quarterback (Jordan Reed) also is from that far away state.

"Connecticut is the hotbed of recruiting for Florida now," Meyer said. "We recruit Florida, Texas, Georgia, and now Connecticut. That's (offensive coordinator) Steve Addazio's home state. Those guys are having great success."

Fending off the 'Noles

Even though defensive tackle Gary Brown committed to UF months ago and never outwardly wavered on his decision, the Gators had to hold off the late-charging Seminoles to get him in this class.

"It was a little more difficult (than everyone thought)," Meyer said. "He lives in the shadow of a rival. Chuck Heater and Dan McCarney worked very hard. That was not a final deal until it was a final deal (Wednesday morning)."

Football right around the corner

Yes, it's always football season in Gainesville. UF's annual Pro Day will be held on March 18. A week later, on March 25, the Gators begin spring practice, with the workouts open to the public. The spring game is April 18.

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