Muschamp camp a big success for recruiting

The first Will Muschamp Football Camp, which began June 11, breaks today and concludes with a kicking camp Monday through Wednesday. (Photo courtesy of the University Athletic Association).

Published: Friday, June 17, 2011 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, June 18, 2011 at 8:27 a.m.

Judging by the number of top national prospects walking around the campus of the University of Florida, the first Will Muschamp Football Camp has been a tremendous success in terms of Gator recruiting.

Hundreds of high school players have braved record heat to work with the UF coaching staff on drills, tests and competitions at The Swamp and on practice fields. The camp, which began June 11, breaks today and concludes with a kicking camp Monday through Wednesday.

"I anticipate it'll be a good weekend for Muschamp and the Gators," said ESPN national recruiting analyst Jamie Newberg. "I'm sure they'll get a great benefit to having all those kids on campus and at their camp, whether they pop now or in a couple of weeks or a couple of months. I'm sure it'll go a long way."

Florida has received two significant verbal commitments this week and could see another one or two in the coming days.

This weekend is particularly important for visits.

Five-star offensive tackle John Theus, of Jacksonville, Fla., regarded by many as the top player in the state, headlined a list of high-profile players who visited campus Friday. The group also included Orlando, Fla., receiver Alton Howard; Melbourne, Fla., safety Marcus Maye; Buford, Ga., tight end Kurt Freitag; and Decatur, Ga., defensive end Jhaustin Thomas. Others expected to attend camp this weekend: McKee's Rocks, Pa., linebacker Deaysean Rippy; Tampa, Fla., linebacker/defensive end Tyriq McCord; Florence, Ala., linebacker Beniquez Brown; College Park, Ga., defensive tackle Jordan Watkins; and 2013 prospects Trey Johnson, Derrick Henry, Laremy Tunsil and Marcell Harris.

Normally UF's one-day summer showcase, Friday Night Lights in July, is where the Gators make their biggest splash in the summer recruiting circuit. But this year with Muschamp at the helm, Florida is pushing its recruiting efforts earlier than ever.

Florida already has 12 non-binding verbal commitments in its class of 2012 and has blanketed the states of Florida and Georgia in particular with dozens of visits and scholarship offers to 2012 and 2013 prospects.

Following up with nearly two weeks of summer camps clearly has a benefit.

"It's a sign of the times — it's not just Florida, it's everybody," Newberg said. "Summer camps with the colleges has become a significant part of the recruiting process. The whole thing has become so accelerated that schools are trying to get kids on campus literally as often as possible.

"And with the camps it's the best of both worlds, because they get them on campus and they get to evaluate them at the same time. The unofficial visits become more important than the official visits."

Contact Jeff Barlis at 352-374-5066 or and follow at

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