Camp season begins for UF football prospects

Florida coach Will Muschamp works with players during a workout on Florida Field with various NFL scouts on April 17.

Rob C. Witzel/Staff photographer
Published: Friday, June 6, 2014 at 6:00 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, June 6, 2014 at 6:16 p.m.

Florida coach Will Muschamp and his assistants work year-round in their recruitment of high school football players, and an important part of the process takes place this month.

Muschamp's summer camps start Saturday and run through June 18. The sessions give him and his staff the opportunity to work with recruits they've targeted in the evaluation period, and there's also the potential to discover new talent.

“I tell all the prospects the evaluation is two ways,” Muschamp said. “You need to evaluate us and how we coach and how you're going to fit schematically in what we do and how we do things. And also, it's a huge evaluation for us as well. That's critical.”

The Gators hold two skill camps for grades 10-12 on Saturday and June 14 as well as mini-camps from Monday-June 13 and June 16-18. They have a high school camp for all grades from Sunday-Wednesday and a kicking camp Sunday.

These camps also become unofficial visits for many recruits, as they tour UF and spend time with the coaches. Several prospects are scheduled to be in Gainesville in the coming days.

Jacksonville Bishop Kenny's Tyler Jordan, the sole offensive lineman commitment for the Gators thus far, will have his recruiting cap on this weekend as he tries to get others to join him in Florida's 2015 class.

Two of his targets are fellow in-state linemen Abdul Bello (Montverde) and Jalen Merrick (New Smyrna Beach). They have seen their recruitments explode recently, with both receiving offers from some of the nation's top football programs.

“They're really good players,” Jordan said of Bello and Merrick. “We definitely need those guys, so I'm going to talk up Florida and show them why it's a great place to come.”

Consensus four-star quarterback Sheriron Jones camps at UF on Saturday and is on commitment watch, as the Gators have put themselves in great position to land him. He was invited to the Elite 11 quarterback competition Tuesday and attends the same high school (Moreno Valley, Calif./Rancho Verde) as former Florida linebacker Ronald Powell.

Three more notable prospects from out of state will be on campus this weekend: receiver Van Jefferson (Brentwood, Tenn./Ravenwood), linebacker Adonis Thomas (Lawrenceville, Ga./Central Gwinnett) and cornerback Jalen Thompson (Mobile, Ala./St. Paul's Episcopal).

Thomas and Thompson plan to make their commitments in August and have named UF their leader, while Jefferson was offered by the Gators in April and also hopes to decide soon.

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