Talented group expected for Friday Night Lights

D.J. Durkin and Will Muschamp during last year's Friday Night Lights event at The Swamp.

Brad McClenny/Staff photographer/File
Published: Thursday, July 24, 2014 at 11:48 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, July 24, 2014 at 11:48 a.m.

Florida's summer football camps in June drew several big-time visitors for coach Will Muschamp and his assistants, but Friday Night Lights could produce the best collection of talent they've had on campus for a single day this year.


Friday Night Lights schedule

5:45 — Players report for practice (skill players at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, OL/DL at Sanders Practice Fields)
6:15 — Practice
7:15 — Halftime, The Swamp
7:25 — Practice (OL/DL 1 on 1)
8:00 — OL/DL dinner
8:30 — Skill players 1 on 1
9:15 — Skill players dinner

UF is still in need of a running back for its 2015 class, and four in-state targets will be on hand at Friday's event.

After recent trips to Clemson and UCLA, the Gators receive the last visit from Ray-Ray McCloud III before his decision Monday. They will also try to get back in the mix for Jacques Patrick, who was once a Florida-lean but now favors Alabama and Florida State.

T.J. Simmons (UCLA commit) and Dexter Williams (Miami commit) are scheduled to attend as well. Williams is teammates with UF athlete pledge Jalen Julius.

“I'm trying to get him to come even though he's committed to Miami,” Julius said of Williams. “He's still interested in Florida and his family wants him to go there with me.”

None of Florida's commits have been recruiting others harder than offensive lineman Tyler Jordan. He interacts with prospects by phone and on Twitter about joining the Gators, and he'll make some in-person pitches at Friday Night Lights.

“I take a lot of pride in my commitment,” he said. “To get a great team together, you have to put in the work to get players to come to the school. I'm going to talk to as many people as I can.”

A handful of offensive linemen plan to visit, highlighted by five-star tackle Martez Ivey. His co-leaders are Auburn and UF. Other linemen include Matthew Burrell, Jalen Merrick, Isaiah Prince and Brandon Sandifer.

Jacksonville Trinity Christian teammates Jeff Holland (linebacker) and Kendrick Norton (defensive tackle) will be back at Florida for the second time this week after taking a trip together Wednesday.

Linebacker Te'Von Coney arrives in Gainesville on Thursday for a two-day stay. Out-of-state defensive linemen Fletcher Adams and Reggie Walker are also expected to visit.

Five-star defensive end Byron Cowart, five-star wide receiver George Campbell and four-star wide receiver Ryan Davis — all Tampa-area recruits — may stop by UF on their way home from visiting Florida State.

Top visitors

RB Ray-Ray McCloud III, 5-9, 176, Tampa Sickles

RB Jacques Patrick, Orlando Timber Creek, 6-1, 224

RB T.J. Simmons, Lakeland Christian, 6-0, 205 (UCLA commit)

RB Dexter Williams, Orlando West Orange, 5-11, 195 (Miami commit)

WR George Campbell, Tarpon Springs East Lake, 6-3, 183 (maybe)

WR Ryan Davis, St. Petersburg Lakewood, 5-10, 167 (maybe)

TE Camrin Knight, Tallahassee Lincoln, 6-4, 225 (UF commit)

OL Matthew Burrell, Woodbridge (Va.) C. D. Hylton, 6-4, 287

OL Martez Ivey, Apopka, 6-6, 270

OL Tyler Jordan, Jacksonville Bishop Kenny, 6-5, 270 (UF commit)

OL Jalen Merrick, New Smyrna Beach, 6-5, 295

OL Isaiah Prince, Greenbelt (Md.) Eleanor Roosevelt, 6-6, 270

OL Brandon Sandifer, Warner Robins (Ga.) Northside, 6-3, 332

DT Kendrick Norton, Jacksonville Trinity Christian, 6-2, 292

DT Fletcher Adams, Brandon (Miss.), 6-3, 260

DE Byron Cowart, Seffner Armwood, 6-3, 252 (maybe)

DE Reggie Walker, Ponchatoula (La.), 6-3, 230

LB Jeff Holland, Jacksonville Trinity Christian, 6-1, 225

LB Te'Von Coney, Palm Beach Gardens, 6-1, 222

ATH Jalen Julius, Orlando West Orange, 5-10, 175 (UF commit)

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