Buckle up for a wild, crazy signing day

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With only hours until National Signing Day, I thought I’d share some last-minute news and notes concerning prospects the Gators are after.

Wednesday might not be for the faint of heart, but hey, it’s recruiting. It’s what you all signed up for when you decided to follow it. And of course, it is literally killing me, but in a fun way …

We’ll start with Shreveport, La., Evangel Christian defensive end Jermauria Rasco. He will announce his college decision at 3 p.m. EST. Reports surfaced Tuesday that he is down to Florida, LSU and Texas, with LSU the presumed leader.

According to Evangel Christian coach Phillip Deas, no decision has been made and the only person he will be telling is his mother.

“He has no clue what he wants to do,” Deas said. “He is as troubled and as confused. His problem is he’s got too many good options.

“It’s tough on him.”

What has made it so tough for him is the fact that he enjoyed himself so much while on his official visit to Florida this past weekend. Deas said he came back “with a smile on his face” and couldn’t think of anything bad to say about his first trip to Gainesville.

“He loved it, man. He loved it. There’s no doubt about it,” Deas said. “He has a really good relationship with Coach Muschamp, going all the way back to when he was at Texas. He had a great visit.

“It definitely made a good impression on him for sure.”

Still, he’s facing a lot of hometown pressure to stay in the state and go to LSU.

“Just being in Louisiana, there’s pressure on you with people driving down the street with LSU bumper stickers and everything else all over their cars,” Deas said. “There’s some natural pressure that’s on him to go to LSU.

“He’s going to make the best choice for him.”

Rasco will have hats on the table and should have a little fun with it as well.

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Miami Booker T. Washington defensive tackle Elkino Watson has been making a lot of noise surrounding Florida’s recruiting class. He visited Florida a couple of weeks ago and pushed the Gators toward the top of his list.

Most thought Florida was in the driver’s seat, but a week later he got an offer from Miami and things changed. He immediately visited and most expected him to commit shortly after. However, he didn’t, and now things are getting a little more interesting.

While he’s down to Louisville, South Florida, Florida and Miami, Booker T. Washington offensive coordinator/recruiting coordinator Tim Harris Jr. said he believes the Florida schools are ahead of Louisville.

That instate battle appears to be down to the Gators and Hurricanes.

For Florida, wide receivers coach Aubrey Hill has taken over as his main recruiter, now that running backs coach/recruiting coordinator Stan Drayton is gone. Watson and Hill had a good relationship with him when he was at Miami. Harris Jr. also has a pretty good relationship with Hill and new defensive backs coach Travaris Robinson, who has a history of recruiting in south Florida. Defensive line coach Bryant Young is also recruiting Watson.

“Those things go a long way at the end of the day, but we try to build good relationships with all schools,” Harris Jr. said.

Harris Jr. said Watson had a great time on his trip and has grown very close to Gainesville and Florida’s staff.

As for Miami, the Hurricanes have always been on his list, but offering him late troubled him a little, though he never expressed any negativity toward UM, Harris Jr. said.

“Miami was the school that he always dreamed of going to when he was growing up,” Harris Jr. said. “You get that from most of the kids here in the south Florida and Miami area. Those kids want to grow up to be Miami Hurricanes. That childhood dream goes a long way for him and that’s the biggest thing Miami had on the table for him when he looked at that situation.

“When you get to this point in your life and you really have to make a decision on which route you’re going to go, sometimes the childhood dream will have to be looked at differently because you have to make sure you’re looking at the best situation for you now and your future.”

Watson will inform the school he’ll attend today and will announce at 9 a.m. at school.

# # #

Florida appears to be back in the running for one of the country’s top cornerback prospects.

Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas’ Marcus Roberson, who committed to Texas Tech last month, then decommitted and committed to Auburn Monday, has now decommitted from Auburn, according to Rivals.com.

Florida, USC and maybe even Texas Tech, where his uncle Otis Mounds is the cornerbacks coach, are in the running. I picked Florida after speaking with him at Under Armour practices. I picked Florida when he chose Texas Teach. And my gut is still telling me to stick with Florida. With that said, USC has been making a major push for him, so you can’t count the Trojans out.

Can you send two Letters of Intent in one day??? 🙂

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Traverse City, Mich., West coach Tim Wooer confirmed that offensive lineman Jacob Fisher will make his announcement at 9 a.m. EST. His finalists are Florida, Michigan, Michigan State and Oregon.

Most think he’ll be better suited staying close to home, but it’s my understanding that he’s not afraid to leave his comfort area. Oregon could be too far, and he did have a very good time in Gainesville and offensive tackle is a position of need for Florida in this class.

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According to The Palm Beach Post, Palm Beach Gardens Dwyer duo Curt Maggitt (defensive end) and Jacoby Brissett (quarterback) are almost ready to end the recruiting process.

Dwyer coach Jack Daniels told The Post that Brissett could make his decision Friday during halftime of his high school basketball game.

“My guess, which is just a guess, is that he does it Friday night,” Daniels said told The Post.

Rumors spread Tuesday that Brissett had eliminated Florida, but Daniels told The Post his quarterback is down to Wisconsin, Miami, Washington and Florida. Miami appears to be the favorite here.

As for Maggitt, Daniels said he expects him to sign on Wednesday and thinks Tennessee might be his leader. Maggitt appeared to be a Florida lean before Urban Meyer’s resignation, but by most accounts, the Gators still held the edge when Muschamp took over, especially after his official visit to Gainesville over the weekend.

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Reports spread Monday night that Moreno Valley, Calif., Rancho Verde wide receiver/tight end Junior Pomee committed to USC after his father, Kapelieli, told Nationalunderclassmen.com that his son was going to be a Trojan.

“I supported him (all along) because he wanted to go (to USC),” said the elder Pomee. “The school is close to home and I told him whatever is good for him works for me.”

However, Junior told Rivals.com West Coast recruiting analyst Adam Gorney that he hasn’t committed anywhere and will decide Wednesday.

His coach, Pete Duffy, confirmed to me that Junior hasn’t publicly committed and will decide between Florida, USC and Utah Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. EST.

Florida is very much in play here and Gators coaches recently visited Junior.

# # #

Florida can cross at least one linebacker off its list for tomorrow. Palmettosports.com reported Monday night that Wadesboro, N.C., Anson linebacker Stephone Anthony has eliminated Florida and is down to Clemson, Virginia Tech and North Carolina. Clemson appears to be the favorite here.

Remember, Anthony was considered a heavy lean toward the Gators for most of the recruiting season, but slowed things down during the fall. Though he had a great time on his visit in early January, it seemed as though Florida lost its luster a lot earlier than thought.

Florida still has Richmond, Va., Hermitage linebacker Curtis Grant on the board and he will decided at 1:50 p.m. EST Wednesday. Ohio State and Florida are the presumed leaders, but with his ties to North Carolina, the Tar Heels aren’t out of it. Not getting Grant, who had the Gators at the top for most of the recruiting process, would be a major blow to Florida’s class.

17 COMMENTS

  1. Ed, you need a good long vacation after all you’ve done for the GATOR Nation this season. I predict that the Gators will have a very nice group of new players for us to be proud of in the coming years. We really do have a bunch of studs coming back for the next 2-4 years and we will do nicely on Wednesday. ALL is not lost GATORS we will survive and excell again. GO GATORS!!!!!

  2. I’m looking on the recruiting forums and laughing my a$$ off at some of the people there. “Oh no, our class isn’t all 5 stars, oh no, we only have so many 4-stars” I’m wondering if those people have forgotten the number of top 5 classes Meyer left us with? A down yr, a new coach and staff, and people are surprised we aren’t nabbing every big time recruit out there. Some of you cats need a dose of reality. When the cabinets are as fully stocked as ours are, we can afford to have somewhat of a down recruiting yr. That fact alone is some of the reason recruits aren’t jazzed about Florida. Very few top notch guys want to sit for two maybe three years before really getting a chance. A 10-11 win season next yr and I’ll guarantee we have a good shot at the #1 class next yr. We have so much talent that was either improperly used, injured, red shirted, or not used at all that come beginning of this season we’ll forget all about our “horrible” recruiting yr. Lets not forget people, stars do not equate success. What equates success is team chemistry, players who want to learn, and coaches who know how to teach.

  3. So we are doomed now right? We didn’t land every Five star on the board, my god, Florida will never win another game. Come on people, we’re loaded with talent for a few yrs, one “down” recruiting cycle is not going to kill us. A good season next yr and they’ll be talking about Florida landing the #1 class AGAIN. We can’t be so naive that we think every yr we are just supposed to clean house and grab every recruit we go after.

  4. How is this a down recruiting year? I love our class. And I am proud that they are Gators. We have what many analysts condsider the best (by far) QB in the nation in this class. That is a huge win for us. We have a top 5 RB. We have a 6’3 wide receiver that can fly. We have a Top TE/Ath. We are getting another Burton. We have great kids all up and down the roster. Plus a number of other studs that can provide instant impact on our special teams as freshman.
    I want to congratulate Coach Mushchamp and the rest of the staff for a job well done. And thank you Coach Meyer and staff for all of the hard work they have put in these last few years to form the class we have now. Go Gators!!!

  5. Chad, when I said down yr, I was referring to all the posters on the recruiting boards that are all distraught because we’re losing recruits that THEY think we shouldn’t lose. Someone needs to open up a whiners forum for them.

  6. 4 star kids are good players and the more you have to coach the better. You dont need the best class but certainly in the top 15.
    The only problem is lb and DE. Why would Anthony not have us at least in his top three? There is just as much competition at OLB and MORE at DE at theses competitor schools.

    Good thing our coaches are not going to reach and save the scholarships for their guys next year..

  7. Let’s see, Trey Burton was by far out best signee last year if not our best offensive weapon on the team and he was a 3 Star recruit. We got the best QB and filled many needs. Not the best Gator class by any means, but all things considered a good one. The average rating of the recruits is almost as good as anyone and only the number of signees is down.

  8. After re-reading your site on the last few years recruiting classes I am again reminded that quantity is not as important as quality, as the number of recruits that disappeared is stunning…thanks for the hard work