Friday Night Lights getting bigger?

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Friday Night Lights attracts some of the best talent in the nation to Gainesville, Fla., every year in late July. (Gainesville Sun file photo)

UPDATE: Look for updates at the bottom of the list right up through Friday, July 22.

Emerging from the haze of a nice, long summer vacation, there is one thing looming at the forefront of my mind — Friday Night Lights.

Friday Night Lights (also known as FNL) is a one-night summer camp, or showcase, for high school football players from around the country. It was the brainchild of Urban Meyer and his inaugural staff at Florida in 2005, and it has grown into a monster.

Within a few years of its inception, FNL became the best-known on-campus summer showcase  in the nation. It benefits most from being among the last camps of the summer, so as to maximize the number of elite recruits who can attend. It also benefits from the atmosphere of Ben Hill Griffin Stadium at night with music blaring and videos of Gator exploits on a massive TV screen.

As the years have gone by, FNL has attracted more and more top prospects. And while there were some questions about how new Florida coach Will Muschamp would embrace and continue FNL, all signs are pointing to this year’s event being the biggest yet.

With about a week and a half to go, this blog will serve as the updated list of who is planning to attend. The Gator coaching staff has to be overjoyed to see so many players (and so many at important positions of need) expected to be on hand.

I will not be surprised if UF picks up a commitment or two or even three. In fact, as spots begin to fill up in the Gators’ Class of 2012, some of the battles on Florida Fields this July 22 could actually have an impact on who makes it into the class. This year’s edition of FNL very well may be its most competitive.

So without further adieu, here is the latest list with a disclaimer that recruiting (as always) is an ever-changing, fickle and unpredictable mistress.

QUARTERBACKS
Brice Ramsey (2013 Georgia commit)
Hunter Boyett (2014)

RUNNING BACKS
Matt Jones (Florida commit)
Mike Davis (Florida commit)
Brandon Sturdivant – fullback
Jamie Gilmore
Derrick Henry (2013 Georgia commit)
Kelvin Taylor (2013)
Raphael Webb (2013)
Tarean Folston (2013)
Greg Bryant (2013)
Daryl Chestnut (2013)
Sony Michel (2014)

WIDE RECEIVERS
Latroy Pittman (Florida commit)
Nelson Agholor
Stefon Diggs
Malcolm Lewis
Amari Cooper
Marty Williams
Devonte Mathis
Raphael Andrades
Danterio Fowler (2014)

TIGHT ENDS
Kent Taylor
Sean Culkin
Mike Heuerman (2013)

OFFENSIVE LINEMEN
Avery Young
Evan Goodman
D.J. Park (2013)
Travis Bennett (2013)

DEFENSIVE LINEMEN
JaFar Mann (Florida commit)
Quinteze Williams (Florida commit)
Dante Phillips (Florida commit)
Carlos Watkins (may not work out)
Darius Hamilton
Tyriq McCord
Tyler Nero
Jay Ellison (2013)

DE/LB HYBRID (BUCK)
Jordan Jenkins
Dante Fowler (may not work out)

LINEBACKERS
Jeremi Powell (Florida commit)
Lorenzo Phillips (Florida commit)
Antonio Morrison
Quanzell Lambert
Kenneth Bynum
Darren Hambrick (2013)
Reuben Foster (2013 Alabama commit)
Nigel Harris (2013)

CORNERBACKS
Tracy Howard
Damonte Jones (2013)
Jamonte Jones (2013)
Marcus Davis (2013)

SAFETIES
Marcell Harris (2013)

MAY BE ATTENDING
QB – John Wolford (2014)
RB – Lorenzo Woodley (2013)
WR – Kwinton Smith (South Carolina commit)
WR – Demarcus Robinson (2013)
OT – Jessamen Dunker (Florida commit)
WR – Dionte Taylor (2013)
DE – Jhaustin Thomas
DT – Monty Nelson (2013)

UPDATES
July 13 – Moved S Marcell Harris and LB Reuben Foster from maybe to attending; removed DL Danny O’Brien, who will not attend but reportedly hopes to schedule an official visit.
July 14 – Added WR Raphael Andrades
July 15 – Added WR Stefon Diggs
July 18 – Moved CB Tracy Howard, QB Hunter Boyett (2014) from maybe to confirmed; removed S Marcus Maye and RB Adam Lane (2013), who will not attend; added OL Travis Bennett (2013)
July 20 – Added RB Jamie Gilmore, RB Daryl Chestnut (2013), WR Devonte Mathis, DT Dante Phillips (Florida commit), DE/LB Tyriq McCord, and LB Darren Hambrick (2013); moved WR Malcolm Lewis from maybe to confirmed; moved OL Jessamen Dunker (Florida commit) from attending to maybe; removed OT D.J. Humphries, who will not attend; removed LB Kaiwan Lewis, who visited UF on Wednesday; removed TE Colin Thompson (Florida commit), who will not attend; removed CB Willie Bailey (Florida commit), who will not attend; removed LB Trey Johnson (2013), who said it was very unlikely he would attend; removed CB Chris Bivins, who will not attend.

42 COMMENTS

  1. Jeff, great piece, but as much as I try to read EVERY article on Gatorsports (well at least about FB or BBall) I don’t know who every prospect is or how they are rated, or who is truly considering, etc….more, more, more please!

  2. @ Don Hand

    That’s the stupidest post I think I have ever seen on this site. Who cares what color their skin is!?!?!?! If they can play, if their good people, bring them in.

    What a moron. Sad to think we still have such an openly racist jerk in our midst.

    IG2BaFG

  3. Any chance your going to start a thread Jeff? Would love to discuss the event and updates. I would but it would go further and stay on topic with your name on it. Good job also, I’m starting to warm up to your style. Ed left a big hole to fill but your definitely creating your own niche. Keep it up and keep them coming.

  4. Thanks for the article and all of the great information! Keep up the good work.

    I also like the recruit database, but I’ve got one plea / recommendation. If it’s not possible to allow viewers to sort it (by Name, Pos, Verbal, and maybe State/Town), could you please sort it for us (either by Pos, then Verbal or vice versa)?

    Either way, again… thanks and keep up the good work! Go Gators!

  5. Demarcus Robinson is the real deal plays 4 Peach Co.High n Ga. 1 of the top high school program n the state of Ga.He plays 4 the same school that produce #5 Jacques Green former Gator great i watch this kid last yr. as a sophmore triple coverage couldn’t stop this kid another tip his uncle is Marcus Robinson played 4 South Carolina & Chicago Bears look 4 this kid name really start 2 take off just a jr. will b the top wide-out 2013.um willing 2 bet on it.

  6. I hope you can block people like that from being a part of this site! The only colors that matter are red, white and blue! (Of course orange and blue too) He was more than likely from some other HATER program! I visit this site frequently for my dose of Gator information and anything you can tell us Jeff is much appreciated. I want to add that I believe that our defense will be a monster to deal with this year and the rest of the SEC wont know what hit them! GO GATORS!!!

  7. Though this is a great list, there seems to be a descent list of players that arent on here. Was really hoping Eddie Goldman (though we have 3 DT’s committed already), Noah Spence, Kwon Alexander, Noor Davis, Tracy Howard, Chris Black, John Theus, & Nelson Agholor would have been there. Those are some BIG TIME players right there that would fill our areas of need. Any word Jeff on some of these players? Nelson Agholor I would think has to be very high on the list for the Gator coaches.

  8. Scratch the Nelson Agholor part…i see he is on the WR list. That’s very good to see. Hopefully Tracy Howard decides to come. It would still be nice if those other players i listed could come.

  9. 2013 QB Tim Brady Friendship Collegiate Academy of Washington DC will be in attendance also. This kid has a cannon for an arm and will definitely turn heads. Coach Brian White invited him to the FNL event. I just watched him play in the Mel Kiper 7 on 7 in Chantilly, VA. This kid was the stand out QB he out played David Stills of Red Lion beating them 32-24 and showed better mecahnics and arm strength than Beeney Coney of Plant City, FL. This kid is the real deal and he runs a 4.49 40 yd dash.

  10. I’m the editor / webmaster of our football booster site. Since we have a player attending FNL, I contacted UF to see about obtaining a media pass for the event. The partial response was “Friday Night Lights is kind of a unique event and we do not allow media access. “The stands will be open and media are welcome to watch and take photos from the stands” …”we do not allow any interviews with the athletes while they are in our facilities.” Hope this helps clear things up. The stands will be open…but interviews will have to be done outside it seems.