Red carpet for The Citadel?


With Florida not having a home game this season against arch rival Florida State, the fans, players and recruits will have to sit through Senior Day watching what should be a lopsided victory for the Gators against The Citadel.

Saturday’s game isn’t expected to bring any official visits and the south end zone stands should be relatively devoid of prospects.

But why? Why does it have to be so barren down there for one of the least anticipated games of the year? Why isn’t the Gator staff busting its butt to bring in some of the best players in the country for a game that will be over before kickoff?

Yes, I know that it seems appropriate to bring in the top guys when Florida is playing against the LSUs, Miamis, Florida States and to a lesser extent, South Carolinas. But last time I checked, all those teams – minus the Seminoles – have lost a combined 133-33. I’m pretty sure The Citadel could lose by 30 or more to the Gators too. What’s the difference? Oh, the talent level, right? The name? Everyone knows the LSU Tigers, but who really knows anything about The Citadel?

Well, think about this: All the top players want to come to Gainesville – or any big college venue – to see the best game possible. Two good teams going at it. Best man wins might sway a prospect. But with so many kids at these games, coaches barely have time to wine and dine these guys. They are preparing for the game on Friday and once the game is over, if the home team wins, every single prospect in that end zone wants to be the first to shake the winning coach’s hand and talk about how much he loves his school. Even the best guys don’t get that much time.

So, why doesn’t Florida bring in those top 10 or so prospects for the smallest game of the year? Honestly, there shouldn’t be much preparation on Friday for this game, and once the game is over, Urban Meyer only has a few big names to try and woo. He could spend all day Friday with them and with the game at noon, he literally has all day to talk to the best players in the country one-on-one. No lesser-named recruits there to get in the way of courting Andre Debose or even Trent Richardson. Bring in Jelani Jenkins to watch Brandon Spikes and company hold The Citadel to under 50 yards of total offense. Get Marlon Brown in The Swamp to see the Gators spread the ball around to all 100 of its receivers.

It’s not like the Gators won’t put on a show. If they can drop 56 points and more than 500 yards of total offense on the “best” defense in the SEC, imagine what they can do to an FCS cellar dweller. Don’t forget that Tim Tebow and Percy Harvin will be on the bench after the first few drives – if that. These high school prospects will get to see Florida’s entire freshman class look like All-Americans for three quarters. Showing off the younger guys to these kids will work wonders.

Sure, the lights won’t be on and the student section won’t be full, but it’s Senior Day and emotions will be running high inside Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Meyer might shed a couple tears and show these kids he’s human. The fans will give a standing ovation to each senior that takes his final run out of the south end zone tunnel. It might even be the last chance to see some of the Gators’ best underclassmen in Gainesville.

Who wouldn’t want to head to Gainesville for a weekend fit for a king?