UF extends nationwide reach


Florida has presently given out 56 scholarship offers to 2010 prospects and 14 of them have been issued to prospects located in the West, Midwest and Northeast regions of the United States. This is not only a sign of the increase in elite talent nationally, it’s a sign that Urban Meyer and his staff are looking to branch out of the South and build a few bridges beyond the Gators’ comfort zone.

UF has interest in a couple prospects in Michigan, Ohio and Minnesota.

Obviously, there is interest in California and Texas, but Meyer and his coaches have even thrown a few looks at guys in Nevada and Oregon. It will be tough to try and snag players away from the traditional powers in those regions, but UF has the advantage of being able to offer more playing time with this class, and if the Gators win another championship, it’ll be hard for anyone, no matter the distance from home, to not strongly consider the Gators.

Here are a few of the Gators’ long distance prospects.

Owamagbe Odighizuwa – Portland, Ore., David Douglas – DE: Recently picked up a UF offer, and while he doesn’t have the speed of most UF targets at this position, he dominated at the U.S. Army National Combine in San Antonio. As a junior he had 96 tackles, 18 sacks and two fumble recoveries.

Xavier Grimble – Las Vegas, Bishop Gorman – TE: He only had 13 receptions for 308 yards and four touchdowns as a junior, but he has the body type and speed to fit perfectly in UF’s offense. At 6-foot-5, 250 pounds, Grimble already physically resembles former Gator tight end Cornelius Ingram.

William Gholston – Detroit, Southeastern – DE: He stands at a monstrous 6-7, 237 and plays linebacker and defensive end. He can drop back in coverage and just busts through offensive lines. Looks like a more-raw version of Jarvis Moss on the field.

Corey Brown – Springfield, Pa., Cardinal O’Hara – RB: When you think of speed, you think of the South, but Brown has the mold of a south Florida scat back. He’s been clocked at 4.47 in the 40, and at 5-11, he still has room to grow and could turn into a very talented all-around running back.

Seantrel Henderson – Saint Paul, Minn., Cretin-Derham Hall – OT: He could be the largest high schooler the Gators have ever signed. The 6-8, 301-pound beast figures to be a quarterback’s best friend on the line. I don’t see how anyone could get by him.