Gators got first-hand look at Orson Charles


Oh, what could have been.

As I watched from the Jacksonville Municipal press box Saturday, I couldn’t help but be impressed with one guy in red and black. Most Gator fans have to have been thinking the same thing when they saw Georgia tight end Orson Charles line up opposite the Gators’ defense: Why isn’t this guy wearing different colors? I mean, he did knock over Florida’s 2006 national championship trophy last year. He did say Florida was one of his top schools for the longest time. And he lived right down the road in Tampa.

But Georgia got the better of the Gators, snatching Charles and quarterback Aaron Murray from Tampa Plant. Murray will probably redshirt, so he didn’t get to showcase anything Saturday, but Charles did. Sure, he had a couple of false start penalties, but that doesn’t take away from his athletic ability. He was targeted three times and caught just two passes for 18 yards, but he’s a guy that just screams playmaker. On a fourth-and-3 at Florida’s 13, Georgia drew up a play just for Charles. The true freshman lined up at wide receiver and Gator cornerback Joe Haden played about 9 yards off him. Talk about respect. Charles grabbed 7 yards, helping set up the Bulldog score. He’s got 12 catches for 208 yards and a touchdown, and he’s doing much better than starter Aron White.

Against Florida, Charles split out wide a few times. He’s got the speed of a receiver and the strength of a tight end. He reminds me of a faster, thinner Aaron Hernandez. Speaking of Hernandez, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him make the jump to the NFL after the season. Who would take his place? Well, Charles could have. He would have been perfect, but he spurned Florida, and now the Gators might rely on Desmond Parks (currently redshirting) or 2010 commits Gerald Christian and Mike McFarland. Maybe even freshman quarterback Jordan Reed, who is playing around at tight end, could be an option.

Of course, Hernandez could stay and give Florida’s staff time to develop the young guys. Still, seeing Charles in Florida’s offense would have been pretty exciting. Does the name Cornelius Ingram ring a bell?

Speaking of what could have been, Tennessee receiver Nu’Keese Richardson reportedly was a no-show at Vols practice Sunday. Uh oh. Rumors have spread this year that Richardson might not be too happy in Knoxville. The transfer talk is in full swing, and UT coach Lane Kiffin will speak more about Richardson’s situation Tuesday. Richardson has 58 yards rushing and 48 yards receiving with no scores. Percy position?


  1. Not sure what game you watched but Charles committed more penalties than he had catches from my perspective. I did not look at the numbers but that was the feeling I got watching the game. I saw nothing particularly impressive about him. Sure he will be a good player, but he has a long way to go to make me wish for what could have been.

    Aaron Murray is at UGA simply because he didn’t want to wait 3 years at Florida. 1 with tebow starting and 2 with Brantley starting. He can start at Georgia as a redshirt freshman.

    I agree with someone above that said Gerald Christian is as good or better. I think Christian makes an immediate impact. Also, with a year to get bigger, watch for Parks next year at TE.

  2. While it is unfortunate for Richardson that he is not happy, he won’t get any sympathy here given the last minute stunt he pulled on us and I hope he doesn’t get an open arms welcome from our coaching staff either. No thank you on him stepping in to the Percy position, we will be fine without him.

  3. Well I guess I’m glad we did not see more of NuKeese when we played Tenn because I thought he might put up a few yards so to speak. I would love to see him come to FL next year as I think our offense will look very different and we may attract more pure receivers with a more traditional passer at the helm. We may loose a few games next year but I’m sure we’ll look better doing it………. 🙂

  4. I wasn’t as impressed. Maybe we were watching to different games. And, I agree with Stephen. I know athletes are arrogant and cocky and in a way they have to be. But, Orson is just like the rest of the Bulldogs very selfish and undiscipline.

  5. My only question was why was Haden playing 7 yards off on the 13 yard line? It’s not like he was going to beat him deep. I wonder if he would have signed if Urban begged him by giving him his #7 highschool number

  6. Wasn’t Nu’Keese Richardson the recruit who spurned Florida sarcastly to go to Tennessee. Seems that I remember he AND Kiffen played Florida along. That kind of character, both in actions and attitude is something that Florida does NOT need!

    Again the running back stable is full with quality high speed performers but I still believe there is room for more tools in the Gator toolbox. There is a tailback in Alabama that is verbally committed to Alabama who could give the “dive play” and “up the gut” a whole new meaning for UF. His name is Jalston Fowler, he weighs 245 pounds, runs a 4.6 in the 40 yard dash and is described as a fullback with the finesse skills of a tailback. Given Florida’s lofty position and what he could add to the program, he might be a needed catch.

    I am not one of the Florida recruiters but look what the Ron Daynes and Michael Alstotts did for their team.

  7. On fourth down he was not being covered by Haden but by Black. Black played six yards off at the snap and immediately backpedeled. The only impressive thing about that play by ORson was catching a poorly thrown ball.

  8. Charles was highly influenced when his high school teammate Aaron Murray decided to go to UGA. Plus it didn’t sound like he was too impressed with John Hevesy or maybe he just felt bad vibes when he fumbled the crystal football. We got a couple of guys coming in next year that will do just fine, thank you…

  9. Stephen,

    You don’t have a clue about Orson Charles. I have watched that kid and got to know him over his years at Plant and he does NOT think the world revolves around him. In fact Charles is one of the most humble young men I have ever been around. He is a great kid who I hope my youngest son turns out jus tlike him. Orson charles has tremendous character. I HATE UGA as much as anyone on here, but Orson Charles is a fine human being that is not cocky or full of himself. Orson Charles is a class act! We whiffed on him in recruiting – but don’t take that out on Orson Charles’ character.

  10. How can you make those assumptions about Orson Charles? For taking his time making the decision he and his family felt was best. Calling him arrogant and cocky, not knowing him and probably after only reading what people wrote about him in the paper?? It is hard to be impress by a freshman at a TE position, because the person he is going against often times would be someone with 2+ year of college experience!! Blocking bigger/stronger guys, running against faater guys (in some cases). But just him playing against top teams and doing well speaks for itself. Charles will be the top TE in year(s) to come.

  11. I highly doubt Nu’Keese would transfer to Florida. Tennessee would never let him out of their letter of intent so Meyer could learn Kiffin’s secret uniform color formula for suck-sess. And Florida would take turns licking a frozen telephone pole before welcoming this two-timing so-and-so onto the team. Marshall anyone?

  12. @Kenny Watson….been around him without coaches and parents watching. He is not the model citizen u think he is. Be careful who you want your kids to be like. Young men at that age follow the crowd and think whole lot of themselves when grown men are following them around like puppies trying to get the recruiting scoop. Just sayin.