Top recruits get in work at Meyer’s camp

Florida’s Urban Meyer football camp started this weekend and drills got under way Sunday morning. It started with the lineman camp, but there were also some solid skill players taking part in drills.

Lake City Columbia defensive lineman Timmy Jernigan was reportedly on campus Saturday night during registration, but there was no sign of him on the field Sunday morning. That’s not necessarily a bad thing for Florida. He was on campus, and that’s all that matters.

Even without the participation of Jernigan, one of the top defensive linemen in the country and considered at this point to be a Florida lean, there was no shortage of talent – or size — on the line.

  • Dover, Del., offensive lineman Trip Thurman was on hand. Thurman was one of the most technically sound linemen out there and has great size (6-foot-6, 302 pounds). His hands and feet moved quickly for a guy his size and he was able to hold his own against more athletic defensive linemen during one-on-one drills. Thurman has an offer from Florida, and the Gators are high on his list. The more he camps, the more attention he’ll get from bigger schools. considers Thurman a four-star prospect.
  • A name people probably haven’t heard much about but should in the next few months is Aliquippa, Pa., offensive tackle Zach Hooks. He’s got great size at 6-3, 284, and showed off some nice athleticism. No defensive linemen beat him during one-on-ones and he was getting a lot of coaching tips from Florida offensive coordinator Steve Addazio . He might have been the most athletic big man on the field Sunday morning. He doesn’t have an offer from Florida, but lists them as a school he’s interested in.
  • Jacksonville Ed White offensive guard Kaleb Johnson participated Sunday. Again, he’s a top prospect with great size (6-5, 280). He was dominant during drills and was pushing opposing linemen around. He doesn’t have an offer from Florida, but he’s got a long list of schools after him. He’s got offers from Arkansas, Georgia Tech, Illinois, North Carlina and Missouri among others.
  • Three-star Lake Worth Park Vista offensive tackle Mike Matulis showed some nice technique as well. At 6-6, 275, he was able to handle himself for the most part during drills. He currently lists 15 offers, with a few coming from SEC, Big Ten and ACC schools. Florida has not offered.
  • A name to look out for this summer is Honea Path, S.C., Belton-Honea Path defensive end Darrius Williams. He doesn’t have a laundry list of offers and is relatively new to the recruiting scene, but he displayed a nice motor Sunday and was even running coverage drills with the linebackers. His only offer is from Wisconsin, but attention should increase throughout the summer.

The star of Sunday’s morning session was Florida commit and Oviedo Hagerty quarterback Jeff Driskel. Rated as Rivals’ top quarterback prospect in the country, Driskel was definitely the biggest (6-3, 225) and most polished passer out there. He had displayed a quick release on his passes and had some great footwork. It didn’t hurt that he was getting coached up by UF quarterback coach Scot Leoffler . He was hitting receivers in stride in one-on-ones and was accurate all morning. He had some wobbles here and there, but his spiral was pretty crisp for the most part.

The biggest name on campus had to be St. Augustine Pedro Menendez linebacker Tony Seward. He was one of the stars of UF’s camp last year and looked two times as big this go-round. He stands 6-2 and weighs 225 pounds but runs like he’s just under 200. He’s got great speed, but was slowed Sunday because of an ankle injury suffered during gym class two months ago. That didn’t stop him from competing, but he was eventually benched to get his ankle iced. Rivals rates him has the No. 1 linebacker and the second-best prospect in the country. Florida is definitely involved, and he was getting some key one-on-one time with linebackers coach D.J. Durkin and, of course, Meyer.

Here are some skill position players who made an impression Sunday morning.

  • The must underrated prospect on campus had to be Muskegon, Mich., Muskegon Heights receiver Willie Snead. He’s the son of Willie Snead III, a former UF wide receiver from the 1980s. He also won state titles at Holland Christian and Glades Central. The younger Snead ran arguably the crispest routes of the morning, showed tremendous speed and displayed great hands. He was getting tons of praise from UF receivers coach Zach Azzanni throughout the morning. He currently doesn’t hold any offers, but that should change with more camp work.
  • Jacksonville Trinity Christian running back Andrew Buie showed why he’s one of the top skill position players in the country by blowing past everyone trying to cover him. He was making plays all morning. He’s got a long list of offers but still hasn’t received one from Florida. That could change this summer.
  • The defensive player everyone will be talking about this summer, Nick Waisome, showed yet again on UF’s campus. He recorded an interception during one-on-ones and looked to have all the speed of a top cornerback prospect. The Groveland South Lake prospect has a list of seven schools that he’ll pick from and Florida definitely made the cut. He, Driskel and Meyer were chatting it up at the end of workouts.
  • Waisome’s teammate, linebacker Jordan Montgomery, sported a golden Mohawk and some athleticism to go with it. At 6-1, 195, Montgomery could stand to gain some weight, but he has all the makings of being a talented defender. He looks like he could also play some safety.


  1. Watch the Andrew Buie Kid, he’s in the mold of Debose. Talented, good hands, QUICK, and has a good motor. He could be a sleeper, I’m going to keep an eye out for Trinity Christian and follow this kid.

  2. What about running backs? Power backs to compliment the spread on those 3rd or 4th downs, 4 yards to go. I guarantee you that Florida would not be squandering a scholarship to have a big brute to keep defenses honest up the middle. Why can’t Florida have a Mark Ingram??!! I believe that Oregon’s bruser was from Taylor County, Fl and Florida did not offer!!

    Seems that every other position is handled very well in recruiting.

  3. Paul- I agree with you about having a big bruising RB. I believe Meyer & Co likes speed & they gauge their players on that highly. They like their RBs hitting the whole quickly and making a play. But it will def be nice to have a bruiser, which last I remember is Wynn and Latsko (both are not Meyer recruits).

  4. Meyer & staff like speed. Speed speed speed.
    A big back with elite speed would be great, but those guys tend to go to programs that promise I-formation and lots of carries.
    Why do you think we lost Spiller? Clemson told him that UF was going to have Tebow run the ball for 4 years, and that we had a host of backs as well. And they were right.
    Now, we’ve shown an offense that ran the QB for 4 years, so convincing that elite RB to come to UF will be tough.
    As for big slow bruisers, forget it. Have to have the speed.

  5. Yeah, we need more push up the middle. I think over the past four years Tebow has been the brusing back. I am not sure you can count on that kind of thing ever again, he was a once in a lifetime kind of player.
    The spread is all about speed and making the defense cover all the field but we have the Oline to open big wholes on a play action ….
    I have seen us miss out on RB after RB and it is sad thinking of the good – great pro prospects that have come out of Florida in the 90s .. Smith, Taylor , Graham (he never gets enough touches). The SEC is starting to catch up with the spread … Alabama showed that last year … We need to mix in some other offensive styles including the pro and the I to get defense to stay honest with us.

  6. I think Moody can fill that role of the big back, and we need to get him the ball more regardless of down and distance. He’s a hard runner, has speed and great moves. I know some people thinks he needs to take care of the ball better, but give it to him more and let him do his thing. My only worry about him is can we keep him healthy?

  7. LizardGuy89,

    Adding to your comment about why Florida doesn’t win the speedy bruisers over. A couple of years ago we went down to the wire with ‘Bama, Miami, and co. over Trent Richardson. That kid runs a sub 4.5 and isn’t afraid of contact at all. The Pensacola kid ended up pledging alliegance with Nick Saban and his pro-style offense. Its work trying to influence a bruiser to come here. I still do admire Meyer’s discipline to stick to his style of offense, though