Thursday was the first day of Florida’s quarterback camp, and while there were tons of gunslingers of all ages running around the Gators’ practice fields, there was one who truly stood out above the rest.
Earlier in the week, it was UF commit Jeff Driskel who was the most impressive quarterback competing, but with him gone it was time for a new player to shine.
Hollywood Chaminade Madonna quarterback Jerrard Randall, who is verbally committed to Oregon, did just about everything Thursday morning. Dressed in all black, Randall started by showing off a cannon for an arm. He was just slinging the ball around and hit every receiver he threw to in one-on-one drills. He got a lot of work with UF quarterbacks coach Scot Loeffler and seemed to be using a lot of the advice he was getting in between drills.
But Randall wasn’t done. He moved over with receivers coach Zach Azzanni to run routes. He showed off a ton of speed and athleticism at receiver. No wonder he’s one of the top dual-threat quarterbacks in the country. After wrangling a few nice catches, Randall moved over to cornerback where he looked pretty solid as well.
Randall had Florida at the top of his list until he committed to the Ducks Monday. The 6-foot-2, 189-pound Randall hasn’t been offered by Florida, but a source said Thursday that that could change if he continues to perform well at camp. Even with Driskel committed, there is word that Florida would be interested in bringing in another quarterback in this class. There’s a chance this could be a battle between Oregon and Florida if he gets that Gator offer.
The guy impressing the most at receiver was 2012 Citra North Marion’s Latroy Pittman. He looks to be in great physical shape and was very fluid and crisp in his routes. He displayed some great hands and had good speed as well. He worked out with Randall a few times and the two gave defenders fits every time they teamed up. Schools are getting more interested in him and he could be one of the top receiver prospects in the state of Florida next year.
Cornerback Valdez Showers came all the way down from Madison Heights, Mich., to workout in Gainesville. It was hard to miss the three-star corner (who has also played running back and receiver in high school) with his bright, yellow cleats glistening in the sun. He looked good during most drills and spent some time talking with co-defensive coordinator Chuck Heater. Showers doesn’t have an offer from Florida, but reports are that the Gator staff is getting more and more interested.
The biggest visitor on campus was Belle Glade Glades Central receiver Kelvin Benjamin. He was a lot leaner than expected but still had some great size. The 6-6, 210-pounder didn’t work out during the morning session and probably used the first part of the day like an unofficial visit so he could check out campus and the facilities. Rivals ranks Benjamin as the fifth-best receiver in the country.
Friday could bring in one of Florida’s biggest 2011 targets, as Tampa Plant athlete James Wilder Jr. is expected to camp with a couple of his teammates. Wilder isn’t expected to work out, but it won’t hurt Florida that he’ll get some much-needed time to look around campus and meet with coaches.