Arguably the top prospect in the country was on hand for Friday’s morning session, and UF running backs coach Stan Drayton made it loud and clear.
“James Wilder is in the house,” Drayton said over his megaphone as he stepped into The Swamp.
The 6-foot-2, 219-pound athlete is rated No. 3 in the Rivals100, and is one of Florida’s top targets in the class of 2011.
Wilder Jr., who is the son of former Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back James Wilder, is being recruiting as an athlete by the Gators. Many recruiting analysts feel that he has the most potential as an outside linebacker, but he wants to tote the rock at the next level so UF is recruiting him for both positions.
The Tampa Plant High prospect did not participate in any drills on Friday. Instead, Wilder took another unofficial visit around campus with the coaching staff. When he got to The Swamp, he was sporting a Gator visor and had some face time with head coach Urban Meyer.
Wilder will make his commitment sometime this summer, and at this point I would have to say that Florida is the team to beat.
The five-star prospect was accompanied by Plant head coach Robert Weiner and teammates Phillip Ely and Tony Posada.
Ely is one of the top quarterbacks in the state of Florida this year, and was by far the best one in Friday’s camp. The 6-foot-1, 180-pounder worked out for about an hour with the staff and showed off an accurate arm. He currently holds offers from the likes of Clemson, LSU, Michigan State and Oregon.
Posada is an offensive tackle for the Panthers, and he stands at 6-6, 315. With his size, it’s not surprising that he was one of top lineman at camp. Posada’s offer list includes schools such as Michigan and Tennessee, but if the Gators enter the picture they will certainly become a major player for his services.
Zach DeBell (6-6, 260, Tarpon Springs, Fla.) and 2012 prospect Jeremy Daniels (6-6, 340, Lakeland, Ga.) were some other offensive linemen who stood out.
Chris “Juice” Johnson out of Ocala Trinity Catholic came out for Friday’s morning session. The 5-10, 186-pound defensive back got a one-on-one workout with safety coach Chuck Heater in The Swamp. Once the receiving group arrived, Johnson looked excellent in pass coverage and broke up multiple passes.
Watching from the sidelines was another top defensive back in Saint Thomas Aquinas’ Marcus Roberson. Florida extended an offer to the 6-1 corner during the evaluation period, and now UF sits at the top of his leaderboard.
Inside linebacker Lamar Dawson (6-2, 230, Danville, Ky.) was in town for an unofficial visit with the Gators, but did not take part in the camp.
Also spotted was Lakeland receiver Javares McRoy, who committed to UF on June 11.