Now that we are out of another dead period, college coaches are lining up to schmooze with kids and their parents.
This week, Florida has brought in a decent athletic haul. Will Muschamp will be hosting his second official visit weekend at UF without the comforts of having former coach Urban Meyer around to direct traffic. Muschamp will also have his new partner in crime, offensive coordinator Charlie Weis, with him. This should make for a fun weekend for Florida’s coaches. Plus, the UF men’s basketball team plays host to South Carolina Saturday, which means Muschamp and his posse will have the whole gang inside the O’Connell Center.
Florida is set to host six official visitors. Two guys not making the list are Belle Glade Glades Central wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin and Moultrie, Ga., Colquitt County offensive tackle Xzavier Ward. Benjamin recently committed to Florida State and since he was down to FSU and UF, it looks as though his recruitment is over. Ward informed me earlier this week that he won’t be making the trip because Florida appears to be done at the offensive tackle spot in this year’s class.
Here are the six guys who are scheduled to visit this weekend:
FB Hunter Joyer (Tampa Catholic) — Joyer never wavered on his commitment and is just coming to check things out in Gainesville. He must be thrilled at the move to a pro-style offense and should have a fun time speaking with Weis and the gang.
WR Ja’Juan Story (Brooksville Nature Coast) — Story has wavered a bit on his commitment, but had some quality bonding time with his fellow Gator commits during the Under Armour All-America Game week. He still wants an offer from Oregon, but I’ve been told his parents aren’t thrilled about the thought of him moving out to Eugene. He postponed his visit to Ohio State last week and has started to develop a little bit of a relationship with receivers coach Aubrey Hill. Story was more comfortable with his commitment toward the end of practice week and meeting Weis will go a long way to securing it.
DB Louchiez Purifoy — Alabama is the team making the most noise for Purifoy, outside of the Gators. He’s still committed, but has gained some interest in the Tide. One thing that has helped Florida is the fact that he didn’t take his scheduled visit to Auburn. He’s set to visit Bama next week, but that could change if he has a good enough time in Gainesville. Keeping him from Tuscaloosa will be a major win for Muschamp and his staff.
DB Valdez Showers — Showers told me this will be the only visit he takes. He’s coming to get better acquainted with Florida’s coaches, not to reassure himself of his commitment. He said he’s done with recruiting and just wants to check in on his future coaching staff. Defensive backs coach Travaris Robinson met with Showers last week and the two seem to like each other just fine. There was talk that Michigan might make a move on him, but Showers said he isn’t interested because of the coaching change.
LB Curtis Grant (Richmond, Va., Hermitage) — Grant could be the biggest prospect left on Florida’s board, and the Gators’ coaching staff has a great chance of landing him. He stayed very interested in Florida even after Meyer’s resignation and has grown to like Muschamp. Florida was the favorite over the summer and even though North Carolina and Ohio State are making major pushes to get him, his interest in Florida never changed. It didn’t hurt the Gators’ chances that running back commit Mike Blakely was in his ear the entire time the two were in San Antonio for the U.S. Army All-American Bowl week.
LB Denzel Perryman (Coral Gables) — From the start, everyone expected Perryman to go to Miami. When talking to him earlier in the year, I got a sense that it was UM and then everyone else. However, with Randy Shannon out as the ‘Canes coach, other schools are creeping into the mix. Perryman has always had some interest in Florida, so this weekend is definitely not a waste of time. The only thing that could push Perryman away is the fact that Florida is still in the hunt for a couple of big-time linebacker prospects, one of which will be on campus with him.