Notebook: Friday is decision day


UPDATE: Mallard Creek OT D.J. Humphries picks Florida over Tennessee, Auburn, Clemson and South Carolina. And First Coast WR Chris Black picks Alabama over FSU.

Today is a big day in recruiting as two key five-star prospects are set to announce. One is of major interest to Gator fans, the other once was.

At 7 p.m. tonight offensive tackle D.J. Humphries is set to decide between Florida, Tennessee, South Carolina and Auburn. Humphries, who stands 6-foot-5, and 265 pounds, has played OT for Charlotte, N.C., Mallard Creek for the past two seasons without giving up a sack.

Needless to say, he is as important a recruit to the offensive tackle-starved Gators as anyone out there.

Florida looks to be in great shape for Humphries’ commitment, as he has publicly leaned toward UF for months and has a close relationship with former Gator offensive tackle Mo Collins, who played for six seasons in the NFL before settling back in his native North Carolina and working as a trainer and for a recruiting service called CSA PrepStar.

The other five-star prospect set to announce is Jacksonville, Fla., First Coast wide receiver Chris Black, a 5-11, 165-pound speed merchant who is the top 2012 player at his position in the state.

Why is Black relevant to Gator fans? Because he grew up among their ranks.

Black has more than 40 offers, and when it came time to narrow the field, the UF coaching staff worked very hard throughout the spring to make up ground, as First Coast has become something of an FSU pipeline in recent years.

A couple of months ago, Black listed Florida along with Florida State and Alabama as his top three. But those sentiments withered in recent weeks, as Black has focused soley on FSU and the Tide.

Black will pick one of those schools today at 4:3o p.m. ET on ESPNU.

This n’ that

◙ recently released its updated team rankings. Here is the latest top 10: 1. Texas; 2. Michigan; 3. Florida State; 4. Florida; 5. Oklahoma; 6. LSU; 7. Auburn;  8. Alabama; 9. Clemson; 10. South Carolina.

◙ This week, CBS Sports/MaxPreps’ recruiting guru Tom Lemming released his top 25 running backs of the Class of 2012. Florida commit Mike Davis, of Stone Mountain, Ga., Stephenson, came in at No. 10. On Lemming’s list of the top 25 “big” running backs, Florida commit Matt Jones, a 6-3, 215-pounder out of Seffner, Fla., Armwood, was ranked No. 2. Strange that Jones, who was rated the 23rd best player in the nation by Lemming back in April, didn’t make the top 25 tailbacks in the nation.

◙ In late July, Lemming’s latest team rankings consisted of this top 10: 1. Michigan; 2. Texas; 3. Miami; 4. Texas A&M; 5. Florida State; 6. Florida; 7. Auburn; 8. LSU; 9. Alabama; 10. Virginia Tech.

Friday Night Lights look-back

With a team of six reporters and four photo/videographers, had Friday Night Lights blanketed. In addition to the blogs here, we published 18 stories, three videos and a photo gallery.

To save you time, I’ve consolidated everything into quick links right here …

2013 linebacker recruit Nigel Harris would love returning home

2013 safety recruit Marcell Harris shows off skills

DE commit Quinteze Williams pumps up UF

2013 QB Brice Ramsey keeps options open

DE/LB Jordan Jenkins enjoys visiting Florida

Gators eye tight end prospect Sean Culkin

Attention doesn’t faze 2013 RB Tarean Folston

Former UF star Jacquez Green coaching 3 wideout prospects

Top 2013 receiver prospect Travis Johnson impressed with Florida

Receiver Stefon Diggs digs Florida

OL prospect Adam Bisnowaty has Florida on his radar

Four-star DT Carlos Watkins moves Gators up on his list

OLB Jeremi Powell reaffirms UF commitment

Gators eye NFL player’s son — Bryan Cox Jr.

No. 1 tight end Kent Taylor draws UF’s interest

Florida State DE/LB commit Dante Fowler plans more UF visits

DL commit Dante Phillips solid with Florida

Gators hoping FNL buzz brings commitments

Huge turnout expected for Friday Night Lights

WR Stefon Diggs video

OLB Jeremi Powell video

TE Sean Culkin video

Friday Night Lights photo gallery

You can find all of these stories and more at and stay tuned to my Twitter updates at


  1. We only want recruits to that passionately want to be Gators!
    Like Urban and Will said…We want the true Gators and the rest of them we dont worry about as we only see them a maximum of once a year!
    Go Gators…
    Gator Alum and Gator Season Ticket holder

  2. It’s more accurate to say that First Coast High has become an “anywhere but Florida” pipeline. They have also had guys sign with South Carolina, Illinois, and Clemson over the past few years. There may be some other BCS schools in there, too, but we have had a hard time prying anybody out of there.

  3. Jeff,

    Are you saying that First Coast is Jacksonville’s version of Tampa Plant High?
    if so, what is driving this?
    Are they coached by a former player from one of the jealous schools (FSU,Miami, etc.) or just a gator hater?

  4. Great pickup for the gators. Hope something turns with wide receiver prospects. We are a little short on depth there with the transfers. Jeff what happened with Eli Harold and Derrick Henry. I think the Gators are shoo-ins and wham, they’ve committed elsewhere.

  5. @tallagator,
    We are having major interest in better athletes than Eli Harold, so you dont have to worry about that. As far as Derrick, 2013 class is loaded with great RB’s and have the gators high of the list.