That’s the sound of finals week coming to an end.
And I’m not the only one with that sigh of relief.
Seven of Florida’s 16 commitments finished up their high school exams this week and are ready to enroll at UF in January. I will give a breakdown of those players below.
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UF commits said they were still 100 percent following the Weis news, and that’s still the case after another successful recruiting weekend.
Any word about the weekend and how their visits went? — Jon
The Gators had three top targets and over half of their verbals take in Gainesville, and things couldn’t have gone better.
“My official visit went well,” OL commit Jessaman Dunker said. “I always have fun when I go to Gainesville but this was the best (visit) I’ve had. The highlight of the trip was spending time with the college players and my 2012 class. Everybody had a great time.”
That includes the three uncommitted prospects — five-star receiver Nelson Agholor, five-star defensive end Darius Hamilton and four-star linebacker Josh Harvey-Clemons.
All reports indicate that the talented trio enjoyed themselves and bonded with the commits, coaches and current players. And although none of them pulled the trigger, at least one future Gator thought they were already a part of the 2012 class.
“I really didn’t know that anybody was uncommitted,” DL commit Quinteze Williams said. “I couldn’t tell because we all just clicked when we hung out. I never felt the need to recruit (them to Florida).”
UF head coach Will Muschamp had a one-on-one conversation with kicker Austin Hardin, one of the leaders of the incoming group, and emphasized how important this class is to building the foundation for his program.
“He told me ‘we’re not just putting together a team, we’re building a program that’s gonna be able to last for years to come,'” Hardin said. “I think the general feeling among the commits is we’re ready to come in and be an image for what his vision is for the program.
“We believe in coach Muschamp and we’re not worried about this past season or players transferring or coaches leaving. Even the uncommitted guys know that Florida is Florida. It’s going to be a prestigus program again and one guy like Weis isn’t gonna make or break it.”
Given the depleated roster, how many will enroll early to help maximize the scholarship roster? And also, who will be the Chris Doering of this class? — bwiese
The Gators have seven commits who will on campus next month, and my Chris Doering candidate falls in that bunch.
Latroy Pittman, 6-foot-1, 190 pounds, Citra, Fla. (North Marion)
Pittman has the hands and playmaking ability to provide a quick boost to Florida’s receiving core. If he can pick up the playbook in April, he could see the field as a freshman in the fall.
D.J. Humphries, 6-foot-6, 275 pounds, Charlotte, N.C. (Mallard Creek)
Even if UF lands receivers Agholor and Stefon Diggs, Humphries will be still be its most important signee. He is ranked as the nation’s No. 3 overall prospect by Rivals.com and fills a major recruiting need for the coaches.
Jessamen Dunker, 6-foot-6, 315 pounds, Boynton Beach, Fla. (Boynton Beach)
Dunker has been overshadowed by the Humphries hype, but I believe he will have just as much of an impact and I’m going to give him the Doering tag. He already has the size to matchup with SEC D-lineman and participating in spring practice will only speed up his progress. Watch for him to push for playing time in 2012.
Omari Phillips, 6-foot-6, 270 pounds, Venice, Fla. (Venice)
Phillips could end up on either line of scrimmage and it may take him a year to find a home. On a side note, Phillips said this week that he’s still solid to UF despite his upcoming visits to other schools.
Quinteze Williams, 6-foot-4, 295 pounds, Tyrone, Ga. (Sandy Creek)
Williams will play either end or tackle on the defensive line. If he can figure out his position in the spring, Florida’s lack of depth could propel him into the rotation next season.
Antonio Morrison, 6-foot-3, 220 pounds, Bolingbrook, Ill. (Bolingbrook)
Morrison broke his foot in November, but he’s expected to be at full strength soon. While he’ll have a hard time cracking the starting lineup, he’s too talented to sit on the sidelines and should have on opportunity to shine on special teams.
Willie Bailey, 6-foot-1, 165 pounds, Hallandale, Fla. (Hallandale)
Barring multiple injuries at cornerback, Bailey will likely redshirt to put some weight on and learn the coverage concepts.
Be sure to leave your questions for the next mailbag, and watch out for this weekend’s visitor preview.