Junior Day preview


This Saturday is Florida’s second Junior Day of the 2013 recruiting cycle and the Gators will have over 50 visitors on campus. The UF staff could have a handful of commitments by the conclusion of the event, although some of the verbals might not go public right away.

Assisting the coaches in recruiting will be their four commitments — Winter Haven running back Adam Lane, Crescent City defensive tackle Caleb Brantley, Jacksonville First Coast linebacker Daniel McMillian and Tallahassee Lincoln linebacker James Hearns.

Their top target will be five-star offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil (Columbia), who is rated the No. 3 overall prospect on Rivals.com. The 6-foot-6, 275-pounder grew up a Gator fan in nearby Lake City, and his top two schools are Florida and Georgia.

But most of the focus this weekend will surround four-star running back Kelvin Taylor, the son of former Gator Fred Taylor (1994-1997). The Belle Glade standout is making a three-day visit to Gainesville and will decide between Florida and Alabama following the trip.

Taylor isn’t the only Gator legacy on the visitors list for Saturday. Offensive lineman Jack Kurzu (St. Louis, Mo./Mary Inst Country Day), linebacker Keith Kelsey Jr. (Gainesville, Fla./Gainesville) and safety Marcell Harris (Orlando, Fla./Dr. Phillips) will also be in town for Junior Day.

Kurzu is the son of former Gator fullback Bob Kurzu (1981-1984), Kelsey is the son of former Gator linebacker Keith Kelsey (1996-1999), and Harris is the son of former Gator linebacker Mike ‘Mud’ Harris (1994-1997).

Florida will have some of its top receiver targets on hand in Stacy Coley (Oakland Park, Fla./Northeast), Rodney Adams (St. Petersburg Fla./Lakewood) and Tallahassee Lincoln wideouts Reggie Davis and Taj Williams. The Gators currently lead for all four prospects.

Also scheduled to come down is Rivals100 safety Nick Washington (Jacksonville, Fla./Trinity Christian), who named UF his leader on Feb. 8.

Here are the rest of Saturday’s expected visitors:

* indicates UF offer

*RB Ryan Green, 5-10, 195, St. Petersburg, Fla./Catholic
*RB Derrick Henry, 6-3, 232, Yulee, Fla./Yulee (Georgia commit)
RB Stefon McCray, 5-11, 185, Kissimmee, Fla./Osceola
RB Joshua Mercer, 5-11, 180, Guyton, Ga./South Effingham
RB Alvin Kamara, 5-10, 190, Norcross, Ga./Norcross
RB Jeremiah Sams, 5-11, 202, Eustis, Fla./Eustis
RB Ralph Webb, 5-10, 190, Gainesville, Fla./Gainesville
*WR Richard Benjamin, 6-1, 180, Tampa, Fla./Middleton
WR Alvin Bailey, 5-11, 170, Seffner, Fla./Armwood
WR Eric Carter, 5-11, 180, Lakeland, Fla./Lake Gibson
WR Chris Thompson, 6-0, 170, Gainesville, Fla./Gainesville
*OL Josh Cardiello, 6-4, 285, Buford, Ga./Buford
*OL Joshua Outlaw, 6-4, 290, Lithonia, Ga./Martin Luther King
OL Ramsey Meyers, 6-3, 290, Orange Park, Fla./Ridgeview
DT Keith Bryant, 6-2, 292, Delray Beach, Fla./Atlantic (Miami commit)
*DE Carl Lawson, 6-3, 245, Alpharetta, Ga./Milton
*DE Stacy Thomas, 6-3, 225, Miami, Fla./Gulliver Prep
DE Shaun McGee, 6-3, 220, Snellville, Ga./Brookwood
DE Antonio Riles, 6-4, 262, Lawrenceville, Ga./Archer
DE Dane Rogers, 6-3, 235, Shelby, N.C./Crest
DE Jordan Sherit, 6-4, 235, Tampa, Fla./Hillsborough
DE Devin Washington, 6-3, 225, Orlando, Fla./Jones
*LB Quinton Powell, 6-2, 195, Daytona Beach, Fla./Mainland
*LB LaChaston Smith, 6-0, 215, Statesville, N.C./South Iredell
LB Roderick Hoskins, 6-3, 215, Orlando, Fla./Evans
LB Dillan Lawson, 6-4, 215, Crestview, Fla./Crestview
LB Mario Mathis, 6-2, 225, Thomasville, Ga./Thomasville
LB Ryne Rankin, 6-1, 219, Orlando, Fla./East River
LB Corey Vereen, 6-2, 220, Winter Garden, Fla./West Orange
*DB MacKensie Alexander, 5-11, 175, Immokalee, Fla./Immokalee (Tennessee commit)
DB J.J. Green, 5-9, 170, Kingsland Ga./Camden County
DB Damonte Jones, 5-8, 184, Ocala Fla./St. John Lutheran
DB Jamonte Jones, 5-9, 181, Ocala, Fla./St. John Lutheran
DB Matt Milano, 6-1, 188, Orlando, Fla./Dr. Phillips
DB Keanu Neal, 6-0, 204, Bushnell, Fla./South Sumter
DB Reggie Wilkerson, 5-10, 170, Ocala, Fla./North Marion
DB Sheddrick Williams, 6-0, 180, Madison, Fla./Madison
DB D’Andre Wilson, 5-11, 170, Myrtle Beach, S.C./Myrtle Beach


  1. “Florida will have some of its top receiver targets on hand in Stacy Coley (Oakland Park, Fla./Northeast), Rodney Adams (St. Petersburg Fla./Lakewood) and Tallahassee Lincoln wideouts Reggie Davis and Taj Williams. The Gators currently lead for all four prospects.”

    So that means Florida will sign none of them, correct? Maybe you should tone it down a wee bit this far out Zach. Love your work man. I just think a more conservative reporting style might benefit you and the fans. Just sayin…

  2. @ Daniel M.- What makes you assume that the quote, “The Gators currently lead for all four prospects” means that we are going to sign them? This simply means that currently the Gators are their favorite until the time being. Maybe the reader (YOU) should “tone” it down on your assumptions…Just Sayin…

    Zach-Nice work as always, man. I have a weird feeling Kelvin Taylor wants to do his own thing and may not sign with Florida.

  3. Yeah I agree with Greg, Zach does a awesome job for information he gives us you usually have to pay for. You as a fan should appreciate the information Zach provides he isn’t saying that they are a lock he is just indicating that we are in the lead.
    Go Gators!!!

  4. Why should Zack “tone it down?” So fans like you don’t get your hopes up and your hearts broken? Too bad. If a kid says UF leads, that should be reported. Take it with a grain of salt–don’t ask Zack to make it easier for you. Recruiting is a crystal-ball business. If you prefer only “conservative reporting,” why not wait for a sure thing and just check the results on Feb. 2nd? (Thanks for all the great work, Zack!)

  5. I would love for Taylor to sign with us but his statement of being his own person breings me to believe he is going to bama. you know if he comes to fl he will always be compared to his father. That really sucks but i have a feeling its true. Zach keep up the good work. I would like to land Henry that kid is big.

  6. Great Article. I agree with Greg and John who Rocks. If we are going to follow big time college football we are going to get disapointed sometimes but that doesnt mean we should hide from the truth. Zach is going to report what he knows. A good reporter does that. I think Zach is savvy enough to not need me to mention this but I did wanted to put in my two cents worth. Also I hope we get predictions again next January. I can’t think of a good sports writer that doesnt occationally offer his predictions. GO GATORS!

  7. Zach has been doing a great job providing Gator fans with updated recruiting news. Recruiting is a dynamic process. A kid’s interest level may change during a long period of time. Zach is just trying to give us the best information available at this point.

  8. Alvin Bailey. You have to be kidding me. He is pure electricity. I have seen a ton of high school kids play in central Florida and he is the best bar none. That includes Aglor, Richard Benjamin which does have an offer and others.

  9. At this point,”leader” is almost an arbitrary term. All these kids are yet to go through their senior seasons and more importantly, go through the incredibly aggressive and “take no prisoners” recruiting cycle. Yeah, Florida is their “leader”, whatever that means. anybody who gets hyped for that at this juncture is dumber than a box of hammers. Or has the spurning by Diggs and Agholor already left your mind?

    Obviously my comment hit a nerve with people. Apparently reading comprehension is in short supply here. Not really that challenging for Homer though. I swear to god the Internet is giving people three second attention spans. See: Cam pOW.

  10. 1) No one, NO ONE, is a commitment until the contract is signed on ‘signing’ day. (2) Until then a ‘commitment’ is simply a 17-18 year old kids preference on the day he makes his preference known to the public, (3 Few, if anyone, KNOWS here a kid is going to sign in February, 2013, (4) Until then all this is mindless chatter which means nothing of substance.

  11. I am STILL Ticek-off that the GATORS can’t sign OFFENSIVE STARS in this NEW REGIME…I guess a ‘DEFENSIVE GURU’ HEAD COACH has it’s ‘RRICE’…’Eevery FORM OF REFUGE HAS IT’S PRICE…” The Eagles

  12. How old is Taj Williams from Lincoln? A track coach in Tallahassee told me he was 18 years old last year during track season. He would be too old to even play football for Lincoln next year if that is true. What is the skinny on this?

  13. Great job Zach. We all know Zach only reports what he hears and info he can gather. We all know that these young players love and crave the adulation, the attention, the wining/dining. Most of them learn to say what the coaches and recruiters want to hear, until they really have to make a decision, based on how long a school is willing to wait for a decision. If they are a 5 star athlete they know they can make the schools squirm to the end. That said, I hope Taylor and the other recruits will be of high character and honor their commitments to what ever schools they choose.

  14. Zach,
    Do you know if UF does any high school coaching clinics? I’m in Atlanta and heard Richt on the radio the other day talking about a 2-3 day coaching seminar for high school coaches in GA and surrounding states. Sounds like a great way to build a pipeline from some of these schools.

    Great job and we really appreciate your work.
    Go Gators!

  15. Well…
    1. Daniel M. can take his negative talk to a Fsu site cus its all positive over here and we dont need any negative attitudes. if he doesnt like the way zach does things, he can write some articles.
    2. florida leads for those prospects. would u rather him lie about and say we have no chance instead. being named the leader for a prospect is what i like to see. its what makes recruiting fun to keep up with
    3. good job Zach!!
    ps… Daniel probably is a nole trolling.

  16. I follow recruiting year around and I am pumped about this weekend. We NEED playmakers and this could be the snowball that starts the avalanche. Early commitments can help or hurt you in the long run. These kids want playing time and if the spots are filled with early commits they will look elsewhere, regardless of if anyone has signed or not. Early commitments allow the coaches to narrow their list of targets and build stronger relationships. Yes we got spurned by Diggs and Agholor, but it’s still the best way to land top talent. Diggs decided to stay home and Agholor fell in love with another school. Most kids will go the route that Diggs took and the majority of Florida’s targets are instate. If we could put a fence around the state of Florida, they would almost never have to recruit out of state prospects. So yes, I am pumped that all of this instate talent is leaning toward Florida this early on in the process. Sure some of them will change their mind, but the stronger the class is early, the less likely we are for kids to chose

  17. Well said Titan_Gator.

    I would hope that if Kelvin Taylor were going to sign with ‘Bama (& I really hope he doesn’t), that he wouldn’t do it at UF. Whether he’s a legacy or not, I just don’t see a kid doing that to a school. Hopefully he’ll become a gator and start an avalanche of commitments.

  18. Everyone still complaining about the un-committed’s 2012’s that went elsewhere needs to move on. Its over, its history. It was not WM fault, it was not Zack’s fault. We just were unlucky and finished 2nd. I hope Zack continues to report exactly the same. If he misses, so be it.

    Complainers please go to Rival, Scout, or any of the other sources and stay way from this site. No body wants to read all that negative stuff.

  19. I guess Gator Buck speaks for everyone reading this website now? How about letting people have and express their own opinions regardless if you like it or not? Thats why they allow people to post comments, so they can express their own personal thoughts or feelings.

  20. Looking back, it’s clear the “positivists” had it right and the rest were missing the bigger picture in their over-reaction to the way things went on NSD 2012: there were some “misses” that day, obviously–we gathered a good portion of our success outside the state, lost out on a few of the most coddled and coveted playmakers, and there were conclusions drawn by some based on all of that–only to have that analysis ripped apart by all that happened on our first Junior Day. While it’s true that nothing is certain ’til NEXT year’s NSD, it’s also clear that we’re way ahead of our rivals on a BUNCH of the best of the in-state prospects for NEXT year, including some of the most sought-after playmakers at all positions…maybe our Head Coach and staff know what they’re doing, have a plan and are simply “getting it done”, after all.