Gators lead for WR Benjamin

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Richard Benjamin came to Gainesville Saturday with a top five.

He left with a leader.

Benjamin has UF out front

Following an unofficial visit to UF, his third of the year, the Tampa Bay Tech receiver called the Gators his top school.

“Florida is No. 1,” said Benjamin, who also has interest in Miami, FSU, USF and USC. “They separated themselves today because I sat back and realized that I’ll be able to play, I have a good connection with the coaches and the education is great. So they have all the things I’m looking for.”

Benjamin hung out with Florida WR commit Rodney Adams during practice, and they shadowed receivers coach Aubrey Hill all afternoon.

“I was right next to coach Hill at practice,” Benjamin said, “and I went wherever the receivers went. Everything he said to them, he would turn around and tell me and Rodney. His main advice was it’s important to stay low and keep your feet moving.”

Benjamin with UF receivers Quinton Dunbar (left) & Andre Debose (right)

It was Benjamin’s first time seeing Hill in action, and he came away impressed with the former Gator wideout.

“He knows a lot about football,” Benjamin said of Hill. “He’s a nice guy and a good coach. He gets on you when you’re wrong and congrats you when you’re right.”

In watching Hill at work, Benjamin also noticed Florida’s lack of depth at receiver. The opportunity to make an immediate impact is another reason he favors the Gators.

“My chances of playing early are very good because I’ll be an early enrollee,” he said. “I learn fast, so I’ll be able to play fast and not have to think. My motto is ‘work harder than the man next to me,’ and I always will.”

On Friday, Benjamin tweeted that he was looking forward to the outcome of his UF trip. And while he said it was a nice one, there was no commitment from the ESPNU 150 Watch List member.

“I thought about it,” Benjamin admitted, “but I would have been getting caught up in the moment if I did that. I’m going to wait.”

The wait could be over on June 9, when Benjamin attends Florida’s summer camp for what he says will be a “big day.”

The 6-foot, 200-pounder said the UF coaches like his versatility at the position, but they need to see him drop some weight and improve his technique.

“They like that I’m a go-getter at receiver. I can stretch the field and play multiple positions,” Benjamin said. “The things they want me to work on is getting better with my technique. They tell me to stay active and keep working out hard.”

“I just need to show them (on June 9) that I’m a ball player and I can make plays, with pads and without them.”

Photos from Zach Abolverdi and Benjamin’s Facebook.

19 COMMENTS

  1. All young men would like to play early. There is nothing wrong with that! I would hope he is competitive enough to want to play early. He would be wecome, I’m sure. Never forget” It’s so GREAT TO BE A FLORIDA GATOR”!
    Go Gators!

  2. Sounds like a seriously talented and smart kid to me, I hope he wants to come to Gator Nation. Let’s grab him!!!

    @RealityBites, Warning!!! are you 11 years old or something? That might explain your understanding level. He listed three things that are most important; playing time, academics and coaching relationships. If a kid doesn’t think of those things, he might not be a good fit actually, instead he showed his intelligence and maturity…you could not have missed more on your assessment.

    • Gatorvision,

      That’s because the recruiting services haven’t come out with position rankings yet. The only three things out right now are the ESPNU 150 Watch List, the Rivals250 and the Scout300. He’s only a member of the ESPNU 150.

  3. Zach,
    Can you help me try to figure out why UF is so in love with short and slow wide receivers? Seems there should be a better balance. Either you are short and fast (P. Harvin) or tall and slower (David Nelson, Riley Cooper) with great hands. We have, and are still targeting, kids that are not fast or tall enough to contribute in big-boy SEC football? What gives?

  4. @Davido ,
    David Nelson was not considered a slow receiver. He was not a powerful route runner but he had speed. Riley Cooper was one of the fastest kids on the entire team. The pro scheme they are running now is about timing . The speed has to be there after the catch. But right now they are looking for exceptional route running skills. I am interested in seeing how the team does with an offensive play caller who is not looking for a job while he has this one! Go Gators!

  5. riley cooper ran a 4.50 40 time. dont c how that is slow. fulwood is 6’4, 4.50 40. stacey coley is 6’1 and runs 4.50 40. rodney adams is committed, 6’0 and runs 4.40. where do you get the idea that we are recruiting slow, short recievers??

  6. Thanks for the insight. I guess I never put it into that perspective. Nelson was fast, but still couldn’t get open. All I see is what they do on the field, not at combines. More importantly, if Pease does hang around for more than 1 year we should be targeting good route runners who can get open. Unlike the over-hyped Deonte “fast, too short, butter finger” Thompson. It’s a love-hate thing I guess… Go Gators!

  7. Swampthing, that is a very good point. Maybe Pease will stick around long enough to help us win a another national title. His stock as a coach would be sky high then. Let us hope he wants to win what he almost did at Boise State. This summer will be rough waiting for fall. In the words of the great Bart Scott… “Can’t Wait!!!” Go Gators

  8. The Gators are totally unimpressive on offense. The only offensive player we would want from Florida’s team is Hump! They are solid (but not spectacular), on defense however. Another middle of the pack season is coming up for the reptile fans. Lose in Aggie land and K-town this year and the drainage of the Swamp will ensue. Payback will be fun after 6 years britches!