Gators have Rutgers ties

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Florida will finish play in the Blue Ribbon Challenge on Saturday at home against Rutgers.

For the Gators, there are some significant ties to their opponents from the state university of New Jersey.

Florida forward Dan Werner, from Middletown, N.J., made an unofficial visit to the Rutgers campus before accepted a scholarship to North Carolina State. Werner considered Rutgers again when he re-opened his recruiting process, but decided instead to go to Florida.

“I thought about it,” Werner said. “It’s only about 35 minutes from my house, but I still didn’t know much about the school until I visited there. It was a good school with good academics. Some of my friends went to school there and I’ll be playing against some guys I played against in high school.”

Freshman forward Chandler Parsons has family ties to the school. Parsons’ grandfather, Don Parsons, was a former Rutgers standout forward who was drafted by the New York Knicks.

Like Werner, Parsons made an unofficial visit to Rutgers.

“It was a great school, but I couldn’t see myself being a Jersey guy,” said Parsons, who is from suburban Orlando.

Recently-hired Florida assistant coach Rob Lanier was an assistant coach at Rutgers from 1997-99 before moving on to an assistant job at Texas.