Back on the trail


Billy Donovan’s return to the recruiting trail netted a pair of interesting visits last week.

The visit to five-star point guard recruit Brandon Knight wasn’t a surprise. Knight, considered the top prospect in the Class of 2010, is a Fort Lauderdale area native. He’s been on the Florida target list for some time.

The second visit was to four-star big man Damontre Harris. The 6-foot-9, 205 pound Harris, from Fayetteville, N.C., is considered a work in progress. But Harris’ long wingspan could make him effective in front of Florida’s press. He’s also an excellent shot-blocker, which was a glaring weakness for the Gators last season. Florida ranked last in the Southeastern Conference in blocked shots.

Heath Vandevender, Harris’ high school coach, told the Fayetteville (N.C.) Observer that Donovan was: “”very personable, very down to earth, very real.”

“A lot of guys will just talk about their program,” Vandevender said. “Coach Donovan was not that way. He was up front with ‘Tre about what he’d need to do in the classroom. He didn’t promise him he was going to start or do this or do that. He told ‘Tre he’d have to earn every minute he gets.”

But South Carolina is considered the early leader on Harris because Gamecocks coach Darrin Horn was the first to establish a relationship with him. Wake Forest, Virginia Commonwealth and Maryland also are in the mix.

According to, Harris is scheduled to visit Florida from Oct. 16-18, the weekend of the Arkansas homecoming football game. ranks Harris as the 10th best center in the Class of 2010.