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SEC Recruiting Notebook: Florida Adds Athleticism

sec-recruiting-notebook-gfxFlorida’s 2014 class became a little more athletic this week.

The Gators received commitments from wide receiver Ermon Lane from Homestead, Fla., athlete Chris Lammons from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and defensive back Quincy Wilson from Fort Lauderdale. All three prospects are ranked in the Top 300 by ESPN RecruitingNation.

Lane, who’s ranked the nation’s No. 2 wide receiver by ESPN, committed to Florida after looking at the Gators’ depth chart and seeing immediate playing time available at wide receiver.

“I went up to Florida for their spring practice,” Lane told ESPN.com. “I just felt at home when I stepped on campus. I was just looking at their wide receivers, and I just feel like I could go in and compete and play as a true freshman.”

Wilson will have the opportunity to do the same in Florida’s defensive backfield. Senior Jaylen Watkins and juniors Loucheiz Purifoy and Marcus Roberson could all leave school after this season.

“With Loucheiz and Marcus potentially leaving, I felt like I could go in there and make an impact early being that there is only Vernon Hargreaves and the three other commits, J.C. Jackson, Chris Lamons and Duke Dawson,” Wilson said. “So I felt like that was going to be a good opportunity for me. I developed a good relationship with (defensive backs coach Travaris Robinson), and me and him talk three or four times a week and I just felt comfortable with making a decision to go to Florida.”

Wilson, who chose Florida over South Carolina, Notre Dame, Ohio State and Southern California, said he’s relieved to have the recruiting process finished.

“It feels great,” Wilson told Rivals. “The process can be stressful sometimes. There’s days I don’t feel like answering my phone and sometime want to be myself without all the pressure and all that and I am happy to make my decision before the season to focus on the season.”

Landing the three prospects this week showed Florida’s ability to recruit the southern area of the state. They join running back Dalvin Cook from Miami and defensive tackle Khairi Clark from Hollywood to give the Gators five commitments from South Florida.

“Down here, they see a lot of good players going to Florida and they feel like it’s close to home and it’s a big-time program and in the SEC,” Lammons said. “They all want to play in a place like that.”

Florida’s 2014 class, which has 15 commitments, is ranked No. 8 in the nation by ESPN. The Gators are setting themselves up nicely heading into the final five months of recruiting, according to ESPN analyst Tom Luginbill.

“Expect the Gators to close strong down the stretch. This is a nice way to end the summer circuit, but now the fall begins and Florida has arguably the most difficult schedule in America. If the Gators navigate it well, this class could explode.”Expect the Gators to close strong down the stretch. This is a nice way to end the summer circuit, but now the fall begins and Florida has arguably the most difficult schedule in America. If the Gators navigate it well, this class could explode.”

 

Glass decommits from Georgia

Safety Nick Glass from Peachtree Ridge High School in Suwanee, Ga., is no longer committed to Georgia.

Glass, who was the first prospect to commit to the Bulldogs’ 2014 class, announced the decision on Thursday.

“I de-committed so I could focus on my senior season and my academics, but there were a few other things, too,” Glass told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “I think I committed too early. I committed my sophomore year, which was way too early.”

Glass continued to show interest in other schools after he committed to Georgia. He took unofficial visits to Alabama and Tennessee, which fueled speculation in the spring that he might switch his commitment.

Glass was asked by the AJC if there were other factors that led to his decommitment.

“There were a few things, but I can’t really talk about it right now because I’m trying to get my mind focused on our scrimmage,” he said. “We play Lovejoy (this weekend). I’m trying to get my head together, so now is not the best time.”

The decommitment by Glass leaves Georgia with 16 commitments for the 2014 class. The Bulldogs have commitments from three prospects – Shattle Fenteng (junior college), Kendall Gant and Malkom Parrish – who project to play in the defensive backfield.

 

New uniforms a hit with Tennessee prospects

Tennessee became the latest football team on Thursday to unveil an alternate uniform.

The Vols introduced a “Smokey” gray uniform that will be worn once this fall. The new look has been a big hit with recruits, according to Tennessee coach Butch Jones.

“My phone has blown up with recruits across the country who are very, very excited,” Jones said.

That appears to be true. Defensive tackle Charles Mosley from Brighton, Tenn., recently named Tennessee his leader ahead of Alabama. The new uniform only helped Tennessee’s case with Mosley.

“Oh my God, that jersey is more beautiful than my ex girlfriend,” Mosley told Volquest.com. “I’m in love.”

Tennessee running back commitment Treyvon Paulk agreed. He believes it’s another example of the positive changes Jones has brought to the Vols.

“They look amazing,” Paulk said of the uniform changes. “It’s the beginning of what coach Jones is doing in Knoxville. It’s a new era and it’s always great to have the latest and greatest. Players want to feel good on the field and to have that swag gives us a boost of confidence.”

 

Calipari: the nation’s top recruiter

CBSSports.com recently polled college basketball coaches to find out who is the best recruiter in the nation.

To no one’s surprise, Kentucky coach John Calipari easily received the most votes. Calipari received 49 percent, well ahead of Kansas coach Bill Self (8 percent).

Here’s what one coach said about Calipari:

“He’s just that good. It’s unfair and generally a waste of time to go up against him. People can speculate all they want about his practices or say that anyone can recruit to Kentucky. They are all signs of jealousy. You have to have skills as a recruiter, a marketer, and a leader to get that many elite-level kids to put aside their egos to play with other great players. It’s not easy when they all want playing time and the spotlight. He gets them to trust his process and to focus on winning. And he has to do it all over again, year after year. That’s not an easy task. He would be a great recruiter at any level of our business. As a matter of fact, he has been.”

Florida coach Billy Donovan hasn’t been too bad himself. Five percent of the coaches polled called Donovan the best recruiter in the nation.

Here’s what one coach told CBS Sports about Donovan:

“Billy has built a national power at a place where the students and fans don’t care too much about basketball, and he’s done it with recruiting. He used to just get the highest-ranked guys he could get. Then he changed his philosophy and started targeting the best recruits who fit what he wants to do. That’s how he won two championships. That’s why he’s always in the top 10 of the national polls. He’s smart and he’s good. He’s an impressive guy. A Hall of Famer.”

 


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