One down: CB Chris Lammons picks Florida

In what may well be an extremely productive and celebratory day for the Florida Gators football program, four-star cornerback Chris Lammons (Plantation, FL) officially became the first of up to three dominoes to fall as he verbally committed to play for the Gators on Monday during an announcement ceremony broadcast live on ESPNU.

Lammons (5-foot-9, 168 pounds), the 85th overall player as ranked by ESPN, chose Florida over Miami, South Carolina and Tennessee. He is a consensus four-star prospect but not currently ranked in the Rivals250.

“Great coaching, great facility and that’s just somewhere where I feel comfortable,” he said following his commitment. He also noted that he also hopes to be a kickoff and punt returner for the Gators.

One of a number of South Florida prospects that visited Gainesville, FL, for Friday Night Lights on July 26, Lammons came away impressed and many believed he was leaning toward committing to UF.

However, after he announced his decision date last week, things appeared to swing in favor of USC. Ultimately, Lammons chose the Gators over the Volunteers and now has the potential to play college football with one of his good friends and another UF target, four-star CB Quincy Wilson (Fort Lauderdale, FL).

Though uncommitted as of press time, Wilson and four-star wide receiver Ermon Lane (Homestead, FL) will be announcing their college choices Monday at 9 p.m. Wilson (6-foot-2, 195 pounds) and Lane (6-foot-2, 172 pounds) are expected to choose the same school and each holds offers from Florida, Ohio State and South Carolina.

RELATED: Gators raid South Florida for trio of four-star commits, add WR Ermon Lane, CB Quincy Wilson

Should Wilson and Lane pick the Gators as most believe, Florida will have suddenly amassed quite a recruiting haul from South Florida.

The Gators already have four-star running back Dalvin Cook (Miami, FL) and four-star defensive tackle Khairi Clark in their 2014 recruiting class.

Lammons is commitment No. 14 and the second pledge in the last three days as three-star offensive lineman Nolan Kelleher (Mount Pleasant, SC) committed Saturday.

Check out Florida’s updated 2014 recruiting class by clicking here.

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WR Phillips becomes Gators’ first 2015 commit

Though the Florida Gators have already made a great start on their 2016 recruiting class with a pair of talented prospects in the fold, head coach Will Muschamp had not yet secured a 2015 player when his program’s annual recruiting showcase, Friday Night Lights, began on Friday at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, FL.

That was no longer the case by the time the night was over as wide receiver Da’Vante Phillips (Miami, FL) decided make a verbal commitment to the Gators.

Phillips (6-foot-1, 189-pounds) had long been considering committing to Florida and received plenty of help along the way from a current pledge. His Miami Central High School teammate, 2014 four-star running back Dalvin Cook (Miami, FL), has been in his ear constantly trying to convince Phillips to join him in college.

“[Cook] has always told me that he wants me to be a Gator, but he knew it was my decision,” Phillips told InsidetheGators.com‘s Blake Alderman ($). “He never pressured me. He would talk to me about Florida everyday. I am with him most of the time and he always talked about them.”

Cook, ranked 24th in the nation by Rivals, is the Gators’ highest ranked commitment.

Phillips, who chose Florida over offers from Alabama, Florida State, Miami and Tennessee (among others), will likely be rated as a four-star prospect when Rivals‘ first 2015 rankings are officially released. ESPN already has him ranked as a four-star prospect and the No. 11 overall player in the class of 2015 (No. 1 pass catcher).

It is the third-straight recruiting cycle that the Gators’ first commitment has been from a wide receiver. Four-star Ryeshene Bronson (Fort Myers, FL) joined Florida’s 2014 recruiting class on June 14, 2012, but parted ways with UF on May 21. On June 20, the Gators locked up Tyler Byrd (Naples, FL) as the first member of their 2016 class.

Phillips is Florida’s fourth pledge in the last three days.

2014 three-star offensive/defensive tackle Dontae Angus (Philadelphia, PA) committed Wednesday night, 2014 defensive end Justus Reed (Clearwater, FL) made his intentions known on Thursday, and cornerback Tre Jackson became the second member of UF’s 2016 class earlier on Friday.

Check out the Gators’ updated 2014-16 recruiting classes by clicking here.

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Previewing Florida’s 2013 Friday Night Lights

Mixing pomp and circumstance with football drills and relationship building, the Florida Gators use their annual Friday Night Lights camp at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium as both a recruiting tool and means of evaluating some of the best high school football players in the country. The Gators often host top-tier prospects over the FNL weekend but also find diamonds in the rough while coaching up the recruits.

The Swamp will once again filled with some of the top young talent in the nation on July 26, so much so that covering every player that plans to step on the field is a near impossibility. Below are a list of 10 players (in no particular order) to keep an eye on either because of their talent or high level of interest in attending Florida.

DB Adoree’ Jackson (Gardena, CA) –
A two-way player and consensus five-star prospect, Jackson is an incredible talent that can play wide receiver or cornerback on the collegiate level. A high school track star, he desires to play two sports in college and is a big fan of Florida track & field coach Mike Holloway; the interest is more than mutual. Jackson will be visiting the Gators for the first time on Friday but is expected to return in the fall for an official visit. He is ranked as the No. 9 overall prospect in the country by Rivals.

WR Travis Rudolph (West Palm Beach, FL) –
One of Florida’s top pass catching targets, Rudolph once listed the Gators as his leader but is now wide open with Alabama, Ohio State and Oregon (among others) all pushing hard for the Rivals250 prospect. Rudolph is ranked 153rd overall by Rivals and is said to have a great relationship with Florida WR coach Joker Phillips, his primary recruiter.

DB Quincy Wilson (Fort Lauderdale, FL) –
Ranked 150th in the nation by Rivals, Wilson wants to play college football in his home state, and it is widely believed that the Gators are in the lead for his services. He is close with Florida four-star RB pledge Dalvin Cook (Miami, FL) and four-star WR Ermon Lane (Homestead, FL), who is also believed to be a UF lean. Wilson and Lane both plan to make their commitments official in August, but the former could wind up popping for the Gators this weekend. Lane will not be in attendance at FNL.

Read up on seven more players attending Friday Night Lights…after the break!
Continue Reading » Previewing Florida’s 2013 Friday Night Lights

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DT Anthony Moten leaves Florida’s 2014 class

For the fourth time this recruiting cycle, the Florida Gators have lost a four-star pledge as defensive tackle Anthony Moten (Fort Lauderdale, FL) decided Saturday to decommit from the program, according to multiple reports.

Moten, ranked as the No. 166 player in his class, told The Gainesville Sun’s Zach Abolverdi that he is no longer considering Florida and is instead focused on Florida State, Miami and South Carolina. He originally committed to the Gators on April 2 but never even visited Gainesville, FL.

He is the second prospect at his position (Travonte Valentine), third player from the state of Florida (Valentine, wide receiver Ryeshene Bronson) and third Rivals250 talent (Bronson, linebacker Christian Miller) to change course after initially committing to play for UF in 2014.

Moten cited Florida’s depth at defensive tackle as the main reason for his decision. “Not trying to go to college and get [lost] in the system,” he wrote on his Twitter account.

He was also reportedly displeased that the Gators signed a second defensive tackle, four-star Khairi Clark (Hollywood, FL). Clark is ranked 139th overall in the 2014 class.

Florida now has 10 prospects committed for next season including five in the Rivals250. The Gators are expecting to bolster those numbers next weekend after Friday Night Lights, the team’s annual summer recruiting event at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, which is being held on July 26 this year.

Check out UF’s updated 2014 recruiting class by clicking here.

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OGGOA Week(end) in Review: July 26-29

Considering so much has gone on over the last few days in regards to the Florida Gators, the OGGOA Week In Review returns for its third edition. (Yes, it is just covering a four-day period, but let’s just all agree to ignore that.) Be sure to check out all of the posts in case you happened to miss a thing or two.

FOOTBALL RECRUITING / FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS
» The day before Friday Night Lights was set to commence, Florida received a commitment from 2013 defensive back Vernon Hargreaves III (Tampa, FL), who vaulted the program five spots from 10th to 5th in the Rivals team recruiting rankings and immediately became the Gators’ highest-rated player of the cycle.

» Florida doubled up on commitments before FNL even began as three-star defensive end Antonio Riles (Lawrenceville, GA) chose UF over Georgia and committed even though he could not make it to campus for the event.

» There were rumblings all week that the Gators would receive a commitment from another highly-rated defensive prospect, but FNL came and went without him announcing his pledge. Four-star DE Jordan Sherit (Tampa, FL) remained in Gainesville, FL on Saturday, however, and made his verbal commitment public.

» Florida received its fourth commitment in as many days on Sunday when 2014 defensive tackle Travonte Valentine (Palm Bay, FL), expected to be one of the top players at his position when recruiting rankings are released for his class, ended his recruitment early and decided that he wanted to play for the Gators, too.

» More rumblings on Sunday indicated that Florida could go five-for-five in commitments and bring in a talented but underrated offensive playmaker on Monday though it remains to be seen if head coach Will Muschamp will give him a commitable offer and the opportunity to join the Gators.

2012 LONDON OLYMPICS
OGGOA has been offering full coverage of the Olympics all event long on this dedicated page, which includes a Gator Nation vs. The World medal count, daily schedule and direct LIVE streaming links to each event as it takes place. Below are some notes in case you have not visited it yet and want a quick refresher.

» Ryan Lochte (United States) won two medals over the weekend including a gold in the Men’s 400 Meter Individual Medley, the fourth such medal of his Olympic career. Lochte also swam the final leg of the Men’s 4×100 Meter Freestyle Relay but got caught from behind over the final 50 meters; the team finished with a silver. He will compete in the Men’s 200 Meter Freestyle finals on Monday afternoon.

» Junior Elizabeth Beisel (United States) took silver in the Women’s 400 Meter Individual Medley, the first Olympic medal of her young career. She nearly won the gold but was bested over the last 150 meters.

» Thirteen other Gators (as well as one incoming freshman) competed in Olympic action over the four-day span though none of them were able to join Lochte and Beisel in bringing home medals as of yet. Striker Abby Wambach was dominant once again in soccer and got a black eye in her match on Saturday, though she scored a goal in retaliation and mocked her assailant during her celebration.

» “Gator Nation” is currently eighth in the Olympic medal standings with one gold and two silver. You can view the full medal breakdown on OGGOA‘s dedicated Olympics page.

FORMER PLAYERS SPEAK OUT
» Florida quarterback Shane Matthews praised Muschamp and the current Gators coaching staff while noting that he was frustrated with the way former head coach Urban Meyer and his staff developed play callers and recruited in his waning years.

» Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah said he definitely had more fun at Florida than QB Tim Tebow did and provided an interesting answer when he was asked how much class he attended during his junior season when he was helping the Gators win the second of their back-to-back basketball national championships.

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DT Valentine is Gators’ second 2014 pledge

Nearly done with their 2013 recruiting class, the Florida Gators received their second 2014 commitment on Sunday when defensive tackle Travonte Valentine (Palm Bay, FL) gave a verbal pledge to head coach Will Muschamp.

Valentine, despite previously being committed to Louisville and more recently having a top three of Alabama, Auburn and Florida according to Rivals’ Chris Nee, decommitted on July 15 and claimed five days later that Florida State was his new leader after spending three days on campus. He quickly changed that stance over the weekend after attending Friday Night Lights in Gainesville, FL.

“ITS OFFICIAL IM A GATOR I FEEL PROUD ABT IT TOOO #CHOMP CHOMP,” Valentine posted on Facebook though he had not yet spoken to Muschamp. Scout.com confirmed minutes later that he got in touch with Muschamp, who accepted his commitment.

Valentine is the second 2014 player to commit to the Gators; wide receiver Ryeshene Bronson (Fort Myers, FL) became the team’s first pledge on June 14. Both are expected to be at least four-star prospects when rankings are released.

He is the fourth high school football player commit to Florida in as many days following in the footsteps of 2013 five-star defensive back Vernon Hargreaves (Tampa, FL) on Thursday, three-star defensive end Antonio Riles (Lawrenceville, GA) on Friday and four-star defensive end Jordan Sherit (Tampa, FL) on Saturday.

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DE Jordan Sherit makes call for the Gators

Just two days after five-star cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III verbally committed to the Florida Gators his close friend and fellow Tampa, FL native four-star defensive end Jordan Sherit did the same, informing head coach Will Muschamp of his decision the day after he attended Friday Night Lights.

Sherit, a member of the Rivals100 (No. 94) and ESPN 300 (No. 254), is 6’5” and 234 lbs. with impressive speed for a big man. He’s quick off the snap, strong at the point of attack and steadily improving as a pass rusher according to recruiting analysts who have watched him over the last two years.

Sherit chose Florida primarily over Notre Dame, Stanford and Vanderbilt (all schools with solid football and academics) but had a top 11 that also included Clemson, Florida State, Miami, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oregon and South Florida.

He is the eighth defensive front seven player and 14th Floridian (out of 20 pledges) to commit to the Gators as part of the 2013 recruiting cycle.

Sherit’s commitment was first reported by ESPN.

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Three-star DE Antonio Riles chooses Florida

He may not have been in Gainesville, FL for Friday Night Lights but that did not stop three-star defensive end Antonio Riles from pulling the trigger and officially announcing his commitment to the Florida Gators on Friday afternoon.

Though he may not be a highly-ranked prospect according to Rivals, Riles (6’4” 262 lbs.) is solid, can play inside or outside and has a reputation for being a stout and athletic run stopper. He is considered a four-star recruit by ESPN and both services have him rated as a top-30 defensive end this recruiting cycle.

It has long been believed that Riles recruitment would come down to a Florida-Georgia battle, and it looks like the Gators have come out on top for the talented prospect. He also claimed offers from Alabama, Clemson and South Carolina among others.

Riles is the 19th player to commit to Florida for 2013, 10th overall defensive commitment and third from the state of Georgia. He is just the third defensive lineman to pledge this cycle after the Gators hauled in seven as part of their 2012 class.

Riles is the second player to make a pledge for Florida in as many days after the Gators scooped up five-star defensive back Vernon Hargreaves III on Thursday.

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