FOUR BITS: Purifoy, Young, closing, quarterbacks

1 » At the conclusion of his National Signing Day press conference on Wednesday, Florida Gators head coach Will Muschamp told the Orlando Sentinel that sophomore cornerback Loucheiz Purifoy will move to wide receiver during spring practice. Purifoy, who played sparingly at receiver during the 2012 season, is an athletic and versatile performer who was also Florida’s standout player on special teams last year. Whether or not his move to wide receiver is permanent remains to be seen, but Purifoy told the paper’s Edgar Thompson in early January that he enjoyed the time he was spending on offense during practice and games. “I feel like I’m in high school again,” he said. “I love it.” Muschamp and the Gators coaching staff have moved a number of players back-and-forth between offense and defense over the last two offseasons in order to improve position flexibility throughout the roster.

He also noted on Wednesday that UF has tried mightily to bridge the hole in its wide receiving corps and did that in part by signing five pass catchers. “When you say fill needs, you talk in terms of depth and talent. Those are the two things you’ve got to be able to address. I think we’ve taken a step forward in both situations. We’ve improved our depth, and I think we’ve improved our talent level. We’ve got some guys that can come in and compete,” Muschamp said. It will be interesting to see whether or not Purifoy sticks on offense or goes back to defense by the time summer practice begins.

2 » As National Signing Day wrapped up, news broke of Florida having an outstanding offer in the hands of in-state a three-star offensive lineman who was originally planning to continue his career as a basketball player at Division II Eckerd College. That player is Trevon Young (Bradenton, FL), someone who the Gators see as a potential playmaker at tight end given his size size (6’6″, 260 lbs.) and soft hands. Brown is currently debating between sticking with his first love (basketball) in a situation that is unlikely to result in him being a professional athlete down the line or playing his second-favorite sport at the highest level possible in college.

Curt Bradley, Young’s football coach at Branden River High School, told InsidetheGators.com on Wednesday that the player is legitimately conflicted with his decision. “It isn’t a matter of the school, it’s the sport he chooses,” Bradley said, further implying that he would easily choose UF over an offer from South Florida if Young decides to play football. A decision may be coming as soon as Thursday.

Read two more BITS from National Signing Day…after the break!
Continue Reading » FOUR BITS: Purifoy, Young, closing, quarterbacks

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Florida Gators recruits and targets to watch up to and on 2013 National Signing Day

Updated Tuesday, Feb. 5 at 5 p.m.

Twenty-six members strong, the Florida Gators’ 2013 recruiting class is hoping to expand by a few names over the next week when the vast majority of uncommitted high school football players across the country announce their decisions leading up to and on National Signing Day on Wednesday, Feb. 6.

Be sure to visit OGGOA’s live coverage of National Signing Day beginning Wednesday morning at 7 a.m. It will feature a live chat and will be constantly updated throughout the day with every signed National Letter of Intent (NLI) and new commitment.

Below OGGOA breaks down who the Gators are still waiting to hear from, when they may learn of their decision and some of the latest insights on each player.

Special thanks to InsidetheGators.com recruiting analyst Blake Alderman for his assistance on some of the finer details below.

Defensive tackle Jay-nard Bostwick (Port St. Lucie, FL)
Accolades: Rivals – No. 25 DT | ESPN – No. 286 overall (No. 27 DT)
Leaders: Florida, Miami
Contenders: Alabama
Skinny: Supposedly undecided between his final three schools (listed above), Bostwick spent his final weekend before signing day on campus in Gainesville, FL for an official visit. His decision is expected to come down to Florida or Miami and many recruiting analysts believe the Gators will get the nod when all is said and done.
Announcement: National Signing Day – 8 a.m.

Wide receiver James Clark (New Smyrna Beach, FL)
Accolades: Rivals – No. 45 WR | ESPN – No. 49 WR
Leaders: Florida, Clemson, Ohio State
Contenders: Nebraska, Northwestern
Skinny: Clark has a tough decision to make with all three of his leaders making a major push for his services over the last few weeks. Though the Gators landed four-star WR Demarcus Robinson (Fort Valley, GA) in early January, UF has stayed on top of Clark and let him know that they could very much use a sixth wide receiver in the recruiting class. He has never taken an official visit to Florida but has been on campus previously and took an official visit to the school on Saturday.
Announcement: National Signing Day – 9 a.m.

Continue Reading » Florida Gators recruits and targets to watch up to and on 2013 National Signing Day

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Florida wins battle for WR Demarcus Robinson

A back-and-forth-and-back-again recruiting war for four-star wide receiver Demarcus Robinson (Fort Valley, GA) has finally ended with the prized prospect deciding to join the Florida Gators‘ impressive 2013 recruiting class.

Robinson, a long-time Clemson Tigers commitment, rescinded his soft verbal pledge to the school on Dec. 12 when he first flipped to the Gators. Just five days later on Dec. 17, Robinson had a change of heart and rejoined the Tigers’ class.

However, upon arriving at the 2013 U.S. Army All-American Bowl for practice last week, Robinson said he was no longer committed to Clemson and was reopening his recruitment with Florida and Notre Dame also under consideration. Furthermore, he promised to make a decision with his mother over the weekend and enroll early at the school of his choice as a surprise on Monday or Tuesday.

Monday morning, after spending a week in San Antonio, TX practicing for the game and meeting with coaches from both schools, Robinson announced his decision via his Twitter account by writing, “#Gatornation here I come !” Minutes later he added, “I love my gators can’t wait to arrive on campus!” He also confirmed to multiple outlets that he has finally settled on the Gators.

Robinson is the third pass catcher listed at 6’2” or taller and the fifth overall wide receiver to make a pledge for Florida this cycle. The Rivals100 and ESPN 300 receiver is a big target with plenty of strength and more than enough speed to succeed in the grueling Southeastern Conference.

Arguably Florida’s most important commitment since head coach Will Muschamp took over the program, Robinson is a top talent at a major position of need for the Gators. UF’s leading returning receiver, redshirt sophomore Quinton Dunbar, reeled in 36 receptions for 383 yards and four touchdowns during the 2012 season.

Ranked as the No. 48 overall prospect nationally by Rivals, Robinson is the highest-rated receiver to commit to Florida since Andre Debose (No. 21) in 2009. He is listed as the 157th best player in the country by ESPN.

Robinson’s flip from Clemson was originally fueled, in part, by UF’s hiring of new wide receivers coach Joker Phillips, who along with Muschamp and running backs coach Brian White paid the prized recruit a visit in his home shortly before his original commitment and subsequent visit to the school.

The Gators’ newest recruiting class now consists of 26 total pledges including 25 that count as part of the 2013 cycle.

Robinson joins four-stars Ahmad Fulwood (Jacksonville, FL) and Alvin Bailey (Seffner, FL) and three-stars Marqui Hawkins (Columbus, GA) and Chris Thompson (Gainesville, FL) as wide receivers in the class.

Florida also has an offer out to three-star WR James Clark (New Smyrna Beach, FL) who visited the school over the weekend and picked up the offer directly from Muschamp. The Gators would happily take six receivers this cycle.

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