Previewing Florida’s 2013 Friday Night Lights

By Adam Silverstein
July 25, 2013

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!

ATH Bo Scarbrough (Northport, AL) –
The cousin of current Florida two-star TE commit C’yontai Lewis (Tuscaloosa, AL), Scarbrough gave Alabama a pledge on Sept. 7, 2012, and remains committed to the Crimson Tide as of press time. That has not stopped the Gators, namely head coach Will Muschamp, from getting in his ear about flipping and playing college ball away from his home state in Gainesville, FL. The No. 21 player in the nation is a big fan of Muschamp’s and his trip to Gainesville on Friday will be his second this summer.

DE Trent Harris (Winter Park, FL) –
A Buck linebacker target Florida, Harris is a life-long fan of the Gators who would likely commit if the coaching staff allowed him to do so. He received an offer from Florida in March and also has Miami as another contender for his services. Other offers on his table come from Alabama, Florida State, Georgia and Ohio State.

DB Chris Lammons (Plantation, FL) –
The Gators firmly hold a spot in Lammons’s top five but have not yet stood out for the two-way player who is likely to be positioned at cornerback on the collegiate level. Cook did a good job recruiting Lammons while both participated in the annual Nike showcase, The Opening, back in June.

OL Trevor Darling (Miami, FL) –
Cook has also been trying his best to get Darling, his high school teammate, to flip his commitment from the Hurricanes to the Gators. The 178th ranked player in the nation by Rivals gave his pledge to Miami on April 5 but may be lured over to Florida by the time all is said and done in February.

LB Richard Yeargin III (Fort Lauderdale, FL) –
Yeargin is another Buck candidate for the Gators. Teammates with Wilson, he is keeping his recruitment close to his chest but has mentioned Florida, Clemson, Michigan, Notre Dame and USC as some of the top contenders for his services.

LB Jacob Pugh (Tallahassee, FL) –
If the Gators are going to steal a commitment from the Seminoles like they did last year, Pugh may be Florida’s best bet. He committed to Florida State on May 29 but has UF and Alabama still pushing hard to get him to change his mind. Chances of a switch are not very likely, as of press time, for Rivals‘s 223rd ranked prospect.

RB Tony James (Gainesville, FL) –
A local product who would probably commit if given the green light and assured that UF would not take another rusher, James is ranked 162nd overall by Rivals. He is concerned that the Gators already have Cook in the fold for 2014 and has expanded his list to include a top six that also features Auburn, Kentucky, Nebraska, Ohio State and Oregon. James has visited Florida on multiple occasions – considering distance is not an issue – but is also believed to be very high on Oregon.

Prospects from the 2015 and 2016 recruiting cycles will also be in attendance at FNL. Some names to watch: 2015 – DT CeCe Jefferson (Glen St. Mary, FL), WR Devonte Phillips (Miami, FL), DE Byron Cowart (Seffner, FL) and 2016 – WR Sam Bruce (Fort Lauderdale, FL), ATH Nate Craig (Dade City, FL), QB Felipe Franks (Crawfordville, FL).

2014 prospects already committed to the Gators that will be in attendance include: Cook, Lewis, four-star QB Will Grier (Davidson, NC), four-star DT Khairi Clark (Hollywood, FL), four-star CB Duke Dawson (Cross City, FL), four-star CB J.C. Jackson (Immokalee, FL) and three-star OL Travaris Dorsey (Jacksonville, FL).

Check out the Gators’ updated 2014 recruiting class by clicking here.

Special thanks to recruiting analyst Blake Alderman and recruiting analyst Andrew Spivey for contributing to this post.

Photo Credit: Aaron Daye/The Gainesville Sun

One Comment

  1. Fernzpat says:

    Get ’em all!!!!

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