Florida Gators: Arizona Wildcats

Underclassmen shine at IMG event 

June, 24, 2014
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BRADENTON, Fla. -- There were more than 30 prospects ranked in the ESPN 300 in attendance at the IMG National Championship at IMG Academy over the weekend. With so much talent on hand, it would be easy to overlook some of the underclassmen who stood out over the course of the two-day event. Here is a list of several younger players who did enough with their performances to stand out.

Notebook: IMG 7v7 Championship 

June, 23, 2014
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BRADENTON, Fla. -- The IMG 7v7 National Championship held at IMG Academy over the weekend featured some of the top 7-on-7 teams from all over the country and even a few teams from Canada. The event, which included 12 prospects ranked in the top 50 of the ESPN 300, showcased some of the best talent you will find in a single tournament. Led by Alabama verbal commits Calvin Ridley and Shawn Burgess-Becker, the Florida Fire from South Florida defeated Tampa’s Unsigned Preps 20-18 in the championship game to take home the title.

Quarterbacks shine

There were several high-profile quarterbacks in attendance, and they lived up to the hype for the most part. Deondre Francois, who recently transferred to IMG Academy, made numerous impressive throws. The 6-foot-2, 188-pound signal-caller has a top three of Oregon, Auburn and Florida State and is planning to make his decision at the end of July.


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The state of Florida has always been known for producing some of the top athletes in the country. The term "athlete" is sometimes looked at as a negative term, but it really means our scouts believe these talented prospects could play more than one position in college. Here is a closer look at some of the top athletes from the Sunshine State in the 2015 class.

ESPN 300 athletes from Florida

No. 8 Torrance Gibson: Gibson is a skilled athlete who can make plays on offense. The five-star athlete led his high school, Plantation American Heritage, to the state championship game. In the game, he had a touchdown run of 80 yards and also a long touchdown pass that was among the "SportsCenter" Top 10 plays. He wants to play quarterback on the next level, but he’s the most talented wide receiver on his South Florida Express 7-on-7 team. Whatever position he chooses, Gibson has a bright future ahead of him.


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Top position classes: QBs 

February, 10, 2014
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With national signing day in the books, RecruitingNation is looking at the top position classes. For the full series, click here.

Nationally (and SEC)
The Florida Gators had a major need at quarterback in the Class of 2014, and Will Muschamp and staff more than filled it, signing two of the nation’s top signal-callers. Third-ranked dual-threat prospect Will Grier (Davidson, N.C./Davidson Day School) is already on campus and preparing for spring practice, while No. 7 dual-threat prospect Treon Harris (Miami/Booker T. Washington) was a huge signing-day flip from Florida State. Both prospects are great athletes who are accustomed to operating uptempo offenses. This should also help newly hired offensive coordinator Kurt Roper, who will install a similar scheme in Gainesville.

The Gators had the nation's best QB class; here's which schools had the best in each of the remaining power conferences:


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One week after committing to Arizona during the 2014 Under Armour All-America Game, the nation’s No. 15-ranked prospect Jalen Tabor (Washington, D.C./Friendship Collegiate Academy) has had a change of heart.

[+] EnlargeJalen Tabor
Miller Safrit/ESPNJalen Tabor will enroll early and join the Gators for spring practice.
According to Tabor’s mother, Merri Tabor, the versatile 6-foot-1, 188-pound defensive back has flipped his pledge to the Florida Gators.

“It’s definitely correct, Jalen will be a Florida Gator,” Marie Tabor said via text. “Final decision.”

The Gators will also get Tabor on campus in Gainesville and enrolled by Monday his mother said.

Tabor took official visits to Maryland, Arizona, Florida and Alabama before trimming his list to the Tide and Wildcats prior to his announcement on Jan. 2.

The commitment to Arizona came as a surprise to many, even though teammate and close friend Jonathan Haden is also committed to the Wildcats.

Tabor was a standout throughout the week of Under Armour All-America practices, and during the game as well. He is the No. 5-ranked cornerback prospect in the 2014 class.

With Tabor, the Gators now have 21 commitments in the 2014 class. He joins 11 other ESPN 300 commits in the glass and is also one of 16 four-star prospects that Florida will welcome to Gainesville in this class.

ESPN 300 corner Tabor down to two 

December, 28, 2013
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ORLANDO, Fla. -- With less than a week before he is scheduled to announce his college choice, cornerback Jalen Tabor (Washington, D.C./Friendship Collegiate Academy), the 15th-ranked prospect in the nation, said he is closing in on his final decision.

Holding a laundry list of offers and having considered many of the top programs in the country, the 6-foot-1, 188-pound prospect said only two remain. He will announce his commitment during the 2014 Under Armour All-American Game (Jan. 2, 4 p.m. ET, ESPN).


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UA Game jersey tour: Jalen Tabor

November, 1, 2013
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Senior cornerback Jalen Tabor (Washington, D.C./Friendship Collegiate Academy) was presented his honorary game jersey at his school on Thursday, during the American Family Insurance Selection Tour for the 2014 Under Armour All-America High School Football Game. The event was part of the three-month tour.

Tabor, is one of 90 players selected to compete in the seventh-annual Under Armour All-America Game presented by American Family Insurance, a nationally televised competition spotlighting the country’s top high school seniors. The 2014 Under Armour All-America Game is set for 4 p.m. ET on Jan. 2 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla., and will be televised on ESPN.

“Thank all of y’all for coming out,” Tabor said. “It’s truly a blessing for me. I want to thank my parents, coach [Aazar Abdul-]Rahim, all the coaches … this is just a very special moment. I want to thank God. I want to thank all my teammates, y’all come in every day and fight with me.”

Abdul-Rahim says his star player's work ethic sets him apart.

“What makes Jalen special is one, he has God given ability," the coach explained. "He’s got great ball skills. And the main thing and most important thing is his work ethic. He’s a tireless worker. He’s been a consistent worker on and off the field. From weight training to individual DB work to work on his own.”

Tabor is always looking to test himself, and selecting the UA Game was the best way for him to do that.

"I decided to accept the invitation to the Under Armour All-America Game because I definitely wanted to play against the best kids from around the country, to test my skills, and to let the whole world know who I am," Tabor said. "In the game, it’s definitely playing against all the best kids. Every snap, you have to be on your 'A' game. Definitely to test myself, that’s going to be the best thing I’m looking for in the game is to see where I’m at. It's definitely a blessing to be invited to this game.

"You got Julio Jones, A.J. Green and guys who are top-10 receivers in the NFL, and that’s what I want to be one day … a top-10 corner in the NFL. I can't wait to go to Florida and see everyone, and to be on national television each day of the week. I’m looking forward to showing the whole country who I am and what I can do on the football field."

The 6-foot, 188-pound Tabor is the No. 15-ranked prospect overall, and the No. 5 corner in the class. He is considering Maryland, Florida, Alabama, Arizona, Florida State and possibly USC.
The Early Offer is RecruitingNation's latest feature, giving you a daily dose of recruiting in the mornings. Today's offerings: Da'Shawn Hand changing his visit schedule up is good news for Wolverine fans and bad news for Alabama fans; Arizona, Arizona State, Oklahoma and Texas A&M fans can see big pieces of their 2014 recruiting classes on television Friday night; and one of the top juco recruits in last year’s class is going to redshirt at Kansas.

Looking good for the Wolverines
Five-star defensive end Da'Shawn Hand (Woodbridge, Va./Woodbridge) was set to visit Florida on Oct. 4 for its game against Arkansas and Alabama on Nov. 8 for its game against LSU with national title implications on the line. However, the SAT is on Oct. 5, causing Hand to alter his schedule. Hand is still ironing out the final details, but it looks like he will visit Alabama on Oct. 25 when its hosts Tennessee, and he'll trip to Florida on Nov. 8 when the Gators host Vanderbilt. He’s already taken a visit to Michigan and will announce his decision on Nov. 14. The Wolverines have been his leader for quite some time with Florida and then Alabama next in line. Some observers have long-worried what a visit to Alabama for what could be the game of the year would do to Hand’s process. But a college coach close to the situation believes the change now gives Michigan a major edge and puts Bama clearly third in the pack. “I would say this puts it at about 80 percent for Michigan,” the coach said. “The biggest question left is whether or not Florida can wow him enough right before his announcement to get him to change his mind.”

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The Early Offer is RecruitingNation's latest feature, giving you a daily dose of recruiting in the mornings. Today's offerings: Several recruits in Los Angeles took to Twitter on Wednesday to criticize Lane Kiffin, sparking a heated debate with Trojan fans; how Florida losing a four-star offensive line commitment is a good thing, and Oklahoma sends out offers to two of the nation’s top juniors.

Telep's Top 10: Sweet 16 recruiting stories 

March, 27, 2013
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This year’s NCAA tournament has been full of great stories, from Florida Gulf Coast’s Cinderella run to La Salle going from First Four to Sweet 16 to the Big Ten placing four teams in the final 16.

But what about the stories behind the stories -- the tales of how some of this year’s March Madness stars ended up at their eventual schools and helped shape this year’s tourney? To delve into those, this week’s top 10 looks at the 10 best recruiting stories from players and teams in the Sweet 16.

Top 10 Recruiting Stories From the Sweet 16

1. Trey Burke, Michigan
Mick Cronin is not going to want to hear this again, but it’s true. Burke was going to Cincinnati. It was nearly a done deal. But one last call to Michigan’s staff changed the fate of two programs. According to recruiting lore, Burke’s father called a final time asking Michigan if it was interested in Burke. If the answer was no, then Burke was going to Cincinnati. This was in late July of Burke’s pre-senior summer. Remember, it wasn’t like the now All-American was hot stuff then. He was good -- a late top-100 player -- but he wasn’t the player then that he has become. Ultimately, Michigan said it wanted Burke and the Wolverines landed him a few days later.

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ATHENS, Ga. -- Considering that running back Jacques Patrick (Orlando, Fla./Timber Creek) is only in his second year of high school but already has 25 scholarship offers, the case can be made that Patrick is one of the most coveted prospects in the Class of 2015.


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Watch List DT doubles offer list 

March, 1, 2013
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ESPN Watch List defensive tackle Joshua Frazier (Springdale, Ark./Har Ber) has doubled his offer list in the last month. The 6-foot-4, 330-pound junior has added offers from USC, Notre Dame, Texas A&M and now Georgia.


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Watch List OT Bauer piling up offers 

February, 28, 2013
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As ESPN Watch List offensive tackle Andy Bauer (St. Louis/ De Smet) creeps up on 40 offers, he is reminded of two important yet unofficial rules to the recruiting game.

Network, first of all; and second, have fun.


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OSU extends offer to Watch List DT 

February, 27, 2013
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Urban Meyer was at it again Wednesday with yet another offer to a defensive lineman.


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ESPN Radio: Talking Florida basketball

December, 13, 2012
12/13/12
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Florida coach Billy Donovan went on the SVP & Russillo Show to discuss the Gators' early success this season, the diminished Big East, the influence of football on conference realignment and much more. Listen here Listen

Similarly, Arizona coach Sean Miller was on The Herd with Colin Cowherd to talk about the Wildcats' Saturday matchup with Florida, the state of the Big East, conference realignment and more. Listen here Listen

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Florida Tops Kentucky In Triple Overtime
Jeff Driskel threw for 295 yards and three touchdowns as Florida defeated Kentucky in triple overtime 36-30.
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