Florida Gators: Cincinnati Bearcats



BEAVERTON, Ore. -- There's a reason QB Deshaun Watson has been walking around this week at the Elite 11 and The Opening with a smile on his face. It's because the Clemson commit knew he was gaining a new weapon for the Tigers' offense.

Artavis Scott, a four-star receiver from Tarpon Springs (Fla.) East Lake High School, has committed to Clemson, picking the Tigers over Auburn, Cincinnati, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oregon and others.

Scott ranks as the No. 89 player in the ESPN 300 and the No. 10 receiver in the nation, helping bolster an impressive offensive class for Clemson that already includes Watson, who is the nation’s No. 1 quarterback.

Early in the process, it seemed that Michigan would be the destination for Scott, but a recent unofficial visit to Clemson -- and a continued recruiting push from Watson -- helped lure him to the Tigers’ side.

"I liked it a lot when I visited,” Scott said earlier this week before making his decision. “I have fun every time I go there. I just like the atmosphere that they bring. Just knowing all the guys that have been there and what they've done and their history, just makes it even better. It's a great opportunity based on what they have produced over the years."

Watson admitted that he’s been talking to Scott a lot about playing together at Clemson.

“I take pride in trying to get the best players to be part of our class,” Watson said. “I’ve been talking a lot to Artavis, and I think we have a special opportunity to do some big things at Clemson.”

Scott, who is 5-foot-11 and 177 pounds, should help bolster Clemson’s class, which was ranked No. 11 in the RecruitingNation class rankings before his pledge. He is Clemson’s 13th known commitment for the class of 2014.
MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. -- Everyone calls him “Pee Wee,” but not in an ironic way that you would call a big man “Tiny.” No, defensive tackle Davonte Lambert (Milledgeville, Ga./Georgia Military College) was born to that nickname.

“I was a premature baby and my auntie came up with that name when I was little, so it just stuck with me ever since,” Lambert said. “I was under five pounds.”

Now Lambert tips the scales at 280 pounds and stands 6-foot-3 atop the wish lists of a number of major college programs.

“I have offers from Georgia, West Virginia, Tennessee, Florida, Mississippi State, Miami, Texas Tech -- I don’t know all of them off the top of my head,” Lambert said. “I get a ton of letters every day with a lot of handwritten ones.”

Not too shabby for a guy who didn’t get much attention in high school. Now in junior college, Lambert is enjoying the spotlight.

ATHENS, Ga. -- For most high school players, the end of practice means they get a break from the incessant nagging and ceaseless instruction of their coaches. They go home, eat dinner, study and enjoy the respite until the whistles start blowing next time. For ESPN Watch List safety Quincy Wilson (Fort Lauderdale, Fla./University School), that is not the case.

Wilson’s father is the defensive coordinator and the defensive backs coach at the University School, so Wilson jokes that he gets no respite.

“Oh no, there’s no break, there’s no break,” Wilson said. “Monday through Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Yeah, I get it at practice, before practice, after practice, in the car, at the dinner table ...”

The talented junior laughed about the nonstop instruction but he also credited his father with making him the player he is today -- one of the most coveted safeties in Florida.


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ESPN 60 PG JaQuan Lyle down to six

March, 11, 2013
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ESPN 60 junior JaQuan Lyle (Evansville, Ind./Bosse) narrowed his college choices to six schools over the weekend. Lyle confirmed the news via his Twitter account on Saturday.

The 6-foot-4 point guard will decide among Illinois, Florida, Indiana, Louisville, Tennessee and Ohio State. Eliminated were Texas, NC State, Georgetown and Cincinnati.

Lyle's junior season came to an end on Saturday in an 82-65 loss to Greensburg in a regional semifinal. He scored 25 points and added 10 rebounds in the defeat.

Timmons has a new group of finalists 

January, 9, 2013
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Just when it seemed Ryan Timmons' recruitment was getting simple, it got more complicated. That's what happens when an SEC powerhouse and a nearby college enter the race late.


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SAN ANTONIO -- In recruiting, players can hate the process one day, love it the next.

ESPN 300 defensive end Joe Mathis (Upland, Calif./Upland) has seen both sides, but is looking to make the process a past discussion.

[+] EnlargeJoe Mathis
Damon Sayles/ESPNESPN 300 DE Joe Mathis is expected to commit on Saturday at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl
Mathis is one of seven players expected to announce where they’ll play college football during Saturday’s U.S. Army All-American Bowl at the Alamodome. While many feel he’s leaning toward one school, Mathis said he’s eyed four schools fairly evenly.

“Truthfully, I really like Alabama, USC, UCLA and Washington,” Mathis said. “They’re like all even. Everybody thinks Washington is in front, but I really like them all.”

Mathis said many feel he’s a Washington lean because of his recent official visit to Seattle and the campus. He left the trip wearing a Washington beanie, but not because of what some fans believe.

“I took an official up there, and I left my hat because it’s cold up north, so I got a nice beanie,” Mathis said. “Since then, people think I’m Washington.”

Mathis, a 6-foot-4, 255-pound end, has an idea of which school he wants to choose, but he said he will take his decision all the way to the morning of the game -- possibly even through his scheduled time to announce.

“It’s going to be a hard decision,” he said. “I mean, it’s the next four years of my life.”

Mathis said he is being recruited by offensive line coach James Cregg (USC), secondary coach Demetrice Martin (UCLA), defensive line coach Tosh Lupoi (Washington) and offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier (Alabama).

Newsmaker: ESPN 150 wide receiver Marquez North (Charlotte, N.C./Mallard Creek) and ESPN 150 quarterback Asiantii Woulard (Winter Park, Fla./Winter Park) arrived in San Antonio around lunchtime on Thursday. However, neither player will play in the game per bowl officials.

North (6-3, 210) is the No. 12 receiver and No. 133 player overall. There have been whispers that he could announce at the game. He has taken official visits to Florida (Oct. 5) and Tennessee (Oct. 19). North also has offers from Clemson, Georgia, Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oregon and others.

There have also been whispers that Woulard (6-3, 205), the No. 1 dual-threat quarterback in the country, could also announce. Woulard took an official visit to NC State on Nov. 9. In addition to the Wolfpack, he also has offers from Boston College, Cincinnati, Ole Miss, Pitt, South Florida, Syracuse, among others.

Notable: Alabama commitment Tyren Jones (Marietta, Ga./Walton) didn’t think he would make the trip to San Antonio because of a pre-existing knee injury. However, he decided to fly in Thursday and will be at Saturday’ game but will not play. … After a shortened afternoon practice for the West, ESPN 150 quarterback Max Browne (Sammamish, Wash./Skyline) and three-star wide receiver Corey Robinson (San Antonio/San Antonio Christian) were spotted getting some extra work in by running routes. Browne, a December high school graduate, has signed his scholarship papers to USC, while Robinson, the son of NBA Hall of Famer David Robinson, is committed to Notre Dame. … Top-rated offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil (Lake City, Fla./Columbia) didn’t participate in much of practice because of illness. Tunsil, who suits up for the East, is expected to be ready for the game.


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#BlueChipBattles: Nov. 30

November, 30, 2012
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Carl Lawson, Dee Liner, Reuben FosterESPN.comCarl Lawson, Dee Linerand Reuben Foster are still committed to Auburn, but the Tigers' coaching situation could change things for the three ESPN 150 recruits.

Auburn bid farewell to head coach Gene Chizik on Sunday. Could the Tigers also be saying goodbye to a trio of ESPN 150 recruits who could take their talents elsewhere?

Each week, RecruitingNation summons its writers from around the country to compile a list of the top 10 battles for elite football recruits leading up to February's signing day.

Here are this week's top battles Insider, and you can take a shot at ranking the top 10 recruiting battles on SportsNation.

State of Florida weekend primer 

October, 5, 2012
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Back for another round of notes and going into detail this week on the spotlight area of the state: Palm Beach County and the surrounding Treasure Coast area.

Palm Beach/Treasure Coast prospects rated by ESPN Scouts: 21
Palm Beach/Treasure Coast players in ESPN 300: 6
Highest-rated Palm Beach/Treasure Coast prospect: RB Kelvin Taylor (Belle Glade, Fla./Glades Day)

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2014 Kyle Gibson hears from state schools 

September, 27, 2012
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Class of 2014 defensive back Kyle Gibson (Seffner, Fla./Armwood) is still sitting on early offers from UCF and Vanderbilt.

However, recruitment for the 6-foot-1, 190-pound junior has picked up considerably in the last month.

“Everything's going real well in the recruiting area,” Gibson said. “A coach from Notre Dame stopped by (Wednesday) to get film. They have been showing a lot of interest but no offer yet.”

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Malachi Dupre raking in the offers 

July, 26, 2012
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Malachi Dupre (New Orleans, La./John Curtis) put himself on the map last week dazzling at LSU's football camp for all to see.

The 6-foot-3, 190-pound wide receiver excelled first in passing drills before testing off the charts, proving that he was more than just a big body. Shortly afterwards, a tender from the reigning SEC champions put Dupre firmly on the map as a big-time prospect.

"I went to the camp knowing what I can do," Dupre said. "I don't think too many people knew my talent, but I knew what I could do. I think a lot of people were sleeping on me, and I went out there and was basically beating real, real good defensive backs and when then happened, the coaches liked me. Then my vertical, I jumped a 40 1/2 and once I did that, that was it. I was extremely excited to get that offer."

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DeSean Smith has fast start at IMG 

June, 30, 2012
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BRADENTON, Fla. -- It was easy to see why four-star tight end DeSean Smith (Lake Charles, La./Barbe) is the No. 4 rated tight end in the country at the IMG Madden 7-on-7 National Championships on Saturday. Smith opened the day with a long 30-yard touchdown catch in the first game and never looked back. The 6-foot-4, 225-pound athlete finished with several big plays.

To no one's surprise, the home-state LSU Tigers have always been considered a favorite for the talented tight end, but another team is making a strong push for his services -- the Florida Gators.

"They are recruiting me hard," Smith said. "They are one of the top teams on my list. As of now I'd say LSU and Florida are at the top for me. Coach [Derek] Lewis is doing a great job recruiting me. They respect me and I respect them. As of now it's close. Florida is in it real big. It's going to be a hard decision."

The No. 143 player in the ESPN 150 said he was surprised with what LSU showed him when he visited Baton Rouge for their spring game.

"I loved the way they surprised me at the spring game," Smith said. "They threw the ball excellent, and that's what surprised me the most when I was there."

Smith, who will make his decision at the U.S. Army Bowl in January, said leaving home would be difficult, but that he looks as college as a life-long opportunity.

"It's going to be hard, but at the same time I want to look at other options than just staying at home," he said. "I want to major in criminal justice, which you can really find anywhere, but this will be a decision with me that will stay with me for the next 40 years.

"It's going to come down with how they do this year, how are they producing on the field. It's going to come down to the offense and what quarterbacks they got coming in."

Miami back in the mix for Sherit

Tampa (Fla.) Hillsborough defensive end Jordan Sherit admitted that Miami had fallen behind in his recruitment, but after a late push by the Hurricanes, the Canes right back in the picture.

"I made one comment that I haven't heard from them in a while," Sherit said. "The next thing I know I get messaged from everyone on coaching staff for a couple weeks now. Especially with the addition of Travis Johnson, a great friend of mine that is going there. It makes me think about them again. I'll try to get down there in August."

Sherit, who said Florida and Vanderbilt are recruiting him the hardest, is close to narrowing down his list of top schools, but he already knows several teams that will be on it.

"I think I'll have a top 10 in the next couple of days," he said. "I can't think of all of them off the top of my head but some schools I would put in there are Florida, Miami, Stanford, Notre Dame, Oklahoma and Vanderbilt. I definitely want to take a trip out to Stanford when they play Notre Dame."

The four-star athlete has visited Florida three times since the spring began. Sherit said Florida is the most organized school he has been to.

"Coach [Will] Muschamp and their whole staff, as far as being organized and knowing what they are doing, they are ahead of everybody else," he said. "Just the way they run their junior days. You can tell by their committed class, they are one of the top classes in the nation. It's because they are doing the right things coaching, and they just have a helluva staff. I expect big things from Florida whether I'm there or not."

2014 WR Artavis Scott earns big offer

Tarpon Springs (Fla.) East Lake wide receiver Artavis Scott will be a big-time recruit next year, but the talented junior-to-be, will have to wait his turn to be the star of his 7-on-7 team. Team Tampa features several top 2013 prospects including Sherit, Leon McQuay III, Vernon Hargreaves III, Richard Benjamin, Travis Johnson and Alvin Bailey. Scott said he enjoys the competition.

"I love it," Scott said. "You don't have to come out here and worry about someone else not doing their job. We have it, they are always doing their job. Guys come out here to compete and we have the best on our team."

Scott, who already held offers from FSU, USF, Ohio State, South Carolina, Iowa State, Indiana and Cincinnati, earned an offer from Florida after recently camping in Gainesville.

"I was thankful for it," Scott said. "I was pretty glad that I got that offer. It's close to home and my mom likes that school. So it was pretty good to get that offer."

The 5-11, 165-pound receiver said he hit it off with Florida wide receivers coach Aubrey Hill.

"I think he's a pretty cool coach," Scott said. "After we came back from the field, we sat down in his office and talked for a while. He seems like a pretty nice guy. I communicate with him every now and then. He seems like a pretty cool dude."

Florida commit taking other visits?

Four-star Florida offensive line commit Josh Outlaw (Lithonia, Ga./Martin Luther King) has been committed to the Gators since April, but the guard prospect said he is still receiving interest from other schools.

"I definitely received a lot of attention over the last week," Outlaw said. "I've talked to Miami, Tennessee, Ole Miss and Arkansas. Things have slowed down a little bit, but there are some schools still coming after me. They are still interested."

Outlaw, who said he is still a solid commit to Florida, said he will likely take some other visits.

"Those schools want me to come and check them out," Outlaw said. "I definitely will probably take some because of my teammates. I don't want to be too shy and not take any visits and just sit at my house, so I'll probably be pretty active and check out some things."

Other Notes

  • Hargreaves III (Tampa, Fla./Wharton), a five-star cornerback, might have had the play of the day. He was beaten by a few steps on a deep route but recovered and made an acrobatic interception just before stepping out of the back of the end zone.
  • Florida 2014 commit Ryeshene Bronson (Ft. Myers, Fla./Dunbar) caught a 15-yard touchdown pass in the first game of the day. The 6-3 wide receiver caught the ball over another defender and barely tapped his feet in the back of the end zone for the score.

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The 7th annual Heath Evans Foundation 7-on-7 tournament will be loaded with FBS talent when the first pass is thrown Saturday morning in West Palm Beach, Fla.

ESPN 150/300 Prospects

Vernon Hargreaves III, CB, Tampa (Fla.) Wharton (No. 4)

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DE Crawford leaves MSU camp with offer 

June, 7, 2012
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Defensive end Nate Crawford (Pensacola, Fla./West Florida Tech) had such a good experience at the Mississippi State one-day camp that he left Starkville with an offer from the Bulldogs.

And things just got better from there.

"I went to the Mississippi State camp and received an offer and then today I received an offer from Missouri," Crawford said. "That's two SEC schools in two days."

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Interest in QB Staver growing 

May, 2, 2012
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Max Staver may soon have to add some offers to his list.

The quarterback from Nashville (Tenn.) Brentwood has seen stronger interest from Alabama, Auburn and Florida after some strong, recent camp showings.

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Peach State Quick Hitters 

March, 30, 2012
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The Peach State has firmly entrenched itself in producing the fourth most FBS talent in the country, and while Georgia has some growing to do before it catches California in overall talent, it trails only Florida in FBS signees per player. Over 100 prospects from Georgia in the 2013 class are already claiming offers, with close to 10 in the 2014 class. In today's Peach State Quick Hitters, one glance at the number of schools mentioned by the prospects and it becomes evident that colleges from coast to coast are hoping to sign players from Georgia. Get the latest on several of the top recruits in Georgia right here:

  • Wide receiver Carlos Burse (Alpharetta, Ga/Alpharetta) is going to Mississippi State tomorrow then Florida for its spring game April 7.
  • Offensive lineman Josh Cardiello (Buford, Ga./Buford) is visiting FSU tomorrow and Florida next weekend.

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