Friday, February 15, 2013
Florida junior day preview
By Derek Tyson
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- One year ago, the Gators got off to a blazing start for their 2013 recruiting class with their first big junior day weekend in February. Florida was able to nab six commitments, including ESPN 300 prospects Nick Washington, Kelvin Taylor and Keanu Neal.
Though Florida eventually lost three of the six commitments, the huge recruiting weekend set the tone for the year for Florida's class, which finished ranked No. 2 in the nation.
Linebacker Raekwon McMillan, one of the Peach State's top 2014 prospects, is expected at the Florida Gators' first junior day this weekend.
This year the Gators are scheduled to bring in several top players, but don't expect six commitments again. The six commitments in a single junior day last year is something that might not be topped for a long time, and the Gators have limited scholarships available this year.
ESPN Watch List prospects including linebacker Raekwon McMillan (Hinesville, Ga./Liberty Co.), defensive end Justin Thornton (Prichard, Ala./Vigor), offensive guard Travaris Dorsey (Jacksonville, Fla./Raines), Miami wide receiver commit Travis Rudolph (West Palm Beach, Fla./Cardinal Newman), Florida defensive back commit Duke Dawson (Cross City, Fla./Dixie Co.) and running back Tony James (Gainesville, Fla./Gainesville) are expected to be in attendance.
Though Thornton recently visited FSU, he claims Florida as his leader. The 6-foot-5, 225-pound defensive end will be in Gainesville with his mother, and Florida could put itself in position to land his commitment. In addition to Florida and FSU, Thornton has offers from Alabama, LSU and Auburn. He is expected to be one of the top ends in the Southeast next year.
Linebacker Dillon Bates (Ponte Vedra, Fla./Nease) and defensive tackle Jamyius Pittman (Moultrie, Ga./Colquitt Co.) are also planning to be in Gainesville this weekend.
One of the top 2015 running back prospects in the state, Jacques Patrick (Orlando, Fla./Timber Creek), will be making another trip to Florida. Though he remains uncommitted, he has been to Florida several times, and the Gators appear to be at or near the top of his early list.
Like every other year, there are sure to be unexpected visitors as well. Last year, defensive end Antonio Riles (Lawrenceville, Ga./Archer) showed up on the UF campus without notice. He impressed the Florida staff so much the Gators offered him a scholarship, and Riles eventually signed with UF.