Monday, February 18, 2013
Weekend rewind: UF has big junior day
By Derek Tyson
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Just as it did last year, the Florida Gators had another stellar junior day on Saturday. With commitments from two ESPN Watch List prospects and three players overall the Gators are once again off to a hot start.
OG Travaris Dorsey and OT Benjamin Knox gave the Gators a solid start to building their 2014 offensive line class.
In addition to the three commitments, the Gators also are now in the lead for two prospects who are committed to other in-state schools. Miami Wide receiver commit Travis Rudolph (West Palm Beach, Fla./Cardinal Newman) and Florida State athlete commit J.C. Jackson (Immokalee, Fla./Immokalee) each said Florida is their No. 1 school despite being committed elsewhere.
After missing out on several tight ends for the 2013 class the Gators offered 6-foot-3, 205-pound tight end Jakell Mitchell (Opelika, Ala./Opelika) on Saturday. Mitchell said the Florida offer moved the Gators to the top of his list.
"The offer means a lot to me," Mitchell said. "It's my third SEC offer and I want to play in the SEC. They stand at the top of the list. They plan on using me like I want to be used."
Mitchell, who also holds offers from Auburn and Vanderbilt, said he will likely make his decision before his senior year.
Moultrie (Ga.) Colquitt County defensive tackle Jamyius Pittman also came away impressed with the Gators.
"It was good," Pittman said. "I like the fact that Florida has their own tutor. It makes school a lot easier. They said they are going to come watch me in the spring."
As of now Ole Miss is Pittman's only offer. If the Gators offer Pittman, they might have the inside track. Pittman's former high school teammate, Octavius Jackson, signed with Florida in February. Pittman admits Jackson could play a role in his decision.
"We are pretty close," Pittman laughed. "He might have little impact. He talks to me about Florida every time I see him. It's the same thing every day."
Though it was technically a junior day, Florida hosted one of the top sophomore's in the state on Saturday. Talented 2015 running back Jacques Patrick (Orlando, Fla./Timber Creek) has been to Florida many times, and the Gators have now pulled ahead of other schools for his recruitment.
"Right now, I'd say they are the early favorite right now," Patrick said. "Florida is one of the schools I've visited the most. I just have a good feel for them. It's a place I feel comfortable. I like the style of offense they run and I the coaching staff."
Patrick also has offers from Alabama and Florida State and said he will likely visit both schools over the spring and summer.