Monday, April 8, 2013
Gators enjoy big recruiting weekend
By Derek Tyson
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Despite not having a complete spring football game, the Florida Gators managed to have a very successful recruiting weekend.
ESPN Watch List running back Dalvin Cook (Miami/Central) became Florida's ninth verbal commitment on Saturday, as the 5-foot-11, 195-pound athlete switched his pledge from Clemson to Florida.
The switch came as a surprise, though. Earlier in the day Cook stated that Florida had pulled into a tie with Clemson, but after talking it over with his family, the speedy back decided to pull the trigger.
Florida also landed a commitment from former minor league baseball player Chris Wilkes (Orlando, Fla./Dr. Phillips). Wilkes originally signed with Ole Miss out of high school but was drafted by the San Diego Padres and decided to pursue a baseball career first. The 6-4, 235-pound signal-caller will enroll in May and will not count against Florida's 85-man scholarship allotment.
Defensive tackle Lamont Gaillard (Fayetville, N.C./Pine Forest) admits he was close to committing to the Gators after his Saturday visit, but said he would like to visit Georgia first before making a decision. Gaillard is set to visit South Carolina this weekend before visiting Georgia the following weekend.
Wide receiver Artavis Scott (Tarpon Springs, Fla./East Lake) and his 2015 wide receiver teammate George Campbell also visited Florida. The visit was enough to push Florida toward the top of Scott's favorite schools. Campbell also said he enjoyed his time in Gainesville.
"I feel like they are developing as a team," Campbell said. "I pretty much enjoyed watching them. I feel like Joker [Phillips] is doing a really good job with the receivers. They are definitely recruiting me as a receiver and feel that I could make an impact at UF."
Phillips recently sent out tweets with the caption "Come play for the Joker." Apparently Campbell has taken notice.
"Coach [Brian] White was talking about he wants me to be a Gator and Coach Joker wants me to, well, just come play for the Joker. I talked to Coach Muschamp and we just talked about school and staying on the right path but also developing as a player."
In addition to his Florida visit, Campbell will visit Vanderbilt next weekend.
Running back/fullback Cortavious Givens (St. Petersburg, Fla./Admiral Farragut) was hoping to earn an offer on his visit to Gainesville. Though the offer hasn't come yet, Givens said if it does, he will likely go to Florida.
"They just said they would come to my spring game," Givens said. "So hopefully it will happen then. I would think about committing if they offered, but that would be nice, I would be solid with that commitment."
Other big-time recruits including Khairi Clark (Hollywood, Fla./Chaminade-Madonna), running back Sony Michel (Plantation, Fla./American Heritage), wide receiver Travis Rudolph (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla./Cardinal Newman) and offensive tackle David Sharpe (Jacksonville, Fla./Providence) all said they had positive visits to Florida.