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Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Tales From The Road: Florida

By Derek Tyson

Each week, Tales From The Road will provide news and updates about where Florida's coaches are recruiting and the prospects making headlines.

This week's targets: Along with a few in-state targets, the Gators have visited or will visit several out-of-state targets this week. Florida coaches headed to Illinois on Monday to check in on inside linebackers Clifton Garrett and Nyles Morgan, then headed to New York to check out athlete Curtis Samuel.

The coaching staff then headed up the East Coast and stopped in on Maryland defensive tackle Damian Prince, Washington D.C. cornerback Jalen Tabor, Virginia defensive end Da'Shawn Hand and North Carolina defensive end Lorenzo Featherston. Georgia insider linebacker Raekwon McMillian will also get a visit from Florida coaches. Committed offensive lineman Travaris Dorsey and uncommitted offensive tackle David Sharpe will have Florida coaches at their spring games this week.

Area of interest: Florida used this week to make several stops in the Midwest. Florida had success two years in Illinois by landing linebacker Antonio Morrison, who had a major impact on Florida's defense as a freshman and will start at middle linebacker next season. The Gators are hoping to enjoy similar success this year. Key targets include Garrett, Morgan and ESPN 150 cornerback Parrker Westphal. The 6-foot, 185-pound athlete attended the same high school as Morrison. The Gators will have a need at corner after this season and have made Westphal a key target.

Word on the street: @Plummer0304 is there a reason why Florida is losing top recruits? First [Christian] Miller and now [Ryeshene] Bronson? What's up?

GatorNation: It's the risk schools take when they accept early commitments. Florida went through the same thing last year when it lost several recruits due to academic, off-the-field or other issues. Miller decided to reopen his commitment to visit other schools, including Alabama. The Gators are still in the mix but it will certainly take some work to land Miller again. Bronson has had some academic issues and Florida couldn't afford to wait to see if he progressed. The Gators have several other receiving targets including Johnnie Dixon, Artavis Scott, Ermon Lane and Travis Rudolph. Will Muschamp has shown the ability to recruit, and this year will likely be no different.

What to watch: Florida high schools will begin playing spring games this weekend and games will continue until the end of the May. Here are a few noteworthy games with Florida commits or targets this Thursday and Friday.

Thursday, May 23
Dwyer (Johnnie Dixon) vs. Vero Beach
John Leonard vs. Cardinal Newman (Travis Rudolph)
Providence (David Sharpe) vs. West Nassau
Olympia vs. Winter Park (Trent Harris)

Friday, May 24
Gainesville (Tony James) vs. Dr. Phillips