Florida Gators: 2013 commit

Alvin BaileyMiller Safrit/ESPN.comAlvin Bailey jumped on a Florida offer Saturday, committing to the Gators over Notre Dame and UCF.
SEFFNER, Fla. -- ESPN 150 athlete Alvin Bailey (Seffner, Fla./Armwood) committed to Florida on Saturday, choosing the Gators over UCF and Notre Dame after his Armwood team defeated Brandon, Fla., 55-0. The 5-foot-11, 176-pound senior is the 19th verbal commitment for Florida in its recruiting class of 2013 and the ninth ESPN 150 commitment.

Bailey tried not to give hints about his commitment during the game. He scored touchdowns on a 77-yard run and a 13-yard reception but rather than do a ‘Gator Chomp’ he just simply handed the ball back to the referee.

After the game Seffner coach Sean Callahan set up the announcement.

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MOULTRIE, Ga. -- The Gators received their sixth commitment in eight days, as three-star Moultrie (Ga.) Colquitt County offensive lineman Octavius Jackson committed to the Gators on Friday. The 6-foot-4, 285-pound tackle prospect chose Florida over offers from USF, Vanderbilt, Kentucky, UCF and Marshall.

Octavius Jackson
Derek Tyson/ESPN.comOctavius Jackson is a three-star offensive guard, rated No. 27 in the nation at his position.
"The deciding factor was my family. I would rather be close so my family can see me play, rather than far away where they won't get a chance to see me," Jackson said. "It's only two hours away, so my family can come see my games if they want to. It's only a two-hour drive. It's not like it's 10 hours. So I can come home for Thanksgiving and Christmas if I want to. And there's nothing like having your family to support you during your four years of college."

Jackson, a relative newcomer to Florida's recruiting board, says the Gators can expect a "hard-working, intelligent player that's not afraid to throw his body."

He also said the joy over his decision was shared by the Gator coaching staff.

"The coaches were excited," Jackson said. "They were really excited. I could tell in their voices how happy they were for me. Coach [Brian] White is a great man and a great coach. He definitely helped with my decision to go to Florida."

Colquitt County head coach Rush Probst said Jackson has a chance to be a special player on the next level, but what sets him apart is what Jackson is like off the field.

"As a person, I think he's outstanding," Probst said. "He lives with me about half the time. He's wonderful, he babysits my three young children. We trust him enough to do that, and he's responsible enough to do that. He's an outstanding kid. He's like a son to me.


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GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- For wide receiver Chris Thompson, it has been a life-long dream to play for the University of Florida. On Monday, the Gainesville (Fla.) High School senior fulfilled that dream by verbally committing to the Gators. The 5-foot-11, 170-pound athlete chose Florida over offers from Utah, UMass, FAU and Marshall.

After participating at Friday Night Lights camp, Florida head coach Will Muschamp met with Thompson on Monday where he decided to extend a scholarship offer to the speedy wideout. Thompson immediately accepted.

"Florida's always been the team I wanted to play for," Thompson said. "It's home, it's close to my mom -- close to my family. That's why I chose Florida. It feels great. I've always wanted to be a part of Gator Nation. I can't even put it in to words, it feels so great."

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[+] EnlargeJordan Sherit
Tom Hauck for ESPN.comDefensive end Jordan Sherit is a four-star prospect ranked No. 254 in the ESPN 300.
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- The Gators continued their recruiting hot streak, as ESPN 300 defensive end Jordan Sherit (Tampa, Fla./Hillsborough) verbally committed to Florida on Saturday after visiting for UF's Friday Night Lights camp. The 6-foot-4, 238-pound athlete chose the Gators over offers from Florida State, Notre Dame, Stanford and many more.

Sherit, ranked a four-star player, said it was a difficult decision, but in the end, he chose the school that made him feel the most comfortable.

"First of all I want to say this was a very tough decision for me," Sherit said. "The hardest thing for me is when you build relationships with schools like USF and Miami in the beginning and now you have to go away from that. I liked the academics at Stanford, Notre Dame and Vanderbilt. But when it came down to it, it was the family environment I felt at the University of Florida. I felt 100 percent comfortable with Coach [Will] Muschamp and the whole coaching staff.

"The fact it's in the SEC conference, it's close to home and not to mention the networking at the University of Florida in the state is bar-none. It's the biggest and the greatest in the state. You can be anywhere in a Gators shirt and someone will just walk up to you and give you the Gator chomp. Really, as far as networking goes, it's Gator Nation -- it's not just fans, it's a nation. Just getting to know the other commits and the players, it's become second nature to me. It was a no-brainer."

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Defensive end Antonio Riles (Lawrencville, Ga./Archer) committed to Florida on Friday afternoon. The 6-foot-4, 261-pound athlete, chose the Gators over offers from Alabama, Georgia, Clemson, Louisville and Michigan State among others.

Riles said the academics at Florida played a key role in his decision to commit.

"Everything felt right," Riles said. "From the academics standpoint, I feel like I can't lose there as far as academics, athletics and everything else."

Riles, a four-star prospect by ESPN, said he wanted to commit at Friday Night Lights tonight but was not able to attend.

"I wanted to go down there today at Friday Night Lights and make it official to coach [Will] Muschamp face-to-face, but unfortunately I couldn't make it down there," he said. "I had to go ahead and call him and tell him. He was real happy. He said he was fired up about it."

With Riles commitment, the Gators now have 18 commits ranked four-stars or higher by ESPN. Riles becomes the first defensive end to commit to the Gators and the 10th defensive prospect overall. Florida's 2013 recruiting class is the No. 3-ranked class in the country.
A day before the festivities begin at Florida's famed Friday Night Lights football camp, the Gators' staff added another major piece to its 2013 recruiting class when five-star cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III committed Thursday.

"I can officially say I am committed to THE University of Florida ! #GoGators CHOMP CHOMP," Hargreaves tweeted Thursday.

Hargreaves, who is the nation's top defensive back prospect, is the Gators' top commitment in this class, as he is rated the No. 4 overall prospect in the 2013 class. He's Florida's 18th verbal commitment, and the Gators' eighth ESPN 150 member.

Florida now has four defensive back commits, but Hargreaves is clearly the jewel of the class right now. The son of of South Florida special teams coordinator and the defensve ends coach Vernon Hargreaves, Vernon Hargreaves III is believed by most people in the recruiting world to be ready both physically and mentally to immediately start at cornerback once he steps on campus.

The Gators' staff needed to add some talented players to the secondary in this class, and if Hargreaves sticks, he has the ability to make an instant impact in Florida's defense.

Here's what Derek Tyson of ESPN.com's GatorNation had to say about Hargreaves:
"Hargreaves is the type of player that you can build a class around. It's not just his athletic ability, it's his football intelligence that sets him apart. When you watch him play, it's pretty obvious he has soaked up a lot of football knowledge from his father."

ESPN.com's Billy Tucker took a closer look at Hargreaves and believes it will be hard for Will Muschamp to keep him off the field when he arrives in 2013.

Gators get their quarterback

June, 18, 2012
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- After missing missing out on several quarterbacks, the Florida Gators finally landed one on Monday. Four-star prospect Max Staver (Brentwood, Tenn./Brentwood) camped at Florida last Saturday, and after patiently waiting more than a week, was offered a scholarship on Monday. Staver quickly jumped on it and committed to head coach Will Muschamp.

Max Staver
Tom Hauck for ESPN.comFour-star quarterback Max Staver chose Florida over Mississippi State, Louisville and Memphis.
"They have been in contact with me for a while now," Staver said. "They kept telling me be patient. I actually called coach [Brent] Pease. He said I have coach Muschamp right next to me. Muschamp said, 'Are you ready to be a Gator?' I said, 'Yes sir.' I told him, 'I'm the guy, I'm going to lead the program. I'm ready to get it rolling. I'm ready to serve the school, the football team and the community. It's a blessing.' "

The 6-foot-6, 238-pound quarterback chose Florida over offers from Louisville, Mississippi State and Memphis. Ranked the No. 251 player in the country and the No. 15 pocket passer, the strong-armed signal-caller says he wants to be the leader of the Gators over the next four years.

"[I'm] a guy that's going to prepare well. I have a great work ethic. I've been working out twice a day," Staver said. "I'm a guy that is real mentally tough. I'm a guy that's been pushed my entire life. I've had to fight through injuries. I've been put in positions where I've had to stay the course. I've kept God with me. I think my preparation and work ethic are what sets me apart."

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Florida landed its 17th verbal commitment on Saturday as three-star defensive tackle Joey Ivie (Dade City, Fla./Pasco) made his pledge to the Gators.

Ivie, who had offers from FSU, Tennessee, Ole Miss, Miami and Mississippi State, said his familiarity with the Florida program is what ultimately persuaded him to commit to the Gators.

[+] EnlargeJoey Ivie
Derek Tyson of ESPN.comDefensive lineman Joey Ivie is 6-foot-4, 271 pounds and brings a high motor to UF's class of 2013.
"I grew up a Florida fan," Ivie said. "My grandparents went to Florida. I feel like Florida still has another [title] shot. Their future is looking very bright."

Ivie made his decision after participating at Florida's summer football camp on Saturday. He was joined by another Florida defensive tackle commit, Caleb Brantley (Crescent City, Fla./Crescent City). Ivie said Brantley also played a role in his decision to pull the trigger.

"I was talking to the other defensive line commit, Caleb Brantley. I was talking to him for a while," Ivie said. "He was telling me he needs someone else on the D-line next to him and some people to step it up. I'm just feeling orange and blue."

The 6-foot-4, 271-pound tackle said the experience of the Florida coaching staff will hopefully help him achieve his ultimate goal of playing in the NFL.

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Four-star wide receiver Marqui Hawkins (Columbus, Ga./Carver) committed to Florida on Monday night. The 6-foot-1, 190-pound athlete chose Florida over offers from Alabama, Clemson, Mississippi State and Auburn. He said Florida was his favorite team as a child.

"I've been liking Florida since I was little," Hawkins said. "My coach was telling me it's a great school to be at, and I just like Florida a lot."

Hawkins, ranked the No. 18 prospect in Georgia, said Florida head coach Will Muschamp was excited at the news of his commitment.

"He was proud, he was happy, he was screaming," Hawkins said. "He was just excited that I'm joining the Florida family right now."

Hawkins joins four-star prospects Ahmad Fulwood (Jacksonville, Fla./Bishop Kenny) and Rodney Adams (St. Petersburg, Fla./Lakewood) as Florida wide receiver commitments. The Gators now have 16 verbal commits, including 15 who are ranked four stars or higher.

Though committed to the Gators, Hawkins said he still plans to visit other colleges.

"I'm still going to be taking visits," Hawkins said. "I'll visit Mississippi State, Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, Auburn, Clemson and North Carolina."
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Though Florida signed two of the top linemen in the country last year in D.J. Humphries and Jessamen Dunker, the Gators failed to land the total number of offensive linemen they wanted to sign.

Still low on numbers, Florida is looking to sign at least five offensive linemen for the 2013 recruiting class and took a big step in fulfilling that number by landing two out-of-state linemen this weekend.

Center prospect Cameron Dillard (Canton, Mich./Canton), who committed to Florida on Monday, grew up in North Carolina before moving up to Michigan. Dillard said he couldn't pass up a chance to play for his favorite childhood team.

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- The Gators picked up a commitment from ESPNU 150 Watch List wide receiver Ahmad Fulwood shortly after their annual spring game on Saturday.

The 6-foot-4, 205-pound athlete, who originally wanted to leave the state to play college football, decided Florida was the best fit for him.

"It just felt like home," Fulwood said. "It's an hour and a half away, but it's a home away from home. It's a great place to be at. We are trying to start a new dynasty at UF and we are doing it with kids like Nick [Washington] and Daniel [McMillian] and Q [Quinton Powell], kids like Tre' [Bell]. We are starting something new here."

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UF adds second ESPNU Watch List safety

February, 18, 2012
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Florida received a verbal commitment from ESPNU 150 Watch List safety Keanu Neal (Bushnell, Fla./South Sumter).

"I talked T-Rob [Florida defensive backs coach Travaris Robinson]. He has a defensive scheme that fits perfect for me," Neal said. "He has it where the safety, which would be me, moves down in to the box and plays almost like a linebacker. I have done that in the past, so that fits perfectly for me. I can also drop back in pass coverage."

Neal, who became Florida's sixth commitment of the day, chose Florida over offers from South Carolina, South Florida and Georgia Tech among many others.

"It felt like home," he said. "I talked to the coaches and they welcomed with with open arms, and I can see myself fitting in there for the next few years."

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Gators get five-star safety Washington

February, 18, 2012
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[+] EnlargeNick Washington
Tom Hauck for ESPN.comFive-star DB Nick Washington is Florida's seventh 2013 commit and third of the day.
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- The Florida Gators continued their hot streak in recruiting on Saturday, as five-star safety prospect Nick Washington (Jacksonville, Fla./Trinity Christian) committed to the Gators while on an unofficial visit to Florida for its junior day.

The 6-foot, 185-pound ESPNU 150 Watch List prospect said that after visiting Alabama, Auburn, South Carolina, Clemson, Florida State, Georgia and Georgia Tech this offseason he realized Florida is where he wants to be.

"Florida has always been the school I wanted to play for," Washington said. "I always watched them when I was young, and I just feel like this is the place for me. I've visited every school that I had in my top schools, and I definitely feel like Florida is the one for me."

Washington said his relationship with Florida defensive backs coach Travaris Robinson also played a role in his decision to commit to the Gators.

"I have a great relationship with coach T-Rob, and they have a good atmosphere, and they have a family-based team," Washington said. "They play a lot of DBs. They have a good campus. It's just everything about them."

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ESPNU 150 Watch List LB commits to UF

February, 18, 2012
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[+] EnlargeQuinton Powell
Davide De Pas for ESPN.comQuinton Powell is one of four linebackers committed to Florida's class of 2013.
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Florida picked up commitment No. 3 on the day when ESPNU 150 Watch List linebacker Quinton Powell (Daytona Beach, Fla./Mainland) committed to the Gators during junior day on Saturday.

At 6-foot-2 and 205 pounds, Powell is being recruited to play outside linebacker for the Gators. He chose the Gators after considering offers from Clemson, Miami and South Carolina.

"It was a good experience out here," Powell said. "I actually verbally committed to the Gators. It was a great experience. I saw a lot of different things I had questions for and it was good. I wanted to see how their academic process is, and I saw that it was good. They've got their act together with that, so I liked it."

Powell, who does not plan to take any other visits, said that he also liked the family atmosphere at UF.

"They feel like they're my brothers," he said. "They're already showing me love, and I like that. Looking forward to another family when I get here."

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Kelvin Taylor
Courtesy of Kelvin TaylorKelvin Taylor gave Florida his verbal commitment during a junior day visit on Saturday.
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Florida's junior day got started with an early bang on Saturday, as the Gators secured a verbal commitment from five-star running back and Florida legacy Kelvin Taylor (Belle Glades, Fla./Glades Day).

Taylor, who surpassed Emmit Smith as the all-time leading rusher in the state of Florida this past season with 9,698 yards, said Florida is where he feels best.

"They just have a great program and great coaching staff. I feel so comfortable around their coaching staff," Taylor said. "It's closer to home and they have great tradition."

Originally, Taylor was planning to wait until national signing day to make his decision, but after careful consideration he decided to end the process early.

"I just wanted to go ahead and get it out of the way," Taylor said. "I felt more comfortable at Florida, and I wanted to focus more on my high school career, so I just wanted to get it done with. I also want to enroll in January, so that's another reason I decided to make the decision early."

Taylor said he plans to enroll early in January 2013.

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