Florida Gators: Corey Holmes


As expected, Day 2 at the Under Armour All-America practices were smoother, more concise and much more productive. The players are now starting to think less and play more. Natural ability is starting to come to the forefront, which allows for them to be more productive. There have been fewer dropped passes, fewer misses by the QBs and the offensive lines are starting to jell quicker than expected. Perhaps the most impressive thing about this group is there have not been any true letdowns. They have stepped up and been as advertised almost top to bottom for both squads. Let’s hit the highlights of the day:

Top performers

WR Cameron Sims (Monroe, La./Ouachita Parish): Sims might not wow anyone with his 40-yard dash time, but it may not matter. Sims is so similar to Mike Evans at Texas A&M. He just makes plays. He has extremely long arms and is outstanding when in contested matchups. The ball will look like it is uncatchable and then next thing you know he jumps out of nowhere, extends and makes a play and the defender is left scratching his head. When it comes down to it, the QBs for Team Highlight can trust that if they need to throw it up, Sims will make a play. The most basic thing about the position is catching the football and Sims has no problem doing that.

BEAVERTON, Ore. -- Oklahoma is hoping to sneak back into the picture with ESPN 150 receiver Corey Holmes (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla./St. Thomas Aquinas) since he came out with his top two schools. Notre Dame and UCLA are the teams to beat for now, but Holmes said there is still a chance that can change.


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The Opening: Florida storylines 

June, 27, 2013
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GAINESVILLE, Fla.-- With The Opening set for next week at Beaverton, Ore., here are some storylines to follow for Gator fans.

1. Grier gets his shot at Elite 11

Will Grier
Miller Safrit/ESPNFlorida commit Will Grier won quarterback MVP honors at the VTO Sports Prep 100 in Charlotte, N.C. in March.
Florida quarterback commit Will Grier (Davidson, N.C./Davidson Day) might not play against the toughest competition in North Carolina, but he will certainly have the opportunity to prove himself at the Elite 11 and The Opening. As a junior, Grier threw for 837 yards and 10 touchdowns in a game. He'll throw against some of the top defensive backs in the country and have a chance to prove he is one of the top quarterbacks, regardless of the level of competition he plays against in high school. Grier is currently ranked the No. 3 dual-threat quarterback in the country, but with a strong showing that could change.


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The Opening, presented by Nike, will feature 162 of the best high school football players in the country. The event, which will include linemen, 7-on-7 and SPARQ testing competitions, is set to run from June 30 to July 3 at the Nike headquarters in Beaverton, Ore.

The following events from The Opening will be televised on ESPNU:

July 1: SPARQ Rating National Championship, 7 p.m.-8:30 p.m. ET

July 2: 7-on-7 Pool Play, 9 p.m.-11:30 p.m. ET

July 3: Linemen Challenge Finals and 7-on-7 semifinal and championship games, 9 p.m.-midnight ET

The players will be divided in to six teams -- Alpha Pro, Apocalypse, Field Generals, Land Sharks, Super Bad and Vapor Carbon. Here is a closer look at how the teams match up.

Team: Alpha Pro
Coaches: Offensive coordinator Jordan Palmer, defensive coordinator Hardy Nickerson

The Alpha Pro team will have plenty of targets to spread the ball around. Ermon Lane and Tyler Luatua, the No. 1-ranked receiver and tight end in the country respectively, bring size and playmaking ability to the passing game. ESPN 300 athletes Corey Holmes, Jalen Hurd, John "JuJu" Smith, Ja'Von Harrison, and Derrell Scott are all explosive offensive weapons.

Defensively Alpha Pro is led by Andrew Brown, the No. 1-ranked defensive tackle in the country, ESPN 150 cornerback Damon Webb, defensive end Andrew Williams, Ohio State linebacker commit Dante Booker and LSU cornerback commit Chris Hardeman.

Complete Alpha Pro roster.

Team: Apocalypse
Coaches: Offensive coordinator Adam Tafralis, defensive coordinator Donovin Darius

The first thing that jumps out about team Apocalypse is the talent in the defensive front seven. Team Apocalypse will be led by five-star defensive end Da'Shawn Hand and inside linebacker Raekwon McMillan. Hand, from Woodbridge, Va., is the No. 4-ranked player in the country, while McMillan was recently bumped up to a five-star linebacker. Joining Hand and McMillan along the front seven are ESPN 300 defensive linemen Anthony Moten and Ainuu Taua, and linebackers D.J. Calhoun and Rashaan Evans.

Offensively, team Apocalypse has no shortage of playmakers. ESPN 300 wide receivers Artavis Scott, K.D. Cannon and Michiah Quick will provide explosiveness in the passing game, while athletic running backs Joe Mixon and Royce Freeman will provide athletic and reliable targets out of the backfield.

Complete Apocalypse roster.

Team: Field Generals
Coaches: Offensive coordinator Charlie Frye, defensive coordinator Michael Fletcher

Seven-on-seven events are always geared towards the offense, but with five-star defensive back Adoree' Jackson, No. 3-ranked safety Jamal Adams, and ESPN 300 cornerback Adarius Pickett in the secondary, the Field Generals should more than hold their own. New Ohio State defensive end commit Jalyn Holmes and the No. 6-ranked defensive end in the country, Solomon Thomas, will be two to watch along the defensive line.

Offensively, the Field Generals are led by ESPN 300 offensive guard Damien Mama, ESPN 300 wide receivers Austin Roberts and Thaddeus Snodgrass and explosive Notre Dame running back commit Elijah Hood.

Complete Field Generals roster.

Team: Landsharks
Coaches: Offensive coordinator Craig Nall, defensive coordinator Keith Bulluck

The Landsharks have some big-time talent along each line of scrimmage. Led by five-star offensive tackle Cameron Robinson, the Landsharks also feature ESPN 300 offensive guard Corey Martinez. ESPN 300 defensive linemen Gerald Willis III and Thomas Holley, as well as ESPN 300 defensive end Chad Thomas, will form a very physical and athletic defensive line.

In the secondary, the Landsharks will have three defensive backs -- Arrion Springs, Chris Lammons and Tony Brown -- that are ranked among the top 85 players in the country. The defense also features ESPN 150 linebacker Nyles Morgan.

Offensively, explosive running backs Dalvin Cook, a Florida commit, and Racean Thomas form a dangerous tandem out of the backfield, and wide receivers Travis Rudolph and Jalen Harvey are solid receiving threats.

Complete Landsharks roster.

Team: Superbad
Coaches: Offensive coordinator Dennis Gile, defensive coordinator Harold Nash Jr.

The Superbad defense line is led by five-star defensive end Lorenzo Carter and ESPN 150 defensive tackle Bijhon Jackson. The linebacking corp is stacked with three ESPN 300 members, including Clifton Garrett, Christian Miller and Edwin Freeman. Cornerback Jalen Tabor is the No. 19-ranked player in the country.

Offensively, Superbad has a huge advantage with the No. 1-ranked prospect in the country, running back Leonard Fournette. This team is loaded on offense, with wide receivers Drake Harris, Josh Malone and Speedy Noil all in the mix.

Complete Superbad roster.

Team: Vapor Carbon
Coaches: Offensive coordinator George Whitfield, defensive coordinator Chris Gizzi.

Vapor Carbon will be tough to throw against with defensive backs Quin Blanding, Naijiel Hale and Ed Paris roaming the field. The linebacker group is just as impressive, with Ohio State commit Kyle Berger, Kain Daub and Dillon Bates all leading the way.

The offense for Vapor Carbon could be lethal with running back Joseph Yearby and Nick Chubb in the backfield. Spreading out wide receivers T.V. Williams, Justin Brent and tight end Ian Bunting on the outside could prove to be an awesome combination for this squad.

Team Vapor Carbon has a lot of pieces to make a long run in the 7-on-7 tournament, but then again, every team is stacked in this competition.

Complete Vapor Carbon roster.
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- It’s time to dip into the GatorNation recruiting mailbag and answer your questions. Because of the amount of questions we’ve received, we won’t be able to get to all of them today -- but we encourage you to post your questions on our Insider fan forum, The Chompions Club.

rrush9289: What's the latest with the buck position board? Hearing positive things about Lorenzo Carter and other guys.


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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: For the fourth straight week, Florida coaches were on the road recruiting. This week a Florida coach headed to Orlando to check in on defensive end Trent Harris, who recently decided to postpone his May 23 commitment date. Florida also checked in on 2015 Orlando (Fla.) Timber Creek running back Jacques Patrick.

Running backs coach Brian White headed to Alabama to check out defensive tackle Cory Thomas, running back Bo Scarbrough and outside linebacker Torrence Brown. Linebacker Dillon Bates had Florida coaches visit him at his practice on Tuesday.

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- The Florida Gators have had success with recruiting the South Florida area and St. Thomas Aquinas has always been a pipeline for UF.

From offensive tackle Marcus Gilbert and safety Major Wright, who are now enjoying success in the NFL, to current Florida defenders Marcus Roberson, Cody Riggs and Bryan Cox Jr., St. Thomas has had its stamp on Florida's roster over the last several years and it looks like it will continue. The Gators picked up a commitment from ESPN Watch List defensive tackle Anthony Moten on Tuesday night.

Major Wright
James Lang/US PresswireMajor Wright was just one of the major recruits to play for Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas, an important UF pipeline school.
Former Florida head coach Urban Meyer, now at Ohio State, made the nationally known Fort Lauderdale school a recruiting priority and that trend continued when Will Muschamp took over the reins at UF.

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Lessons Learned: Miami NFTC 

March, 18, 2013
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MIAMI, Fla. -- The 2013 Nike Football Training Camp tour continued in Miami on Saturday as several top players from South Florida showcased their skills at West Orange High School. The wide receiver and offensive line position groups were loaded and several players earned invitations to The Opening.

Recruiting Nation writers Derek Tyson and Kipp Adams attended the camp. Here is what they learned:

Wide receivers stand out
As impressive as the wide receivers group was at the Orlando NFTC on Saturday, the Miami NFTC was even better. The talented group of pass-catchers was led by Watch List prospects Johnnie Dixon (Palm Beach, Fla./Dwyer), Travis Rudolph (Miami/Cardinal Newman) and Corey Holmes (Fort Lauderdale, Fla./St. Thomas Aquinas). Just a day after impressing in Orlando, receiver Ryan Sousa (Orlando, Fla./Lake Nona) traveled to Miami and again competed and impressed with his performance. De'Vante Phillips (Miami/Central) and Devonaire Clarington (Miami/Southridge), both 2015 prospects, proved they belonged with the other top players. The group, as a whole, consistently won most of the one-on-one matchups and were the best position group at the camp.

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Five stories to watch: Miami NFTC 

March, 15, 2013
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Here are five storylines for the Miami NFTC.


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Holmes would like to attend FSU-UF 

November, 9, 2012
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Corey Holmes (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla./St. Thomas Aquinas) is nearly through his junior season of football and continues to experience success on the field and in the recruiting process.

The 6-foot-1, 175-pound receiver has added a couple of new offers, but with a newly-made highlight tape, perhaps some more could be on the way.

"My season has gone pretty well for me so far," he said. "I just made a new highlight tape for the first half of the season so I want to send that out to schools. I'm up to 11 offers now. UCF, Syracuse, Houston and Notre Dame are the latest ones."

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GatorNation recruiting mailbag 

October, 5, 2012
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- It’s time to dip into the GatorNation recruiting mailbag and answer your questions. Because of the amount of questions we’ve received, we won’t be able to get to all of them today -- but we encourage you to post your questions on our Insider fan forum, The Chompions Club.

eastorwestgatorsarethebest: With Montravius Adams visiting UF this weekend, what are our chances of securing this talented DT?

A: Florida still has a long way to go with the four-star defensive tackle, but this unofficial visit is certainly a good start. There are still several months before signing day, and if Florida can convince him to take an official visit later in the year then the Gators are right in the mix for him. I still believe Auburn is the team to beat here, but if the Tigers continue to struggle this year the Gators could sneak in and make a play for the No. 11-ranked player in the country.

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- The Gators are currently holding down the No. 3-ranked recruiting class in the country for the 2013 class and have just a handful of spots remaining. Florida has also given its attention to a loaded 2014 class. With the talent in Florida next year, there will be plenty of prospects to chose from.

The state of Florida has an impressive 53 players on the ESPN Watch List. The Gators already have commitments from two players, defensive tackle Travonte Valentine (Palm Bay, Fla./Bayside) and wide receiver Ryeshene Bronson (Ft. Myers, Fla./Dunbar), and are heavily involved with several other top in-state prospects.

In addition to Bronson, the Gators are hoping to add a few more wide receivers from this list, and there are several good ones to chose from. Artavis Scott (Tarpon Springs, Fla./East Lake) and Johnnie Dixon (Palm Beach, Fla./Dwyer) are two of the top prospects on Florida's wide receiver board, but Corey Holmes (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla./St. Thomas Aquinas), FSU commit Jake McCary (Miami/Coral Reef) and Trevion Thompson (Durham, N.C./Hillside) are also in the mix.

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GatorNation brings you the latest installment of Chomp Confidential, a look inside Florida football recruiting for GatorNation subscribers only. As with anything exclusive, what's reported in the weekly Chomp Confidential must stay here. A few things discussed in this week's update:

  • Latest on Ramsey and Gilmore
  • 2014 California prospects close on offers?

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Florida's 2014 WR prospects 

September, 19, 2012
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- As we get closer to spotlighting the class of 2014, GatorNation gives you a position-by-position look at a few 2014 prospects to keep an eye on.

Some prospects have already been offered, but there are plenty of names that will start to pop up along the way. Here is a look at a few of the wide receivers in the class.

Needs: 3-4

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Program: St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)
Head coach: Rocco Casullo
2011 record: 10-3 (lost to Palm Beach Gardens Dwyer in Class 7A quarterfinals)

ESPN 150 prospect: Joey Bosa (No. 7 DT, No. 45 overall).

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