Florida Gators: Ebenezer Ogundeko

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- And then there were five.

Under Armour All-America Game officials have confirmed that Pomfret (Md.) McDonough four-star offensive tackle Na'Ty Rodgers will not announce his decision tonight’s game. Kickoff for the sixth annual game is at 5 p.m. ET and is broadcast on ESPN.

Rodgers tweeted late last night that he wasn’t going to announce his decision and likely would wait until signing day.

“I've decided to not announce tomorrow,” the tweet said. “Sorry folks.”

Rodgers was expected to decide between Maryland and South Carolina at the game, but now he’s going to wait. Oklahoma and Washington have also been in contention with Rodgers, who ranks as the nation’s No. 27 offensive tackle and the No. 9 player in Maryland.

Still scheduled to announce are four-star safety Leon McQuay III, four-star defensive end Ebenezer Ogundeko, four-star athlete Max Redfield, four-star linebacker Trey Johnson and four-star athlete Kendell Beckwith.

McQuay is expected to pick between Florida State and USC. Ogundeko lists Syracuse and Clemson as the favorites.

Redfield listed Notre Dame, Ohio State and USC as his finalists, but the Buckeyes aren't actively recruiting him and he should pick between the Irish and Trojans.

Beckwith will decide between LSU and Alabama. Johnson will choose from Ohio State, Tennessee and Florida, but the final pick will be between the Buckeyes and Vols.

#UAGame practice: Day 4 notebook 

January, 3, 2013
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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- With just a player walk-through Thursday, things were relatively easy in Day 4 of practice at Disney's ESPN Wide World of Sports. A four-star defensive tackle gave further explanation about his decision to decommit from an SEC school, several players talked about who impressed them the most, and an ESPN 150 safety changed his decision date.

4-star DE Ogundeko eliminates Gators 

December, 30, 2012
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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Four-star defensive end Ebenezer Ogundeko (Brooklyn, N.Y./Jefferson) will make his college decision Friday at the Under Armour All-America Game. The 6-foot-3, 230-pound athlete will make his choice between Syracuse and Clemson.


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Florida preview: Under Armour game 

December, 27, 2012
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- The Florida Gators will be well represented at the Under Armour All-America game in St. Petersburg, Fla., on Jan. 4. The game, which will be televised on ESPN at 5 p.m. ET, will feature the top players in the country.

Florida leads all teams with seven players selected to play in the prestigous game. Florida commit Kelvin Taylor, the No. 1-ranked running back in the country, said he has dreamed about playing in this game since he was in the eighth grade.

"Ever since my eighth grade year, in the summertime, I have worked my butt off to get to this point," Taylor said when he was introduced with his Under Armour game jersey. "I feel like if I don't work hard every day, then someone else is going to get better than me. I've been working out so much, even after football practice, I'll come home and work out some more. I'll work at little details just to get better, because that's what it's going to take to get me to the next level. It's the little things you do. I'm just proud of what I've done and God has really blessed me."

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Florida commits in all-star games 

December, 21, 2012
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- The Florida Gators will be well represented in this year's all-star games. Thirteen of Florida's 25 verbal commits have been selected to play in postseason games. Here is a closer look at what to look for over the holiday break.

WHAT: Under Armour All-America Game
WHERE: St. Petersburg, Fla.
WHEN: Jan. 4, at 5 p.m. ET

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GatorNation position breakdown: DE 

December, 18, 2012
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Editor’s note: Every Tuesday and Thursday through Jan. 31, 2013, GatorNation will break down each position. We’ll look at 2013, of course, but also try and give you a peek beyond next season, too. Today is defensive end. Thursday will be defensive tackle.

DEFENSIVE END

[+] EnlargeZach Mettenberger, Dominique Easley
Jake Roth/US PresswireFlorida's depth at defensive end will be impacted by the NFL draft decision of junior Dominique Easley.
Two-deep: Dominique Easley is the starter at end and Lerentee McCray is the starter at the buck (end/linebacker hybrid). Jonathan Bullard and Dante Fowler are the reserves. McCray graduates. Easley is a junior but could leave early for the NFL.

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Focusing on five: Defense 

December, 12, 2012
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- The Gators added linebacker Matt Rolin (Ashburn, Va./Briar Woods) on Sunday, but lost linebacker Quinton Powell (Daytona Beach, Fla./Mainland) on Monday. Florida has just a few remaining spots left in their 2013 recruiting class. With less than two months until national signing day, here is a look at five defensive targets that Florida continues to focus on.

[+] EnlargeTrey Johnson
Tom Hauck for ESPN.comTrey Johnson, once committed to Auburn, will visit Florida this weekend. He's already visited Ohio State.
LB Trey Johnson (Lawrenceville, Ga./Central Gwinnett) -- On Sunday it appeared that Florida was done recruiting the linebacker position, but with the deflection of Powell on Monday, the door opened back up for Johnson, a former Auburn commitment. The Under Armour All-American postponed his visit this weekend to Gainesville until January. Florida has only one other inside linebacker commit (James Hearns) and the Gators are not very deep at the position.

DE Elijah Daniel (Avon, Ind./Avon) -- The ESPN 150 end, who originally committed to Clemson before later backing off his pledge, will visit Florida the weekend of Jan. 12 and the Gators are very much in the picture along with Ole Miss. Auburn defensive commit Tawshawn Bower (Somerville, N.J./Immaculata) could also be in this spot, as he is scheduled to visit this weekend. Florida, however, will likely only take one more defensive end.

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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.

xtremecheezhead: How will the addition of Joker Phillips impact WR recruiting?

A: There is no question in my mind this will have a very big impact in recruiting for Florida. It might not be this year because the Gators already have four wide receiver commits and might only take one more receiver. Phillips has helped develop several top receivers including Randall Cobb of the Green Bay Packers, and he should able to sell that to recruits. As I said in my update on Monday, the Gators are still in the picture for several receivers, and the Phillips addition will only help Florida's cause.

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Ebenezer Ogundeko (Brooklyn, N.Y./Thomas Jefferson) is down to two schools.

The ESPN 150 defensive end with more than 20 offers has two schools at the top: Clemson and Florida. They are now the only two schools he is looking at.

"Down to those 2," Ogundeko wrote in a text message.

Ogundeko's last two official visits went to the Tigers and Gators, and the official visit to Clemson helped the Tigers catch the Gators at the top of Ogundeko's list.

Clemson assistant coach Marion Hobby made an in-home visit with Ogundeko, the No. 1 player in New York, this week.

"Just things about the campus. The coaching staff and distance. And of course playing time," Ogundeko said of the conversation with Hobby.

Syracuse assistant coach John Anselmo was also in to visit with Ogundeko this week, and as his first BCS offer, he will still officially visit Syracuse the weekend of Dec. 7.

The Gators are supposed to visit with Ogundeko on Friday.


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Weekend Rewind: Florida 

November, 19, 2012
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Despite not having many visitors for its 23-0 victory over Jacksonville State on Saturday, the Florida Gators will still consider this a successful recruiting weekend.

The Gators filled what potentially could be a big hole on the defensive line with the verbal commitment of Darious Cummings (Titusville, Fla./East Mississippi Community Colege) on Sunday. The 6-foot-3, 292-pound lineman, who originally signed with Florida State out of high school, switched his pledge from Ole Miss to Florida after taking an official visit to Florida this weekend.

Cummings said he has matured since his time at FSU.

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Ogundeko has Florida on top 

November, 18, 2012
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- ESPN 150 defensive end Ebenezer Ogundeko (Brooklyn, N.Y./Jefferson) has named the Gators his leader after an official visit to Gainesville for the Jacksonville State game.

Ogundeko, an Under Armour All-American, said he enjoyed his trip to Florida because of what he saw out of freshmen defensive ends Dante Fowler Jr. and Jonathan Bullard.

"It went great," Ogundeko said. "Just the people in general were great -- like the players that are going to be at my position like Dante Fowler and Jon Bullard. The coaches were great too. It was a good visit."

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Key prospects expected in the Swamp 

November, 16, 2012
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- With big home SEC showdowns against LSU and South Carolina this season, the Gators have had a few opportunities to impress recruits. This week's game against Jacksonville State won't have high stakes, but the Gators are expected to bring in some key prospects to the Swamp.

[+] EnlargeEbenezer Ogundeko
Jeff Peoples/IntersportEbenezer Ogundeko is New York's top prospect and the No. 108 player in the ESPN 150.
Headlining the group will be two official visitors, ESPN 150 defensive end Ebenezer Ogundeko (Brooklyn, N.Y./Jefferson) and junior college prospect Darious Cummings (Scooba, Miss./EMCC). Ogundeko, an Under Armour All-American, says he is looking forward to seeing how he fits in with Florida.

"I'm really just looking forward to how comfortable I am down there," Ogundeko said, "and how I fit in with Florida's defense."

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Less than two months ago, Ebenezer Ogundeko (Brooklyn, N.Y./Thomas Jefferson) was ready to pull the trigger and commit. He set up a press conference and was going to pick from a final three.

Now Ogundeko has a top four and only two of his original final three teams remains. Arizona State, Florida, Ole Miss and Syracuse are at the top of the leaderboard for Ogundeko, No. 108 in the ESPN 150 and New York’s top prospect.

The Sun Devils and Rebels are new to Ogundeko’s list of favorites, and now Arizona State will host Ogundeko for an official visit beginning Oct. 16 for its Oct. 18 game against Oregon.

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- With four-star defensive end DeMarcus Walker (Jacksonville, Fla./Sandalwood) announcing his commitment to Alabama on Friday evening, the Gators will now look at some options to replace the No. 24-ranked player in the country on their recruiting board.

Who else is left?

Ebenezer Ogundeko (Brooklyn, N.Y./Thomas Jefferson) is the most likely candidate. Ogundeko has Florida in his top three along with Syracuse and Notre Dame, and Ogundeko said he will take an official visit to Florida in the fall. Florida could also turn up the heat on Clemson commit Elijah Daniel (Avon, Ind./Avon), who had Florida at the top of his list for a while before committing to the Tigers. Penn State commit Garrett Sickels (Little Silver, N.J./Red Bank Regional) and four-star defensive end Jaylen Miller (Gaffney, S.C./Gaffney) are other possible targets. With limited scholarships available, Florida could also chose not to sign another defensive end.

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GatorNation recruiting mailbag 

August, 22, 2012
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- It’s time to dip in to the GatorNation recruiting mailbag and answer your questions. Because of the number of questions we’ve received, we won’t be able to get to all of them today, but we encourage you to ask your questions on our Insider fan forum, The Chompions Club. Astute readers will also notice a new spot on our homepage where you can submit mailbag questions about the Gators and/or UF recruiting at any time. We read every question we receive.

will01811: Derek, does this list sound like the rest of yours: [Jalen] Ramsey, another OL or 2, DeMarcus Walker, Marcell Harris, Alvin Bailey?

A: I wouldn't pencil Ramsey into my mock class quite yet. Florida is trying to get a visit from Ramsey and if he does decide to visit, Florida would certainly increase its chances. After losing Rod Johnson and Josh Outlaw over the last week and a half, Florida will most definitely target another lineman or two. I feel confident Florida will get at least two out of three of Walker, Harris and Bailey and could quite possibly land all three ESPN 150 players.

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Gators Lose Two ESPN 300 Commits
National recruiting analyst Craig Haubert discusses where Florida goes from here now that its recruiting class has shrunk to eight. Haubert says, however, there's reason for optimism in Gainesville.
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