Florida Gators: James Hearns

The Louisville Cardinals will have a late addition to their 2013 recruiting class, as ESPN 300 linebacker James Hearns (Tallahassee, Fla./Lincoln) announced he will enroll before July 13.

The 6-foot-3, 230-pound was previously committed to Florida, but academic concerns forced UF and other schools to back off of Hearns' recruitment. Hearns finally got the test scores he needed and will be academically eligible in the fall.

Hearns said he decided to attend Louisville because of the relationship he has built with the Cardinals' coaching staff.

"They are definitely on the upswing," Hearns said. "They will be going in to the ACC soon. Coach [Charlie] Strong is doing a lot of good things down there. The coaching staff really won me over. I've never been around a coaching staff that I've felt so comfortable around. It's like family. Coach Ron Dugans is from Tallahassee. My mom and aunt went to middle school with him. So we have a good relationship."

Hearns believes he has an opportunity to compete for playing time early in his career.

"I see me coming in and fitting in well," Hearns said. "They already have some good linebackers, but I still see an opportunity for me to come in and play early."

With the addition of Hearns, Louisville will have 19 prospects, including four in the ESPN 300 in its 2013 class.

UF, ESPN 300 LB James Hearns part ways 

January, 24, 2013
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Florida parted ways with ESPN 300 linebacker James Hearns (Tallahassee, Fla./Lincoln) on Thursday afternoon. The 6-foot-3, 230-pound middle linebacker, who visited Auburn last weekend, said a Florida coach called him on Thursday to inform him.

Signing day primer: Florida 

January, 23, 2013
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- There are just a couple of short weeks remaining until national signing day, and the Florida Gators have met a majority of their recruiting needs. With graduation, transfers and players leaving for the NFL draft, there are a few areas Florida head coach Will Muschamp would still like to shore up.

Key holes to fill

The Gators lost key personnel along the offensive line, wide receiver, linebacker, running back and secondary and are hoping to replenish their talent with junior college transfers and incoming freshmen.

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GatorNation recruiting mailbag 

January, 22, 2013
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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.


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Weekend spin: Shot at Nkemdiche 

January, 21, 2013
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- The Gators hosted the No. 1-ranked player in the country, Robert Nkemdiche (Loganville, Ga./Grayson), and his father this past weekend.


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Tallahassee teammates visiting Auburn 

January, 18, 2013
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A pair of ESPN 300 teammates from Tallahassee will be on The Plains this weekend to visit Auburn.

And both will be making this their first official visit.

Lincoln High School standouts James Hearns, linebacker, and Taj Williams, wide receiver, are currently en route for an impromptu visit.

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Promoting Durkin smart move 

January, 17, 2013
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Will Muschamp’s search for a new defensive coordinator didn’t last very long.

Just two hours after Dan Quinn was named the defensive coordinator for the Seattle Seahawks, Muschamp promoted D.J. Durkin to replace Quinn.

D.J. Durkin
Kim Klement/US PresswireThe Gators' new defensive coordinator/linebackers coach D.J. Durkin was originally hired by Urban Meyer.
Durkin has been UF’s linebackers coach and special-teams coordinator for the past three seasons. He joined UF’s staff in 2010 under former coach Urban Meyer and was one of three assistant coaches Muschamp retained for his inaugural staff.

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ESPN 150 athlete flips pledge 

January, 10, 2013
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- The rich get richer. At least that's how it appears for Florida.


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Gators jump to No. 1 in class rankings 

January, 10, 2013
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- There were some big changes for Florida commits in the final edition of the ESPN 300. The Gators landed 15 players on the list, including 10 in the ESPN 150. With their success on the recruiting front, the Gators moved back into first place in the ESPN class rankings.


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GatorNation position breakdown: ILB 

December, 27, 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 inside linebacker. We will profile cornerbacks on Jan. 1.

INSIDE LINEBACKER

Jonathan Bostic
Kim Klement/US PresswireMiddle linebacker Jon Bostic has played a major role on Florida's defense for four seasons.
Two-deep: Senior Jon Bostic is the starter and he is backed up by redshirt sophomore Michael Taylor. Bostic has started 25 consecutive games and is third on the team with 62 tackles. He also has 3.0 sacks, two interceptions, a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery. Taylor has 29 tackles and 1.0 sack.

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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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LB Jarrad Davis switches to Florida 

December, 15, 2012
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Florida continued its recruiting hot streak on Saturday, as three-star outside linebacker Jarrad Davis (Kingsland, Ga/Camden Co.) switched his verbal commitment from Auburn to Florida. The 6-foot-1, 210-pound athlete had been committed to Auburn for 10 months prior to the switch.


Davis informed Camden County head coach Jeff Herron this afternoon of his decision to switch to Florida.

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UF commit Hearns sets Ohio State visit 

December, 15, 2012
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ORLANDO, Fla. -- With Florida coaches on hand to watch, Gators linebacker commit James Hearns (Tallahassee, Fla./Lincoln) did the Gator chomp as he was introduced before the FHSAA class 7A state championship game on Friday evening. Despite the gesture, Hearns said after the game he still plans to visit Ohio State on Jan. 11.

Hearns, who totaled five tackles in the 41-25 loss to Ft. Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas, said he was impressed that Florida sent coaches to watch him play.

"It felt good that they get a chance to come out to see me," Hearns said. "Especially being in bowl week. They actually moved up their bowl practice today just so they could get on the road and get here on time."

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What to watch this weekend 

December, 13, 2012
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- This will be a big weekend for Florida recruiting. Not just because Florida is bringing in some key recruits for official visits, but also because the Gators have a few current commits and key targets who are playing for state championships in Orlando.

[+] EnlargeDemarcus Robinson
Tom Hauck for ESPN.comThe Gators were able to flip Clemson WR commit Demarcus Robinson before his official visit to Gainesville this weekend.
New wide receiver commit Demarcus Robinson (Fort Valley, Ga./Peach Co.), a four-star prospect, will take his official visit to Florida this weekend. Robinson flipped his commitment from Clemson to Florida on Wednesday, the same day Gators head coach Will Muschamp and assistants Brian White and Joker Phillips made an in-home visit.

With Robinson now in the fold, the headliner of the weekend might be Alex Collins (Plantation, Fla./South Plantation), a former Miami commitment who is officially visiting. The Gators have two four-star running back commitments in Kelvin Taylor (Belle Glades, Fla./Glades Day) and Adam Lane (Winter Haven, Fla./Winter Haven), but Collins is too talented not to recruit.

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ESPN 150 LB Powell decommits from UF 

December, 10, 2012
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Just one day removed from landing three verbal commitments, the Florida Gators lost a linebacker commit on Monday night. ESPN 150 linebacker Quinton Powell (Daytona Beach, Fla./Mainland) has reopened his recruitment after officially visiting Florida this past weekend.

The 6-foot-2, 205-pound linebacker is still considering USC, Miami (Fla) and Oregon. He is planning to take official visits to all three schools.

Powell announced his decision via his Facebook status update: "Yes I Decommited from Florida, nothing against the program just needed to re-evaluate my choices."

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