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Saturday, July 28, 2012
Tampa-area connection wants Bailey at UCF

By Corey Long

TAMPA. Fla. -- With quarterback Pete DiNovo (Tarpon Springs, Fla./East Lake) and wide receiver Richard Benjamin (Tampa, Fla./Tampa Bay Tech) already in the fold, the UCF Knights were well represented at John Kaleo’s QB/WR Skills Camp on Friday.

Benjamin was often heard screaming "U-C-F" during the camp and has openly lobbied for his fellow Tampa-area prospects to join him at the Orlando university.

The big target that Benjamin was working on Friday was ESPN 150 wide receiver Alvin Bailey (Seffner, Fla./Armwood). And if you ask the ESPN 300 senior, he thinks it’s in the bag.

“Oh yeah, we’re definitely going to land Alvin, too,” Benjamin said. “It’s already in the bag as far as I’m concerned. UCF is going to take over."

For his part, Bailey wasn’t saying much.

“I have a top eight, and all eight schools are still in the picture,” Bailey said. “UCF is in there with South Carolina, Georgia, Florida State, Notre Dame, Michigan, Texas A&M and Auburn.

Later in the evening Bailey told ESPN DawgNation writer Kipp Adams that he had a Florida offer, and while he hasn't spoken with Florida coach Will Muschamp, an offer from the Gators would change things.

While Benjamin was publicly courting Bailey during the event, DiNovo was going for a more relaxed approach. The 6-foot-2, 200-pound senior feels like the program should be able to sell itself.

“Everyone has to make their own decisions and it’s obvious that any program would be better with a talent like Alvin, but I know why I choose UCF,” DiNovo said. “And anyone that chooses UCF has to because it’s the right situation for them.

“I know for me it was the coaching staff and the direction of the program. Everything about the program felt comfortable to me and I hope it feels the same way for some of my friends.”

As UCF picked up the commitment of St. Petersburg (Fla.) Lakewood twin brothers Shaquem and Shaquill Griffin on Friday, Benjamin’s boasts will continue to drive the Knights’ recruiting class of 2013.

“Everyone’s going to see that UCF is the place to be,” Benjamin added.