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Four-star QB Staver talks Florida, Ramsey

9/25/2012

NASHVLLE, Tenn. - Florida doesn't have to worry about Max Staver wavering on his commitment. Recruiting is essentially over for the four-star quarterback from Brentwood (Tenn.) Academy.

“I’ve kind of closed it all down. Rutgers and a couple schools we’re talking to me there for a little bit right after I committed, but I told them I’m dead set on it,” the 6-foot-6, 238-pound prospect said. “Everybody’s really stopped. The phone hasn’t been ringing, which I’m really happy about. I can focus on high school and enjoy my team as a senior.”

It's been a bit of a struggle this year. Staver missed some time this season with an injured shoulder. He's now back to 100 percent and ready to close out the year strong.

When he's not rehabbing, practicing or playing, Staver makes time to take in some college football. He visited Tennessee last weekend for the Florida game. He'll visit Florida this weekend for the Kentucky game, along with a teammate: four-star cornerback Jalen Ramsey. Staver is certainly trying to sell Ramsey on the Gators, even though he's been committed to USC since July.

"I’ve been telling him Florida is a good place," Staver said. "I know he’s set. I haven’t been trying to push him or anything, just trying to give him a couple nudges here and there. Florida is a good place, good academics, obviously. It’s just like USC on the East Coast with the palm trees and the girls. It’d be a good fit. ... It would be awesome, having a friend down there from high school. With a guy like him, you can play him both ways, throwing the ball to him and playing defensive back. That’d be a pretty cool experience for him. Being down there with him would be pretty cool for four years."

Staver said he talks to several Gators commitments frequently, such as four-star safety Nick Washington from Jacksonville (Fla.) Trinity Christian and four-star defensive end Jordan Sherit from Tampa (Fla.) Hillsborough. It certainly appears as if Florida's 2012 class is growing close thanks, in part, to Staver, who said he also targets undecided prospects with social media.

“I talk to guys to see where their heads are at and let them know about Florida,” Staver said. “If I see a guy on the internet that's interested, I'll hit them up on Facebook, Twitter or text them, just tell them about the program and what I've experienced with it so far.”

Of course, ultimately, the Gators will be judged by what they do on the field under second-year coach Will Muschamp. That seems fine with them. Florida has won two SEC games on the road with second-half comebacks.

“Big time,” Staver said when asked if that last two games would help recruiting. “That's two weeks in a row on 'College GameDay.' That's a lot of publicity. For them to deliver two weeks in a row and move up in the AP poll, that's big for the program and the university. As far as recruits and commitments, it validates what kind of team Florida is.”

Brentwood will surely be sorry to see Staver eventually head off to Florida. While Staver is known for his big frame and strong arm, he has also been able to make plays by running the football. Staver believes he'll be a perfect fit for the Gators' offense.

“Yeah, absolutely,” he said. “It’s pro-style. They go under center and out of shotgun, a lot of zone reads, which I’m used to doing in high school. That’s a lot of what we do right now.”

Said Brentwood coach Cody White, “He's got all the physical tools. It's just finding that mental part of it. He's growing and learning. He's real eager to learn. He loves the game. He's come a long ways.”

Brentwood is off this week. Staver isn't complaining. That means more of Gainesville and another chance to jell with offensive coordinator Brent Pease.

"I’m just ready to get down there for a couple more days and visit with the coaches a little bit more,” Staver said. “It will be my third or fourth time being down there. I get to spend a little more time with coach Pease. I’ll be in meetings with the quarterbacks on game day to see how the experience is and all that. I’m excited about it.”