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What to watch this weekend in Florida

11/3/2011

Gators struggles don’t hurt recruiting

Facing a four-game losing streak and the slim possibilities of not making a bowl game, the Florida Gators are struggling on the field.

However, just the opposite is happening in recruiting as the Gators landed ESPNU 150 tight end Kent Taylor last week and continue to have strong support from their current class.

“They are struggling a little bit but I'm positive they will turn things around,” said Melbourne (Fla.) Holy Trinity four-star athlete Marcus Maye. “They will probably start that turnaround this week.”

Maye did confirm that he went to the FSU-NC State game last weekend but he said it was strictly a visit to see friends and he didn't even talk to FSU coaches.

“I was really just there to see some friends I went to school with,” Maye added. “I didn't talk to the coaches and I wasn't there trying to get any attention. I'm happily committed to Florida.”

Sweet home Alabama

It seems like every top prospect in the nation will be in Tuscaloosa this weekend for No. 1 LSU vs. No. 2 Alabama.

ESPNU 150 offensive tackle Avery Young (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla./Palm Beach Gardens) and linebacker Noor Davis (Leesburg, Fla./Leesburg) will both be taking official visits this weekend.

Young is on his second official in as many weeks. He visited Auburn last week and reportedly named the Tigers his leader but there's a good chance that could change after this week.

Davis is committed to Stanford and appears to be checking out his options.

“I'm still happily committed to Stanford,” Davis said. “I will be taking this visit then visiting Auburn on Nov. 19 and USC on Nov. 26 as my final visits.”

Davis took his official to Stanford on October 22.

Other Florida prospects that have said they will be at the game include ESPNU 150 safety Deon Bush (Miami, Fla./Columbus) and Class of 2013 Orlando area prospects A.J. Turman (Boone) and Devin Washington (East River).

Carolina on their minds

North Carolina has an interesting relationship with several different Florida prospects. A few weeks back the Tar Heels received a commitment from Cape Coral three-star athlete Tyreece Jiles based on the condition that interim coach Everett Withers remained with the program full time.

Well, Jiles obviously didn't feel good about the chances of Withers staying and as recently flipped to Purdue. But Withers has worked magic elsewhere after three-star prospects Guito Ervilus (Orlando, Fla./Oak Ridge) and Joseph Jackson (Jacksonville, Fla./First Coast) visited last week.

Ervilus named North Carolina his leader after the visit and Jackson decommitted from West Virginia.

“I had a great visit and could see myself at this program,” Ervilus said. “There's a lot of opportunities on and off the field.”

Culkin on the board

Largo (Fla.) Indian Rocks Christian tight end Sean Culkin is the best remaining tight end on the recruiting board and the 6-foot-5, 220-pounder is considered to be quite underrated.

This weekend he'll take an official to Iowa State and there's a good chance the Cyclones could receive a commitment this week, but would they be able to keep him?

Culkin is being cornered by Florida, South Florida and Auburn, each school having floated the idea of an offer if certain things fall through. Meanwhile Culkin is at the top of Iowa State's recruiting board.

“I know they want me at Iowa State and that does make a difference,” Culkin said. “So I'm focused on my visit there this weekend.”

Culkin says he and his father will be taking the trip.

Boise State in Big East makes QB happy

The prospects of Boise State in the Big East are a good thing for Orlando Dr. Phillips three-star quarterback Nick Patti.

The 6-foot, 180-pounder is hopeful the move will happen soon.

“It would be great to play in a BCS conference and have the opportunity to play back in Florida every year or every other year,” Patti said.

The Big East is looking to add UCF to the reshuffled conference. USF has been a member of the conference since 2005. Both schools extended offers to Patti before he committed to Boise.