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April 21, 2007
Gator targets galore at Tallahassee NIKE
This is a sampling of some of the big names due in on Sunday. For the Inside Scoop and complete coverage of the event - including photo galleries, live updates in the Alley, an event notebook and interviews with the prospects on hand - tune into GatorBait.net.
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Student Sports makes its second NIKE Camp tour stop in the Sunshine State on Sunday with an appearance in Tallahassee and some of the top targets on the recruiting board of the University of Florida will be on hand. GatorBait.net will be there as well with live updates in the Alley during the event as well as comprehensive coverage of the prospects in attendance.
Most of the big names in the southeast opted to attend the Athens event since there was an Elite 11 quarterback tryout held in conjunction with that event. However, there's still a couple of top prospects expected to show up in Tallahassee.
D.C. Jefferson might be the biggest, not only in name, but in physical stature as well. At 6-foot-5, 237-pounds, he is one of the largest signal callers in the nation this year.
Also on hand at the position will be Jacksonville (Fla.) Bartram Trail dual-threat quarterback Kyle Parker. It will be interesting to see how much interest he garners over the spring evaluation period considering he committed to Clemson earlier this year.
A sleeper to keep an eye on is Desmond O'Neal out of Gainesville (Fla.) Eastside. The 6-foot-1, 188-pounder runs a 4.6 forty and could be recruited to play several different positions on the next level.
GatorBait.net will closely watch a pair of Jacksonville runners - Trinity Christian big back Jamie Harper measures in at 6-foot, 205-pounds while claiming a sub 4.4 forty. The other top back from northeast Florida expected in is First Coast's Jermaine Thomas. He recently took an unofficial visit to Gainesville to check out a Gator practice - but hasn't been offered as of yet.
Another back who visited Florida for a spring practice is Travis Arnold out of Madison County. He could play any one of several positions on the next level, but will workout with the running backs on Sunday.
And the back with the shortest distance to travel is Godby high school's British Footman. The 6-foot-1, 182-pounder has also taken an unofficial to Florida already this year.
Coming from just across the Florida - Georgia border are two kids who cold play on either side of the ball on the next level, but will practice with the backs.
Up first is Franklin Green out of Savannah Jenkins. Next up is Ralph Bolden from Charlton County - the same high school as current Gator Justin Williams.
There aren't many big name receivers expected on Sunday, but two who are due in are pretty big names in the state of Florida.
Keep an eye on Melvin Ray and T.J. Lawrence.
The Gators have yet to offer Ray, but he is another top prospect who has unofficially visited the Gators already.
If he makes it in, Jacksonville (Fla.) Parker receiver Alfred Jenkins is definitely a player to be reckoned with in Tally.
There looks as if there will be plenty of big boys on hand - including perhaps the No.1 overall player in the state this year.
Orlando (Fla.) Edgewater tackle Michael Brewster is the No. 1 rated offensive lineman in the nation according to Rivals.com. Last year he made a cross country trip out to Oregon to take part in a NIKE Camp. This year, the distance will be much shorter as he is scheduled to be in Tallahassee on Sunday.
Other top lineman include Chris Dunning (Pensacola - Pine Forest), Matt Sanders (Crestview) and Chase Bowers (Lynn Haven - Mosley).
Bowers - who led the way on many of the yards gained by Enrique Davis last year - is a prospect who has a chance to come out of the shadows this weekend.
It is on the defensive line where there will be the most big names and even bigger bodies.
Leading that group for Gator fans is recent commitment Earl Okine out of Gainesville (Fla.).
He certainly won't be lacking for top prospects in which to compare himself.
Those would be Bushnell - South Sumter's Marty Everett, who has offers already from both Tennessee and Florida.
6-foot-4, 285-pound plugger Anthony Hill has already committed to Florida State and then there's Fort Walton Beach (Fla.) Choctawhatchee tackle Chris Martin, who is another big body at 6-foot-5, 290-pounds.
Also on hand will be Chaz Sutton (Savannah - Jenkins), Brandon Thompson (Thomasville - on the verge of committing to Clemson) and Ramon Booi (Ponte Vedra - Nease).
Jaccobi McDaniel is one of several top 2009 prospects expected to be in attendance.
At linebacker, it might be the most talented group found at any position at any NIKE Camp this year.
Headlining the list is recent Florida State commitment Nigel Bradham. Florida was very much in the picture and will certainly still try to garner an official visit from the potential five-star prospect.
Two other Seminole commitments that the Gators pursued will also be on hand. Jacksonville (Fla.) First Coast's Nigel Carr and Davenport (Fla.) Ridge's Vincent Williams.
The biggest non committed player will be Dunnellon's Lerentee McCray. The 6-foot-2, 200-pound outside linebacker has Florida and Miami on top at the moment.
A player to keep an eye on is Citra (Fla.) North Marion linebacker / defensive end Demarrio Sims. He is listed as a lineman by some but runs well enough that he could be a strong side or middle linebacker candidate for some teams.
In the secondary, the biggest name without a doubt is Xavier Brewer out of Jacksonville. He claims one of the top offer lists of any defensive back in the nation, much less the state of Florida. He has unofficially visited Gainesville and has the Gators under serious consideration.
The next biggest name belongs to 2009 safety Cody Ledford - who just recently confirmed with GatorBait.net his intentions of camping with the Gators this summer.