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October 16, 2010

Weekend Visitor Notebook III

This past Saturday Florida played host to some of the top prospects on their board for both official and unofficial visits. InsidetheGators.net caught up with several of the young men on Sunday for their take on the game, the atmosphere in the Swamp and more.

2012 LINEMAN VISITS UF, AGAIN

Two years ago, as a freshman, Dante Phillips was just a big body at Jacksonville (Fla.) University Christian. Last year, as a sophomore, he started garnering attention as reporters and college coaches made the rounds at Venice (Fla.) to check in on Trey Burton.

In 2009 he recorded 27 tackles, 1 sack and 4 quarterback hurries. This year the 6-foot-6, 270-pounder has 2 sacks through five games.

This past weekend, he was one of many top prospects in the Swamp to watch Florida take on LSU.

Unlike many of the other underclassmen, he has seen Florida live many times. According to the two-way lineman, Saturday was his 'sixth game there.'

He was at the game with senior three-star lineman, Notre Dame commit Clay Burton.

They were both there to see the Burton wearing orange jersey #8. While Trey scoring a touchdown is very good news for the Gator Nation, it means something a little more to Phillips.

"It always gives me chills when I see him score because I was just blocking for him last season."

Phillips said that he spoke with UF defensive line coach Dan McCarney while at the game.

When asked if anything about the trip stood out, he replied, "The highlight of my trip was the 4th quarter of the game. It was probably one of the best I've seen."

Phillips already has a multitude of offers, including one from programs such as Florida, Alabama, Florida State, Tennessee, Miami and Clemson.

MEETING AND GREETING FROM MEYER IS HIS HIGHLIGHT

In the week leading up to the game, Hamilton (Ga.) Harris County 2012 defensive end Jordan Jenkins told GBN, '[I'm] Coming down to Florida to watch LSU get beat."

Though it didn't play out the way he anticipated, the 6-foot-3, 233-pounder still had a great unofficial visit. "It was pretty amazing," Jenkins said of his visit to the Swamp. "It was always loud."

This past summer Jenkins was one of the standouts at Florida's Friday Night Lights Camp (Florida's FNL top performers & FNL Hot 11).
He has stated over and over again that it is a three-team race between the Gators, Georgia Tech and Alabama.

As proof that he is one of the top targets on Florida's board, with limited time to spare and several dozen top prospects in attendance, it was Jenkins who got some face-to-face time with the head man himself, "I got to talk to Coach Meyer. He said he really wanted me and discussed my season and how I would play for Florida."

Jenkins said that one of the highlights wasn't so much the game, but rather something that happened well before kickoff. Jenkins called watching Florida's Gator Walk the highlight of his trip.

FIRST TIME IN THE SWAMP

Kirtland (Fla.) Lake Catholic three-star offensive lineman Chase Hounshell committed to Florida sight unseen to an extent. Sure he took an unofficial visit to Gainesville prior to the start of the season, but he had never had a chance to experience UF on game day.

That is until this past weekend.

"My first time in the Swamp was absolutely ridiculous," replied Hounshell when asked about the atmosphere. "It is definitely the best game day atmosphere in the country. I got to Gainesville very early to get a good taste of what game day way like and I was very impressed. I sat next to quarterback commit Jeff Driskel and could not hear one word he was saying to me because The Swamp was so loud."

While in town Hounshell said that he also hung out with fellow UF commits Nick Waisome and Ja'Juan Story.

All of the commits got a chance to experience something unique courtesy of one of last year's signees.

"The highlight of the game was when Trey Burton ran in a touchdown and pointed to all of the commits who were sitting in the bleachers on the field behind the end zone."

Hounshell is one of a handful of commits who are on track to graduate early and enroll at UF in January.


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