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March 21, 2014
RCS Sunshine State Preview
This weekend many of the Sunshine State's top prospects will come out to showcase their talents in Orlando and Miami at two Rivals Camp Series presented by Under Armour Camps. Many Florida targets and a few commitments will be in attendance at both stops to prove they are worthy of being mentioned among the best of the best, as well as earn an invite to the Under Armour Five-Star Challenge this summer in Baltimore.
Inside the Gators takes a look at some of those who will compete this weekend.
Florida commits Tristan Payton of Jacksonville (Fla.) First Coast and Deondre Farrier of Orlando (Fla.) Lake Nona will both be in attendance on Saturday. The two have been flying under the radar on the recruiting trail to this point, but will have a chance to showcase their talents going up against the some of the state's elite prospects. Both verbal pledges are very solid in their commitment to the Gators.
One of the biggest storylines in Orlando will be which five-star defensive lineman will be taking home the MVP hardware out of Byron Cowart and CeCe Jefferson. Both Rivals100 members have visited Gainesville this spring and are very high on Florida. Jefferson will take his recruitment out until National Signing Day, and Cowart looks to announce at the Under Armour All-American game next year.
Three-star quarterback Deondre Francois will also be on hand Saturday. He recently announced that he will transfer from Olympia high school to IMG Academy in Bradenton, but will still make an appearance in order to prove that he is one of the top signal callers in the state of Florida. Francois is one of the top guy on the Gators' 2015 quarterback board at this time and is the school recruiting him the hardest. Florida State and Ohio State are also big players here as well.
This weekend Apopka (Fla.) four-star offensive tackle Martez Ivey is looking to make the jump to five-star status and prove he is one of the top big men in the country. He is high on the Gators' offensive tackle board and is very interested in Florida. He's recently visited Alabama and Auburn and is at Florida on Friday. His three-star fullback teammate Chandler Cox will also be in attendance that also is very high on the Gators and is looking to make his commitment sometime this summer.
Brooksville (Fla.) Nature Coast Rivals250 offensive tackle Christian Pellage has been offered by just about every top D-I program already, but still feels the need to come out and compete. Florida and Florida State have gotten visits this spring, and there are some rumors that FSU is the team to beat.
Another Sunshine State lineman the Gators are high on who will be in attendance is Montverde (Fla.) three-star offensive tackle Abdul Bello. This Nigerian native is new to the game of football, but even with little experience under his belt, Bello has the tools to be a big time blocker at the next level. Another tackle that has a Florida offer who will be in attendance is Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy offensive tackle Tyree St. Louis.
Two Orlando area Florida running back targets, Jacques Patrick and Dexter Williams, will also be on hand. Williams has Florida high on his list with the likes of Georgia, Ohio State, Miami, and Notre Dame and has picked up many offers this spring. Patrick has been on the recruiting scene since his freshman year and holds well over 50 offers. Patrick is looking to make his commitment later this fall and has Florida somewhere near the top of his leader board.
Another prospect being looked at as a running back that will be making the trip down from the nations capital is Tallahassee (Fla.) Leon athlete D'Anfernee McGriff. The Gators are in McGriff's top five with Alabama, Auburn, Florida State, and South Carolina. The three-star athlete visited Gainesville earlier this spring, and also has been to Alabama and Florida state as well.
The best of Tampa will also be well represented on Saturday as Rivals250 athlete's Deon Cain and RayRay McCloud III as well as three-star wide receiver Auden Tate are expected. Tate currently doesn't have an offer from the Florida, but is a guy that likely will have one by the end of spring. Cain and McCloud visited Gainesville last week and were impressed with what they saw.
Some 2016 names to keep an eye on in Orlando are quarterback Feleipe Franks, wide receiver Keith Gavin and wide receiver Nate Craig.
BEST OF SOUTH FLORIDA LOOKING TO IMPRESS
While there may not be as many Florida targets expected at this stop on Sunday, the ones who will be there are among the top kids on the board.
One name that is high on Florida that will be in attendance is Palm Beach Gardens (Fla.) four-star linebacker Tevon Coney. Before heading to Miami on Sunday for the Rivals camp Coney will spend some time in Gainesville watching spring practice. Florida was the dream offer for Coney, but he's since picked up many other offers and is looking to take more visits. He claims no schools stick out, but guarantee Florida is a big player here.
Miami (Fla.) Norland three-star cornerback Carlton Davis has picked up quite a few offers this spring, Florida included. Davis doesn't have elite speed but he has long arms and legs and uses those to blanket receivers. Another three star defensive back with a Florida offer in attendance is Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas cornerback Rashard Causey. Though UF has offered they don't seem to be a big player at this time.
Those defensive backs will have their hands full with many of the states top wide receivers. A few pass catchers expected are five-star Calvin Ridley, four-star Da'Vante Phillips, four-star Jovon Durante, and four-star Devonaire Clarington. Florida has offered all four of them, but none are realistic options at this time.
One name in the 2016 class to keep an eye on is Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas wide receiver Sam Bruce. Many schools have entered the chase for Bruce already with the Seminoles having the early edge.
A few other top names that have Florida offers that will be in attendance: Rivals100 athlete Shawn Burgess-Becker, Rivals250 athlete Tim Irvin, Rivals250 FAU running back commit Jordan Scarlett, and Rivals250 athlete Jordan Cronkrite. Though the Gators have offered all four of these prospects, they have a lot of ground to make up.
Stay tuned to Inside the Gator and Rivals.com all weekend long for wall-to-wall coverage of both RCS events. Follow along on Twitter at #RivalsCamp