When it first started Florida's Friday Night Lights Camp was known more for its play on the title of the book and movie of the same name. Now three years later is is regarded as perhaps the most prestigious prospect camp in the nation.
One week from today, that perception will only be enhanced as at least forty-two prospects rated four-stars or higher by Rivals.com are scheduled to attend the one day event. Another twenty-five or so are ranked as three-star prospects.
Here is the first in a series previewing some of the top prospects who are expected to be in attendance.
CREAM OF THE CROP
Last year two five-star prospects – Torrey Davis and Terrance Tolliver – participated in the on-the-field activities. This year, at the very least, the number remains the same as two of the top fifteen players in the nation are slated to attend.
The headliner of course is Jersey City (N.J.) St. Peter's Prep's Will Hill, the No. 7 rated prospect in the nation. Right behind him on the Rivals100 list is Wichita (Kan.) Wichita East linebacker Arthur Brown at No. 15 overall.
Two weeks ago, the No. 2 rated prospect in the nation, Ventura (Calif.) St. Bonaventure running back Darrell Scott told InsidetheGators.net that he planned on attending the camp, but as of this writing, that doesn't appear to be the case.
Mountain Brook (Ala.) offensive lineman Tyler Love is another five-star who could make his way to Gainesville next Friday.
At last year's camp players such as Cameron Newton and Duke Lemmens parlayed their camp performances into future offers from the Gators.
Newton entered the camp as barely more than a blip on Florida's recruiting radar and came in to the night playing second fiddle to the much higher rated Stephen Garcia. Although only a three-star prospect by Rivals.com, he clearly was one of the camp standouts and by the end of his senior season he was able to work his way up the rankings to the point of becoming a five-star prospect.
A couple of players to keep an eye on as far as having a chance to make a move up the rankings if they perform well enough are South Sumter (Fla.) defensive tackle Marty Everett. The 6-foot-4, 300-pound defensive tackle has a couple of impressive early offers, including one from the Gators, but is currently rated three-stars by the Rivals.com network.
Belle Glade (Fla.) Glades Central wide receiver Travis Benjamin is a bit undersized at 5-foot-11, 146-pounds, but he is as speedy and productive as any prospect at his position in the state of Florida. A strong showing at the camp could result in him getting a bump forward in future rankings.
Another receiver to watch out for is Jacksonville (Fla.) Parker's Alfred Jenkins. He has an impressive offer list despite the fact that he is only rated as a three-star prospect.
JUNIOR WATCH LIST
Of course the biggest name among the underclassmen belongs to Chesapeake (Va.) Great Bridge receiver Logan Heastie. The 6-foot-2, 181-pound athlete looks to be one of the top prospects in the nation for the class of 2009 and has the Gators as his current leader.
If Heastie is considered the top 09 prospect at the camp, not far behind has to be Douglas (Ga.) Coffee linebacker C.J. Mizell. The 6-foot-2, 212-pound prospect already has offers from the likes of Florida and Georgia.
With the Gators stocking up on quarterbacks last year, the chances of landing a big name at the position this year doesn't seem likely.
Florida however will have several top junior-to-be quarterbacks on hand Friday night.
Headlining the list will be 6-foot-1, 178-pound Ocala (Fla.) Trinity Catholic dual threat quarterback Rob Henry, 6-foot-3, 210-pound Tom Savage from Philadelphia (Pa.) Cardinal O'Hara, 6-foot-5, 210-pound pro style signal caller Zach Mettenberger out of Watkinsville (Ga.) Oconee County and then finally 6-foot-1, 190-pound Blaine Dalton from Blue Springs (Mo.) South High. Dalton recently attended the Las Vegas (Nev.) EA SPORTS ELITE 11 QB Tryout Camp.
Read this free update and then continue checking back throughout the week as we update you on the prospects who are scheduled to appear at Florida's Friday Night Lights Camp. If you're not a member already, check out our 7-DAY FREE TRIAL to read the rest of the great Gator football, basketball and recruiting coverage on InsidetheGators.net! With two-a-days right around the corner, you won't want to miss out on a single moment.